ATP Basel: Marin Cilic tops Kei Nishikori to win Basel title

Beware Top 6! Cilic is coming

Marin Cilic showed his class performance in a repeat match of US Open 2014 final match against Kei Nishikori, that he still can qualify and play the best in the ATP WTF London, as he will be playing in the last ATP 1000 tournament, BNP Paribas Paris Masters. He is at the eighth place in the Race to London, while Kei has already reserved his berth at number 5, followed by Gael Monfils of France at number 6 (this is the first time in his career, that Monfils has qualified for the World Tour Finals). The number 4 seed, Cilic, defeated the number 3 seed Kei, 6-1, 7-6(5), all credit to his big serve and a strong forehand.

Cilic played an extremely aggressive game, from the baseline to revert to Nishikori’s sharp shots.
The Croat completely ousted his Japanese opponent in the first set, in only 25 minutes; and continued his haranguing play in the second set as well. Nishikori tried to save some break points his opponent hot. He managed to play some sharp cross court Backhands, but the 6’4” tall right-hander, was far too strengthened for the Japanese sensation. Nishikori got 3 set points which were all saved by Cilic, and amongst those was the first break point for Kei, making the set to stretch to a tie-break. He struggled with his first serve % and that made for the match point as well; he sent a double fault across the net at 6-5, in the tie-break, making Cilic the Champion for The Swiss Indoors. He made 28 winners, served 6 aces in a total of 97 minutes. Cilic now leads the head-to-head 7-5.

“I knew it was going to be important for me to start well,” said Cilic. “Obviously, it was a big match for me. Being in the final of a 500 tournament against someone like Kei, who has been playing good tennis during the week, I knew it was going to be important to have energy straight away. I was playing well in the first set, with my shot making and I was serving smart,” Cilic said
“I felt that even during most of the second set I was playing well and creating opportunities for myself. In those situations, you can expect a player like Kei will try and create his own opportunities. I did well to fight off his chances. At the end of the set, his game was rising and it was quite a good battle.”, he added.

In total, Cilic held serve in 52 of 53 service games en route to the title. He takes home €387,100 in prize money; in addition to 500 points in the Emirates ATP Race To London, while Nishikori takes 300 points and €181,800 in prize money.

“In the second set, I was a little tight,” said Nishikori. “I had a couple set points and couldn’t convert. He played good tennis today.
“It was a good week for me, playing another final. I had some good wins. It will be important to have another good week in Paris and again in London. That will be my last goal of the year.” said Kei, who has won 1 of the 5 tour level finals; winning an overall of 11 out of 20 in his career.

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