Chennai, Jan 5 (UNI) Fresh from his quarter final win, ousting the defending champion Xavier Mallisse, fourth seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny packed off Croat Marin Cilic in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 to make his mainden final appearance in the Chennai Open at the Nungambakkam Stadium here today.
The Mosocovite ranked no 19 has come here on a mission, of winning his first title here. On the Centre Court, the Russian played some vintage tennis after a great start breakaing the 19-year-old big serving Cilic in the very first game of the first set.
The Croat seemed to be done in making several unforced errors, despite playing some delectable volleys and passing shots at times to win points.
There was no stopping Youzhny, who is playing in Chennai for a second time. In addition to living up to his target of winning every match, as he had said soon after he arrived here, Youzhny, who was also playing his 22nd career ATP singles semi-finals also had to better his second round ouster here in 2001.
Adjusting the length of his shots in accordance with Cilic's deep passing shots and putting the ball past him changing his angles subtly, the Russioan broke Cilic in the seventh game of the first set and again in the seventh game of the second set, which was going on serves till 3-3.
Youzhny broke Cilic in the seventh game for a 4-3 lead, held serve and wrapped up the 83 minute contest, breaking Cilic again in the ninth to win 6-3.
For Cilic, his third caeer, ATP singles semifinals turned out to be a disaster as it was his third defeat. This was Cilic's maiden appearance in Chennai Open.
''He(Cilic) made too many mistakes'', Youzhny said after the match.
Asked about his preparation for the final against Nadal or Moya, he said ''for me it doesn't make any difference''.
''This is the first week of a new season and I have to play my best whoever it is, Moya or Nadal. Both are superlative players'', he added.
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