AEGON Championships 2013
Murray Beats Cilic For Third Queen's Trophy
by ATP Staff|
The Scot, who was forced to miss Roland Garros with a back injury, lifted the 27th tour-level trophy of his career, adding to victories at The Queen’s Club in 2009 (d. Blake) and 2011 (d. Tsonga).
"I worked very hard in the time I had off to get myself back in the best shape possible," said Murray. "My team helped me a lot, they've been very patient with me.
"[Cilic] is one of the best grass court players in the world. We've had a lot of very close matches. I was lucky to come through in the end; he was playing very good tennis, especially towards the end of the second set."
Since its inception in 1979, there have been six different players to complete the Queen's Club-Wimbledon double in the same year, including John McEnroe (1981, ‘84), Jimmy Connors (1982), Boris Becker (1985), Pete Sampras (1995, ‘99), Lleyton Hewitt (2002) and Rafael Nadal (2008). Could Murray be the seventh? The Dunblane native finished runner-up at The Championships last year to Roger Federer.
The 26-year-old Murray is the sixth player to win three or more titles at The Queen’s Club and continues to prove his grass-court pedigree. He is No. 3 in grass-court match wins (66) among active players, trailing only Federer (121) and Lleyton Hewitt (115), and has won four grass-court titles, including the singles gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.
The final was delayed by more than three hours due to rain before Murray improved to a 9-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Cilic after beating the Croat for the second time this season (also Miami quarter-finals). Cilic, who had edged four-time winner Hewitt in three sets in the semi-finals, rallied from an early break down to snatch the first set from Murray, breaking the Scot in the 11th game before rescuing a 15/40 deficit to clinch the opener.
Murray kept steady pressure on Cilic in the second set and it eventually paid dividends. After the Croat had fended off three break points to level at 3-3, Murray made his breakthrough in the 12th game to send the match into a decider. The Scot then broke Cilic in the fourth game of the third set and went on to claim victory in two hours and 33 minutes.
The 24-year-old Cilic was seeking his second ATP World Tour title of the season following victory on home soil at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors (d. Melzer). The right-hander dropped to a 9-8 finals record.
"It was a great match from both sides, a great level of tennis," said Cilic. "Andy showed he is capable of coming back; he's a great fighter. Congratulations to him for a great week.
"It was an extremely great week for me. I enjoyed all my matches. It wasn't easy, I had some tough fights. I hope I'm going to continue with my good form."