Cilic Delighted With Run To Tokyo SFs
Croatian star to play Mannarino on Saturday
Top seed Marin Cilic continued his quest for an 18th tour-level title on Friday when he reached the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2017 semi-finals, a win that boosts his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals.
Cilic was in devastating form, breaking Ryan Harrison's serve five times in a 6-2, 6-0 victory over 53 minutes. The Croatian struck 11 aces and lost just one of his first service points (20/21). He also reached last year’s Tokyo semi-finals (l. to Goffin).
“It was definitely the best match for me this week, everything was functioning well from the beginning to the end,” said Cilic. “I was serving exceptionally well, I played aggressively and was able to return his serve. To play like this is a big boost for my confidence, something I was focusing on.”
The victory sees Cilic rise up one spot to No. 6 in the Emirates ATP Race To London on 3,075 points, 200 points fifth-placed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who advanced to the China Open semi-finals on Friday. Read More
Cilic is attempting to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the third time (also 2014, 2016) and is now 36-15 on the season, which includes one ATP World Tour title in Istanbul (d. Raonic) from three finals (London-Queen’s Club and Wimbledon).
He will next face France’s Adrian Mannarino, who avenged his Antalya Open final loss to Yuichi Sugita by beating the Japanese player 6-2, 6-4 for his 27th match win of the year. The match lasted one hour and 52 minutes.