Cilic stuns Federer to reach first career Grand Slam final

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Roger Federer
New York, Sep 7: The 25-year-old Croat Marin Cilic reached his first career Grand Slam men's singles final after beating 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer of Switzerland 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the US Open semi-final here.

Cilic Saturday became the first Croat to reach a Grand Slam final since his coach Goran Ivanisevic won the Wimbledon title in 2001, reports Xinhua.

"It's just an amazing day for me," Cilic said. "I feel amazing. To be able to play like this, I never dreamed of, and I think today was the best performance of my career."

Both players kept their serve until the fourth set, in which Cilic took advantage of Federer's error to finish the first break of the match to take a 3-1 lead. Federer didn't get any chance to break for the rest of the set, allowing Cilic to finish 6-3.

The second set saw a more consistent Cilic. The No.14 seed broke again in the seventh game and took the set 6-4.

Trailing by two sets, Federer led 2-0 to start the deciding set. However, Cilic immediately broke back to tie the score 2-2.

Federer made several errors to drop the seventh game, and Cilic powered three aces to finish the match.

"Considering also that, you know, even I was a set up and break up, the crowd was rooting for Roger to come back. It wasn't easy to deal with that, but I felt that my serve helped me a lot, to get some free points to breathe a little bit easier."

It was Cilic's first victory against Federer.

"I wasn't as confident this time around, because Marin played more aggressive," said Federer, who recovered from two sets down to beat Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals.

"He was serving huge. From that standpoint I knew that margins were slim, even though I still believed in my chance."

Cilic will face 10th-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan in the final, which is scheduled Monday. Nishikori is the first Asian ever to reach a men's singles final of any Grand Slam.

IANS

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