2014 U.S. Open Day Fifteen
Cilic Captures First Grand Slam, def Nishikori in Straight Set Final
usopen.org September 8, 2014 by Clair Maciel New York USA - Not since the 2005 Australian Open had there been a major final contested without one of the ATP’s Big Four. But the 2014 US Open final broke that trend, as giant-slayers Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic blitzed their way past top seeds and fan favorites to set up an unlikely final that not many could have predicted.
But when the smoke had cleared and the greats had long been gone, it was No. 14 seed Cilic who proved he was the best player at this event, cruising through a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win in just under two hours to capture his first Grand Slam title. Cilic is now the first Croat to win a major title since compatriot and coach Goran Ivanisevic won Wimbledon in 2001.
Cilic had earned his spot in the US Open final in convincing form, dismissing both No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych and No. 2 Roger Federer in straight sets prior to the final. He continued his dominance against 10th-seeded Nishikori, playing in the zone with a relaxed, loose and consistent game that Nishikori struggled to keep up with.
Cilic opened the match serving well, using his serve as a weapon to put the pressure on Nishikori and set the tone early. Unfortunately for Nishikori, the fearless play he employed in taking down No. 5 Milos Raonic, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 1 Novak Djokovic to reach the championship stage simply was not present against Cilic.
Though the Japanese star pushed Cilic in long baseline rallies, he was not as consistent with his shots, which allowed the Croat to take the first break of the match for a 4-2 lead. A strong hold at love three games later gave him the set.
As the match wore on, Cilic had the better movement and more aggressive play, covering the court with ease, while Nishikori was left scrambling, his unforced errors piling up. After four breaks of serve in the second set, three of which came on Nishikori’s serve, Cilic secured a solid grip on the match with a two-set lead just an hour and 10 minutes in.
Down a break midway through the third set, Nishikori nearly had a chance to get back in the match when he held two break points in the 4-2 game. But after Cilic erased both chances with two solid serves, he was able to hold on and come within one game of the championship.
In his final service game, Cilic fired two unreturnable serves and a backhand cross-court winner to claim the trophy.
U.S. Open Men's Singles Final Monday Sept 8
Marin Cilic beat 10-Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-3 6-3
Nishikori vs Cilic: Who will capture their first career Grand Slam title?
usopen.org: September 7 2014 by Mark Preston New York USA - The 2014 US Open today comes to a close with a men’s final that brings together a pair of surprise finalists, each of whom has reached this day by reaching—and maintaining—an incredibly high level of play across these last two weeks.
On the tournament’s final day, No. 10 seed Kei Nishikori faces off with Marin Cilic, seeded No. 14, for the US Open men’s singles crown. The pair of double-digit seeds has each been singularly sensational over this Flushing fortnight, playing with a fire and a focus that pushed them past some of the biggest names in the game and put them on a collision course with each other. Though it’s not the matchup we all figured we’d get on this day, it is a matchup of the two guys who’ve played the best tennis over the course of many days. And in the end, it’s your game—not your name—that wins you tennis’ toughest title.
Just last month, Nishikori underwent foot surgery, which sidelined him for the better part of the summer hard-court circuit. He didn’t even pick up a racquet and start hitting balls again until days before the start of this event, stating publicly that he’d be surprised if he advanced beyond the first round here. He must be stupefied now. The 24-year-old has displayed an incredible combination of talent and toughness in becoming the first Japanese player—man or woman—ever to reach a Grand Slam singles final.
It’s hard to overstate just how remarkable Nishikori has performed in this tournament. Though much has been made these two weeks of Caroline Wozniacki training for the New York City Marathon, Nishikori has, in fact, run a marathon of his own over the course of the six matches he’s played.
He’s had a starring role in two of this event’s three longest matches, following a five-set, 4-hour, 19-minute fourth-round win over No. 5 seed Milos Raonic with a five-set, 4-hour, 15-minute victory over No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka in the quarters. And somehow, he still had plenty left in the tank to take out five-time US Open finalist and seven-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic—this tournament’s top seed—in the semis. Continue...