US Open: Marin Cilic and Donna Vekic Join Martic in Round of 16

By 1 September 2019

September 1, 2019 - Another great day for Croatian tennis as Donna Vekic and Marin Cilic join Petra Martic in the round of 16 of the US Open!

After Petra Martic secured her spot in the round of 16 on Friday, where she will play against the six-time US Open winner and 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, more good news for Croatia’s representatives in the tournament followed. 

Namely, HTS reports that for the first time in her career, Donna Vekic advanced to the round of 16 of the US Open. In the third round, the Osijek native moved past Ukraine's Julia Putinetseva, the 39th best tennis player in the world, who managed only five games in the clash with the 23rd-seed - 6:4, 6:1.

In the first set, Putinetseva played at Vekic’s level and equalized at 4:4, but in the break in the 10th game, Donna secured a 1:0 lead. In the remainder of the match, the Ukrainian player had no hope, lost her serve twice, and on Donna's first strike, she scored only six points (including on two double faults by Vekic). To secure a spot in her first quarterfinal of a Grand Slam tournament, Donna will play against German Julia Goerges (30th on the WTA list), whom she has never defeated. Goerges has celebrated in all three encounters so far.

Furthermore, Marin Cilic also made it to the round of 16 of the US Open! After a real battle on the court and almost three and a half hours of play, Cilic managed to top the 14th best tennis player in the world, John Isner of the US - 7:6, 3:6, 7:6 (6), 6:4. It was Marin's ninth win in 12 games against the American giant, which was not helped by the fact that he achieved as many as 40 aces (Cilic 21). The key to Marin's success was winning the third set, where, in the tie-break, Isner had two set points at 6:4, and the first at his serve.

"After 6:4 I had some luck, John missed a few of his first serves in times when he needed them. I did my best and used the opportunities that came to my mind,” Marin said after the match, who broke his opponent early in the fourth set (for his third break) and managed to maintain that advantage until the end, during which he made as many as 16 double faults. 

Isner may be most sorry for his disastrous execution of break points in the match, as out of 14 opportunities he used only one (seven percent). Marin, on the other hand, used two of the four break points to take his opponent's serve. To qualify for the quarterfinal, Cilic will play against the great Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has six wins in their nine encounters so far. 

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