Cilic tops Raonic to win in Istanbul

Marin Cilic triumphed in the battle of the big servers on Sunday, defeating Milos Raonic 7-6(3), 6-3 to claim victory in the Istanbul Open.

Cilic emerged victorious after two hours and one minute, firing down nine aces and saving all seven break points he faced for a 17th tour level title and a first victory on clay in five years.

The 28-year-old's only previous clay-court victory was back in 2012 at Umag.

The big hitting duo were even in the first set, avoiding any breaks as it went to a tie-break. Cilic then earned a mini-break at 2-2 on Raonic’s second serve before going on to close out the set.

Cilic continued to apply pressure in the second set and finally got the break in game four after the top seed served up two double faults. The Croatian dragged himself back from the brink in the next game, saving serve after being 0-40 down before eventually clinching the title with an ace.

The Croat did not drop a set all week and was understandably happy following the win, saying "I'm on a good track and feeling very well."

"In these last three or four weeks on clay, it's never easy, but I'm trying to get better with every match. This week was a big one for me and a good sign for the rest of the clay-court season. I hope I can improve in these upcoming three tournaments – two Masters 1000 events and the French Open."

Meanwhile, in Munich, Alexander Zverev won his first title on home soil at the BMW Open after defeating qualifier Guido Pella 6-4, 6-3.

The 20-year old German fired down eight aces as he overcame the 158th-ranked Argentine to win his third career title.

Comments