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Cilic battles past Djokovic to claim Queen's title

  • Published at 12:55 am June 25th, 2018
  • Last updated at 01:02 am June 25th, 2018
Cilic-1529866496066.jpg
Croatia's Marin Cilic is all smiles with the Queen's trophy after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the final in London Sunday Reuters

Top seed Marin Cilic saved a match point before edging past Novak Djokovic 5-7 7-6 (4) 6-3 to win his second Queen's Club Championship crown Sunday.

The 29-year-old Croatian, who last won at Queen's in 2012, came from a set down to outlast Djokovic for his first title of the season in what was the longest final in the tournament's history at two hours 56 minutes.

It was a particularly satisfying win for last year's Wimbledon finalist who had also held match point in the 2017 Queen's final before being edged out by Feliciano Lopez.

Cilic controlled the early exchanges from the baseline but missed six break point chances in the opening set, allowing Djokovic to battle back.

The 31-year-old took his chances with a couple of crisp forehands in the 12th game to break the Cilic serve and claim the first set after an hour-long battle.

A rampant Djokovic conceded just one point on his first serve during the second set and looked favourite to close out the contest in the ninth game but Cilic responded with a booming serve out wide to save match point.

The Serb also looked in control at 4-1 up in the tiebreak but Cilic fought back and a double fault at 4-4 allowed the Croat to take charge as he won six points in a row to force a decider.

With momentum back on his side, Cilic looked comfortable in the west London sunshine as he grabbed the only break in the final set to claim his first title of the year.

Former world No 1 Djokovic, whose career has stalled since he won his 12th Grand Slam title at the 2016 French Open, has been battling for form and fitness this season.

There were signs of him returning to his best at the French Open but a first final in almost a year should give him confidence ahead of next month's Wimbledon.

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