Archive for the 'Marin Cilic' Category


Marin Cilic ensured home interest in the Croatia Open final for the first time in 21 years.


Marin Cilic ensured home interest in the Croatia Open final for the first time in 21 years with a comfortable win over Fabio Fognini. The fourth seed dropped his serve only once en route to a 6-2 6-2 semi-final win, to become the first Croat in the final since Goran Prpic defeated compatriot Goran Ivanisevic in 1990. The Italian, who was bidding for a first ATP Tour final having now lost all six of his semi-appearances, briefly threatened to spoil the party when he broke early in the second set. But Cilic rattled off six straight games to set up a Sunday showdown with Ukrainian Aleksandr Dolgopolov.

“It was not as easy as it looks,” Cilic said. “I had to play really hard to win. My serve went up and down, especially in the second set. But I am really happy how I played.” Second seed Dolgopolov beat Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4 6-4 in the other semi-final.


“Winning three tournaments in four tries is something I’ve never been close to before.”

Robin Soderling claimed his third title of the year as he came from a set behind to beat Marin Cilic in the final of the Open 13 in Marseille. The top-seeded Swede, whose only defeat of 2011 came against Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Australian Open, surrendered the first set on a tie-break before taking the next two 6-3 to claim the title. Croatia’s Cilic hit 16 aces to Soderling’s 12 but also double faulted five times and made just 57 per cent of his first serves. Soderling, meanwhile, converted five of eight break points as he added to his successes this year in Brisbane and Rotterdam.

He said: “It’s of course a very nice feeling. Winning three tournaments in four tries is something I’ve never been close to before. “It’s the best possible start. I’ve won many matches and only lost one, unfortunately in the fourth round in Melbourne. It’s a great start and I really hope it can continue this way.”

Cilic was pleased with his week in Marseille. “I’m really pleased with this week and also the past two or three weeks, starting with the Australian Open,” he said. “That shows me I’m a little bit more in the game and playing better. It’s, of course, a little bit of a relief to come to the final after almost a year. I think I played well all week. There is no reason why I should stop here.”


Soderling will face Cilic in Sunday’s final.

Marin Cilic will meet top seed Robin Soderling in the final of the ATP Tour Open 13 on Sunday after both emerged victorious in their respective semi-finals. Unseeded Croatian Cilic, who had stunned second-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-4 on Friday, continued his return to form with a battling 6-2 1-6 7-5 triumph over third seed Mikhail Youzhny.

Sweden’s world number four Soderling cruised past another Russian, Dmitry Tursunov, 7-5 6-1, and has yet to drop a set in the Marseille event this year. World number 28 Cilic faced a match-point at 3-5 in the third set but held his nerve and went on to advance to his ninth Tour final – his first since May, when he lost to Youzhny in Munich. “In the second set and the beginning of the third he was playing really good and it wasn’t easy to stay in there and wait for a chance. I had to make some kind of a change, which I did, and it was really good from my perspective that this win comes from a good fight and great mentality.”

He will have his work cut out to clinch the title, though, with Soderling on an eight-match winning streak after capturing his second Tour title of the season last week in Rotterdam. “It’s not too bad,” reflected the 26-year-old Swede. “I won many matches and I beat a lot of good players.

“It feels really good and hopefully it can continue this way for a while.”


Upsets were the order of the day at PBZ Zagreb.

Top seed Marin Cilic was one of three big-name casualties in the quarter-finals of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors.

The home favourite was beaten by Germany’s Florian Meyer in straight sets, going down 6-3 6-4.

Another Croatian was also dumped out, with second seed Ivan Ljubicic being beaten by fellow countryman Ivan Dodig 6-4 6-4.

Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez beat American qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jnr 6-2 7-6 (7/6), while French fourth seed Richard Gasquet’s retirement to injury allowed German Michael Berrer to progress to the semi-finals.


Marin Cilic would like to make it three in a row in Zagreb.

Top seed and defending champion Marin Cilic began the defence of his PBZ Zagreb Indoors title with a straight-sets second-round win over Russia’s Igor Kunitsyn. Cilic, the winner in Zagreb in each of the last two years, took one hour and 39 minutes to see off Kunitsyn 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 and move into the quarter-finals.

Third seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain was made to work harder for his last eight place as he fought back from a poor second set to beat Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko 6-1 2-6 6-2.

Fifth seed Florian Mayer beat veteran Czech Radek Stepanek 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 and Michael Berrer was another German winner of Blaz Kavcic 6-4 6-1. There were first round wins for Arnaud Clement and Ilya Marchenko.


Nishikori attributed his victory to his new coach Brad Gilbert.

Marin Cilic’s preparations for the Australian Open suffered a setback on Monday when he was knocked out of the Chennai Open in the first round by Kei Nishikori. The Croatian, who came into this week’s tournament as the two-time defending champion, lost 4-6 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 to his Japanese opponent who, at 98th in the world, is ranked 84 places lower. Cilic, who was seeded second this week, broke Nishikori in the fifth game to take the opening set but the latter then turned the match on its head. Nishikori, who also defeated Cilic at last year’s US Open, fought back in a dramatic second set in which he saved three break points in the 11th game. The 21-year-old won the tiebreak without dropping a point and then broke Cilic in the first game of the third set to take an early grip on the decider. He served out for the match after breaking again in the seventh game. “I’m a little bit disappointed the way I have started the year. I wouldn’t say I played too bad … I didn’t have luck at crucial moments, the key points he played better than me,” Cilic said. “The first two sets were very close. (My) losing the second set, he took the momentum from me,” he added. “The momentum he got, the way he played after that, I could not come back.” The Florida-based Nishikori attributed his fightback to changes he has made to his game under the auspices of new coach Brad Gilbert.

“I was nervous, first match for me … new coach, new trainer. (But) it was a good match today,” he said. He will be joined in the second round by America’s Robert Kendrick, who was a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 winner over Germany’s Denis Gremelmayr. Bjorn Phau was a 6-2 6-2 winner over Italy’s Simone Bolelli, while Croatia’s Ivan Dodig defeated Marcos Daniel by the same scoreline. Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic is also through after a 6-3 6-4 win over Argentina’s Eduardo Schwank, and France’s Stephane Robert secured a 6-4 6-4 success against Andreas Haider-Maurer.


Nalbandian will face Roddick next in a ‘must-win’ match for Andy.

David Nalbandian continued his fightback towards the top level with an impressive 4-6 6-4 6-4 win over Croatia’s Marin Cilic, who now has no chance of reaching the ATP World Tour finals. Former Wimbledon runner-up Nalbandian, now ranked 29 in the world, will next face fourth seed Andy Roddick who enjoyed an easier 6-3 6-4 success against Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev.

Second seed Novak Djokovic kept his nerve in a tight second-set tie-break to overcome Finland’s gutsy Jarkko Nieminen and reach the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoors in Basle. Djokovic looked well on track for the last eight when he took the first set against the qualifier but was made to fight all the way, taking two minutes short of two hours to record a 6-4 7-6 (10-8) win.

Wild card Radek Stepanek, on a comeback from glandular fever, beat Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 3-6 6-2 6-0, while France’s Richard Gasquet ended the run of German lucky loser Tobias Kamke 6-4 7-5.


Cilic advances but Ljubicic is ousted by the X-man!

Ivan Ljubicic suffered a shock defeat to Xavier Malisse in round two of the Open de Moselle in Metz.

The third seed was routed 7-5 6-2 inside 80 minutes despite raining down 12 aces on his Belgian opponent. Ljubicic made just 50% of first serves and was broken three times as he became the notable scalp of the day.

Top seed Marin Cilic had no such problems, dispatching Lukas Lacko in straight sets – although both were closely-fought affairs.

A late break, the only one of the match, earned Ljubicic’s compatriot the first set and he prevailed in a second-set tie-break to round out at 7-5 7-6 (7/3) win.

Eighth seed Gilles Simon also advanced after beating Holland’s Igor Sijsling in three sets.

The Frenchman powered through the opener and, though Sijsling held his nerve in a second-set tie-break to delay the inevitable, he completed a 6-1 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 win in an hour and 53 minutes.

In the day’s other matches, Jarkko Nieminen beat Kristof Vliegen 6-4 6-1 and Mischa Zverev saw off Nicolas Mahut 6-4 6-2.


‘Don’t cry for this Argentinian’, he’s back to stay!

David Nalbandian, who is playing in his first tournament since April, is making quite a comeback. Three years ago he was a top 5 player before being cut down by injury.

The 117th-ranked Nalbandian overwhelmed No. 13 Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-2 at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic on Saturday night to reach his first ATP final in 1 1/2 years.

“I’ve been playing well all week,” Nalbandian said. “I wish that the announcers at ESPN could for once get their terminology right. I am an Argentinian from Argentina! Not the talented Argentine! Please take note Patrick McEnroe!

He lost his serve in the semifinal’s first game, getting broken when he dumped a forehand into the net. But he immediately broke right back when Cilic double-faulted, starting a stretch in which Nalbandian won nine of 10 games, including seven in a row, while dominating from the baseline.

On point after point, Nalbandian would cover the court well enough to extend a rally until Cilic would make a mistake. There were moments when Cilic appeared to be bothered by his right leg, and he double-faulted to hand over a match point, then ended the match putting a backhand into the net.

It was the latest in a string of impressive performances at the hard-court tournament by the unseeded Nalbandian, whose victory over the No. 4-seeded Cilic followed wins against No. 7-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka and No. 13-seeded Gilles Simon.


Unlikely final four set in D.C. semis.

The upsets continued at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington on Friday as top seed Tomas Berdych and Fernando Verdasco were bundled out of the tournament.

Belgian Xavier Malisse recorded a 6-4 3-6 6-2 quarter-final win in two hours 10 minutes over Berdych, who joined second seed Andy Roddick in exiting the tournament.

Third seed Verdasco was also ousted, losing 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 to Marco Baghdatis, the eighth seed.

Even Bob and Mike Bryan lost in the second round of the doubles!

Less than a week after winning their record 62nd ATP doubles title, the second-seeded Bryans were beaten 7-6 (6), 7-5 Friday by the unseeded pair of Rohan Bopanna of India and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan.

Baghdatis and Malisse will meet in the last four.

The second semi-final will be between David Nalbandian and Marin Cilic.

Nalbandian defeated 13th seed Gilles Simon – the conqueror of second seed Roddick – 3-6 6-2 6-3.

Cilic claimed a 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 win over Janko Tipsarevic in a match which saw a solitary break of serve.

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