Cilic Starts Singapore Tennis Open Campaign With Win

Marin Cilic (photo: Singapore Tennis Open)

SINGAPORE, February 24, 2021

Day 3 of the Singapore Tennis Open came to a close after a packed schedule with 10 matches spread across two show courts at the OCBC Arena.

Third seed Marin Cilic kicked off his title bid on Wednesday with a win over Japan’s Taro Daniel. This is the first time that the two have come up against one another and they did not fail to disappoint. Daniel put up a formidable fight but was ultimately defeated by Cilic, 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 40 minutes. The win is a big step for the former US Open champion as he looks to claim his ninth ATP Tour indoor title.

“It was a long match with a lot of long rallies,” said Cilic. “I played really well on the returns. I made all the returns back in the court so that was a job well done and I felt that overall, it was a solid match – something that I definitely needed at the start of the tournament.

In other second round action, World No. 61 Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan cruised past US-American Maxime Cressy in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. Nishioka’s win sets him up to face fourth seed Alexander Bublik from Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. Bublik beat Turkey’s Altug Celikbilek, 6-2, 6-2.

“Playing on the Centre Court as compared to the practice courts were a little different and I needed some time getting used to,” said Bublik. “But I am happy to start the tournament strong with a good performance and a win.”

First round concludes

In the remaining first-round matches, No. 8 seed Soonwoo Kwon edged out US-American Thai-Son Kwiatkowski in a tight contest that saw the South Korean fight back to win in three sets, 4-6, 6-3 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes.

Roberto Marcora and former Top 10 player Ernests Gulbis of Latvia went head to head for the first time with the Italian winning 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 14 minutes. Australian wild card entry Matthew Ebden defeated Yuki Bhambri from India 6-3, 7-6(3) after 90 minutes and former World No. 2 junior Alexei Popyrin of Australia fought past Bulgarian teenager Adrian Andreev 6-1, 7-5, 6-3 in the final match of the day.

Bambridge/Inglot advance in doubles

Day 3 of the doubles main draw began with a clinical display of teamwork as Britons Luke Bambridge and Dominic Inglot defeated Yannick Hanfmann from Germany and John Millman of Australia in straight sets, winning 6-3 6-3. The pair will face James Cerretani from the United States and Canadian Adil Shamasdin in the quarterfinals.

Indian doubles team Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan received a walkover after Soonwoo Kwon pulled out from the match due to fatigue after his two hour and ten minute singles match. The duo from India are now set to face the Belgian first seeds, Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen.

Full list of Results from Day 3 of the Singapore Tennis Open

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[3] M. Cilic (CRO) d T. Daniel (JPN) 75 64
[4] A. Bublik (KAZ) d [Q] A. Celikbilek (TUR) 62 62
[5] Y. Nishioka (JPN) d M. Cressy (USA) 64 62
A. Popyrin (AUS) d [WC] A. Andreev (BUL) 61 57 63

First Round
[8] S. Kwon (KOR) d [Q] T. Kwiatkowski (USA) 46 63 64
R. Marcora (ITA) d E. Gulbis (LAT) 75 64
[WC] M. Ebden (AUS) d [PR] Y. Bhambri (IND) 63 76(3)

Men’s Doubles – First Round
[3] L. Bambridge (GBR) / D. Inglot (GBR) d Y. Hanfmann (GER) / J. Millman (AUS) 63 63
[4] M. Ebden (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) d [Alt] C. Eubanks (USA) / T. Kwiatkowski (USA) 64 62
P. Raja (IND) / R. Ramanathan (IND) d S. Kwon (KOR) / Y. Uchiyama (JPN) walkover