Former Champ Cilic Finds Winning Stride In Basel

Croatian looking to win his second Basel title this week

Third seed Marin Cilic won his first tournament match since 3 September on Monday at the Swiss Indoors Basel. The 2016 champion routed #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-2.

Cilic raced to a 4-0 lead in the first before Shapovalov came back. But the Croatian rode two breaks and benefitted from 23 unforced errors from the left-hander in the second set to reach the second round, where he'll face Romanian Marius Copil, who beat Ryan Harrison of the U.S. 6-2, 7-6(8).

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Cilic, after reaching the US Open quarter-finals (l. to Nishikori), endured a pair of close losses during the Asian swing. The top seed twice served for the match in his Tokyo opener against Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff but fell in three sets. In Shanghai, Cilic held two match points but Chilean Nicolas Jarry sprung the upset.

The Croatian is looking to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London, for the fourth time. Cilic is in sixth place in the ATP Race To London and next in line to qualify.

Earlier in Basel, #NextGenATP American Taylor Fritz earned his first Basel win, beating Serbian qualifier Laslo Djere 6-0, 7-5. Fritz will next face Swiss wild card Henri Laaksonen, who beat sixth seed Marco Cecchinato of Italy 6-4, 6-2.

The 20-year-old Fritz will make his debut at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan next month. Eight players will compete at the 21-and-under event, to be held 6-10 November at the Fiera Milano, and only two direct qualification spots remain. The eighth and final position will be reserved for the winner of an all-Italian qualifying tournament to finish 4 November.

 

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Zverev Fight To Reach Doubles QFs
Germans Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev battled back to beat Americans Nicholas Monroe and Jack Sock 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-4 in one hour and 35 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals. The brothers won five of the first six points in the Match tie-break.

Elsewhere, third seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau knocked out Dutchmen Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop 6-3, 6-4 in 55 minutes, while fourth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Marcel Granollers swept past Spanish qualifiers Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and David Marrero 6-1, 6-4 in 58 minutes.

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