Cilic Survives Raonic To Take Istanbul Open Title

Marin Cilic (photo: Istanbul Open)

ISTANBUL, May 7, 2017

Marin Cilic is the champion of the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open. The second favourite from Croatia defeated top ranked Milos Raonic of Canada 7-6, 6-3 in Sunday’s final and did not drop a set all week in claiming his 17th tour-level title and second on clay.

The 28-year-old Croatian notched his first clay-court crown since prevailing on home soil in Umag in 2012. It was a memorable week for Cilic in Istanbul, having reached the 400 match wins milestone on Friday. He moves to No. 7 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

“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,” Cilic told.

Raonic was appearing in his first clay-court final, bidding for his ninth ATP World Tour title.

“The tennis was good and I achieved a lot of the things I would have liked. Of course I didn’t achieve the ultimate thing, but I got a much better understanding of how I need to play on clay and I got to play four matches. These are all positive things at the end of the day,” Raonic said.

Czechs Take Doubles Title

The Czech duo of Roman Jebavy and Jiri Vesely completed a 6-0, 6-0 rout in the doubles final against Tuna Altuna from Turkey and Italian Alessandro Motti, needing just 41 minutes to claim their first team title on the ATP World Tour.

Individually, it was 23-year-old Vesely’s second doubles title after lifting the trophy in Moscow in 2014 with Frantisek Cermak and 27-year-old Jebavy’s first.

“We definitely didn’t expect to win the final with a score like that. But we played great, didn’t miss many returns and put every ball back. We put the pressure on their side and played great all week. We deserved to win. After losing early in the singles, I was even more motivated to go far in the doubles. I know Roman for a long time. I think we did a really good job and hopefully we can keep it up,” Vesely told.

“We played really good all week. We are happy to do it in Istanbul,” Jebavy added.