Published: Mon, June 25, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Novak Djokovic hopes are dashed as Marin Cilic clinches Queen's title

Novak Djokovic hopes are dashed as Marin Cilic clinches Queen's title

Inspired by that escape act, Cilic powered through the deciding set to leave Djokovic shell-shocked as he won the Wimbledon warm-up event for the first time since 2012. Djokovic tried to stay upbeat, saying: "I have to congratulate Marin on a fantastic week".

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"It's a tough loss for me".

Cilic, who won the title in 2012 and was runner-up a year ago, was competing in his fourth Queen's final.

"I played a lot of three-setters and a lot of tennis".

A high-level semi-final full of thundering serves boiled down to two tiebreaks in which the ice-cool Cilic proved the more composed player to set up a Sunday showdown with former world number one Novak Djokovic.

He closed out victory in 1 hour, 32 minutes.

While Roger Federer is seeking his 99th career title, Djokovic is in his 99th career final, eyeing a 69th trophy.

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"I mean, the grand slams are totally different".

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Dogged by rumours he no longer has the motivation to return to the top, the 31-year-old's error-strewn collapse from such a commanding position will be especially troubling.

However, Djokovic repelled five break points, showing the sort of defensive prowess he used to offer up in his pomp.

That crucially changed moments later as Djokovic clinched the set.

The Croatian snatched at the opportunity as he won six points in a row to take the match to a third set.

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. Yet, with the title in his grasp, he lost his composure, nervously double-faulting as Cilic rattled off six successive points to level the match.

Cilic had looked imperious throughout his run to the final and made his move in the seventh game of the opening set.

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