Red-Hot Cilic Repeats at Zagreb Indoors

by John on February 8, 2010

Defending champion Marin Cilic continued his run as the hottest player on the ATP Tour with a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 win over German Michael Berrer in the final of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors yesterday. The title was the No. 10-ranked Croatian’s second of the year and pushed his record to 15-1 in 2010. Cilic won at Chennai in early January for the second year in a row and also advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Open before losing to Andy Murray. The 21-year-old Croatian had big wins over Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Roddick en-route to his meeting with Murray a week ago in Melbourne. Berrer, a 29-year old ranked No. 65 and playing in his first tour final, gave Cilic all he could handle in the two-hour and 38-minute battle. “Berrer played very well today,” Cilic said. “I was trying to find my game and physically I did not feel the best. I was a bit late on the ball but I believe that in key moments I had a very good serve. It was not easy. He (Berrer) is left-handed, has a different system of playing. Most of the time I was on the defensive, it was not easy to get to attack and get points.” Cilic served 13 aces and never lost his serve in the match, saving all six break points. Berrer saved six of eight break points. The 6-foot-6 Croatian broke Berrer in the fifth game of the first set and the fourth game of the third set. Berrer raced to a 5-2 lead in the second-set tiebreaker and then held on after Cilic rallied to tie it at 5-5. “I was sure that it would be a very, very tough match,” Berrer said. “But I felt I had chances because with the way I play I can hurt players and I did today, but at the end he showed that he is a Top 10 player. There’s a difference in playing a guy like him than playing a guy outside the Top 20.” Cilic now has five career titles, the back-to-back championships at both Chennai and Zagreb and a win at New Haven in 2008. “I would say this (title) is the (most) special one,” Cilic said. “I did not have much time to adjust after the Australian Open; it was not easy to meet people’s expectations. I am proud of what I have done.”

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