Monday - Apr 24, 2017

Marin Cilic wins his first Grand Slam title


Marin Cilic wins his first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows

Croatia’s Marin Cilic won his first Grand Slam title, the 2014 US Open at Flushing Meadows- , doing so in some style with a comprehensive straight-sets win over Japan’s Kei Nishikori, 6-3 6-3 6-3 taking less than two hours.

Cilic’s victory saw him become the first Croatian player to lift one of the four tennis trophies since his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, won at Wimbledon thirteen years ago.

The physical differences between the two players was marked, with 1.95 meter tall Cilic, towering over the 1.75 meter Nishikori.

25-year-old Cilic, who began the competition as 14th seed dominated throughout, hitting 17 aces and dropping his serve just once. The likeable Croat’s victory at Flushing Meadow wound up a topsy-turvy Grand Slam season that has produced eight different winners.

In the final Cilic never looked like surrendering the impetus he had built up during his outstanding wins over Tomas Berdych and Roger Federer, while Nishikori, looked a little jaded, understandable when you consider the much more physically demanding route he had been forced to take to get to the final, with epic matches against fifth seed Milos Raonic, third seed Stan Wawrinka and world number one Novak Djokovic which altogether took up a total of 11 sets.

Despite his defeat Nishikori can take a lot of pride in becoming Japan’s first Grand Slam finalist and enjoying considerable support from the crowd, with a large number of Japanese expatriates and tourist fans making their presence felt at Flushing Meadows for the final.

Yesterday’s final was the first Grand Slam between two first-time finalists when Rafael Nadal defeated Argentine Mariano Puerta, in the French Open at Roland Garros in 2005.

Cilic’s victory will be especially pleasing as he was forced to sit out last year’s US Open after having a four-month ban imposed on him after testing positive for a stimulant at a tournament in Germany in May 2013. Initially the International Tennis Federation proposed a two-year tournament suspension, which Cilic successfully appealed, claiming that he had inadvertently ingested the banned substance through a glucose tablet.

Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/MarinCilic

Cilic’s victory saw him become the lowest-ranked men’s Grand Slam winner since Gaston Gaudio won the 2004 French Open coming in as 44th seed.

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