Posts Tagged ‘Marin Cilic


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.


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.


Cilic is gone, but Davydenko & Djokovic each survive 5 setters.

Marin Cilic became the first big-name casualty of Wimbledon 2010 when he lost in the first round, but Nikolay Davydenko narrowly avoided joining him through the exit door.

The 11th-seeded Croat, a semi-finalist at this year’s Australian Open and rated as a dark horse by some in SW19, slumped to a straight-sets defeat at the hands of Florian Mayer.

The German triumphed 6-2 6-4 7-6 (7/1) at the All England Club.

Mayer reached the quarter-finals on his Wimbledon debut back in 2004 and will be hopeful of another good run after this result.

Davydenko, meanwhile, had to dig deep before finally seeing off Kevin Anderson in a five-set thriller which lasted more than four hours.

The Russian enjoyed his last visit to London – he won the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena last November – but it appeared his return was turning sour when he fell two sets down to the big-serving South African, who finished with 36 aces.

Davydenko only recently returned to the tour after suffering a broken wrist earlier in the year and he looked a little rusty in the opening exchanges.

But he showed plenty of character to turn the match round, much to the delight of the crowd on Court One, and he recovered to post a 3-6 6-7 (3/7) 7-6 (7/3) 7-5 9-7 victory.

Novak Djokovic recovered from an early onslaught by Olivier Rochus and a mid-match closing of the Centre Court roof to book his place in the Wimbledon second round on Monday.

Djokovic, who trailed 3-1 in career meetings against the feisty 5-ft-5 Belgian, looked set for an early exit after Rochus’s crisp groundstrokes and shrewd shot placement gave him a two sets to one lead.

But Djokovic seemed reinvigorated once fading light prompted the closure of the roof after the third set and clinched the fourth before going on to seal a 4-6 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-2 triumph.

The Serb will play American Taylor Dent in the second round.


Soderling, Tsonga and Cilic move into final 32.

Robin Soderling and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga both wasted little time in winning their second-round matches at the French Open on Wednesday.

Last year’s beaten finalist Soderling was most impressive in dispatching a bewildered Taylor Dent 6-0 6-1 6-1.

Dent’s big serve was totally ineffective as Soderling broke it eight times.

A series of Dent double faults in the first set – which was over in just 17 minutes – set the tone and he was totally outclassed by his Swedish foe.

The match lasted just 71 minutes as Soderling progressed to the last 32.

Eighth seed Tsonga needed eight minutes more to see off his French compatriot Josselin Ouanna and join Soderling in round three.

The 2008 Australian Open runner-up blasted 41 winners during his 6-0 6-1 6-4 demolition of the wild card.

Seeds Marin Cilic (10) and Mikhail Youzhny (11) also progressed early on Wednesday.

Cilic was a straight-sets winner over Daniel Gimeno-Traver, while Youzhny fought back from a set down to beat Lukas Lacko in four.


Cilic v. Youzhny in Munich final.

Mikhail Youzhny reached his third straight BMW Open final where he will face Marin Cilic after the pair posted semi-final victories over Philipp Petzschner and Marcos Baghdatis respectively.

Youzhny advanced with a 7-5 7-6 (7/5) victory over German Petzschner while Cilic came from a set down to overcome Baghdatis 3-6 6-2 6-3.

Russian Youzhny will hope to win the title in Munich for the first time after twice finishing runner-up at the clay-court tournament.

The second seed, who finished runner-up to Philipp Kohlschreiber in 2007 and again to Tomas Berdych last year, needed one hour and 43 minutes to edge past Petzschner.

Petzschner, ranked 45 in the world, twice led by a break in the first set but Youzhny recovered immediately each time before breaking in the 11th game for a one-set lead.

Neither player broke in the second set and Youzhny secured victory in the subsequent tie-break.

Top seed Cilic needed two and a quarter hours to book his place in the final.

Baghdatis served two more aces than his Croatian opponent with Cilic also producing two double faults, but the world number 11 was more effective in his all-round play.

Baghdatis, ranked 31 in the world, could only take one of nine break-point chances as Cilic eased away to victory.

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