Cilic Clinches MercedesCup Trophy In Stuttgart

Marin Cilic (photo: MercedesCup/Daniel Kopatsch)


Marin Cilic is the champion of the 2021 MercedesCup. The 32-year-old from Croatia defeated No. 3 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada in Sunday’s singles final at the Tennis Club Weissenhof.

On a sunny afternoon in Stuttgart, Cilic struck seven aces and won 77 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 48 minutes.

“It was a very important win. I played two semi-finals and did not win a title since 2018, also on grass at Queen’s. Winning here brings out joy for me, good confidence and a good feeling,” Cilic said. “I felt like I was playing good tennis in these last few weeks. Winning here is a great way for me to continue my form and it gives me a good sign for Queen’s and Wimbledon. It is a joy to win my first title with my family here for the first time at any tournament.

“Experience plays a big part, especially on grass. The conditions can be difficult, the court plays quite quick. I felt this was a good chance for me to give it my all, keep my intensity. Even though some games were up and others down, that was a big part of my victory today.”

By winning his 19th career title, his first since 2018 at the Queen’s Club in London, Cilic collected €53,280 in prize money, 250 ATP Ranking points as well as a brand new Mercedes EQ Series.

Auger-Aliassime, who finished runner-up at the MercedesCup for the second time after 2019, said: “Today I am not facing a final, I am facing Marin Cilic, it is two different things. There has been times when I have not played my best then I felt I was not playing well, but this time around, I felt like it was close. But overall I think he was a better player overall.” 

Long-term contract with Zverev

Germany’s No. 1 Alexander Zverev, who advanced to the semi-finals at Roland Garros, will return to the grass in Stuttgart in the future.

“As sad as it was for the MercedesCup that Alexander Zverev couldn’t come to Stuttgart this year, we were so happy for him that he reached the semi-finals in Paris. The good news is that we have signed a long-term contract with him and that he will play at the MercedesCup in the coming years,” tournament director Edwin Weindorfer said during the event’s final news conference on Sunday morning.

“The new generation with Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas or Dominic Stricker should play an important role in our tournament in the years to come,” he added.