CINCINNATI, August 22, 2016
Marin Cilic stunned top seed and two-time Cincinnati champion Andy Murray in the final of the Western & Southern Open with 6-4, 7-5 victory on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Croat sent down seven aces, winning 82% of his first service points to capture his 15th tour-level title after one hour and 34 minutes.
It was just the fifth ATP Masters 1000 title won by a player outside of the Big Four of Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal since 2010 (54 of 59). Cilic joins the foursome and Stan Wawrinka as the only active players to win both a Grand Slam and a Masters 1000 title, having lifted the trophy at the US Open two years ago.
“I thought I was going to have a good chance if I played well. I didn’t feel too tired yesterday in the evening. It was obviously very difficult mentally. It was very humid on the court. We were sweating a lot, so a lot of up and downs, especially in the third set. I had to work out the positive and negative emotions and that took a bit of energy,” Cilic said.
“But I went to sleep around 4:00 and woke up a little bit before 11:00. That was enough to recover. I felt that I played really good tennis today. The serve was a big factor in my game. I was hitting a lot of big serves in important points, and I was definitely very mentally strong in that second set. Andy was starting to play a bit better, but it’s definitely a huge win against him. He’s been on a great run the past couple of months.”
Murray saw his career-best 22-match win streak snapped, also suffering his first final defeat to an opponent not named Novak Djokovic since 2012.
“I’m very proud of this week. Obviously today it didn’t go how I would’ve wanted. But I certainly didn’t expect to get to the final when I arrived here. I had some pretty good wins along the way. Today there were tough, tricky conditions with the wind,” the world number two said.
“I think if I got off to a better start maybe could have done a bit better. I had a break point in his first service game and Love-30 in his next service game. I was pretty much behind from that point on and it was tough. But it’s a very, very positive week. I’m looking forward to a few days’ rest now.”
Dodig And Melo Claim Doubles Crown
Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo became the first team to win the Rogers Cup and the Western & Southern Open back-to-back since Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan did it in 2010. The Croatian-Brazilian duo defeated Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in the doubles final 7-6, 6-7, 10-6.
Dodig and Melo are now 25-11 in 2016 and will improve one position to No. 4 in the ATP Doubles Race To London.
“It’s a great experience for us to win two difficult tournaments in a row. Winning difficult matches helps with the confidence and allows us to play our best on important points,” Dodig said.
“We’ve been playing well since Toronto, and we’re happy to be able to make our way through the draw again,” Melo added.
“I was serving really well with one racquet, so I stayed with it the entire match, and was switching on my return games to see if I could improve there. It worked and I was making almost every return, but I still preferred the other racquet for serves and volleys. There were some differences in the grips, and that ended up helping us today.”