Sunday, 31 October 2021

Čilić Loves Russia: Marin Čilić Wins St. Petersburg Open Title!

October 31, 2021 - While he was unlucky in the Moscow final last week, Marin Čilić has gone on to win the St. Petersburg Open title for the second time in his career!

After reaching the final in Moscow last week, in which he lost to Aslan Karatsev, Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić today defeated American tennis player Taylor Fritz in the final of the St. Petersburg Open on Sunday (7:6, 4:6, 6:4) and won his second ATP tournament this year!

This is Čilić's 35th appearance in the final of an ATP tournament, and the third in 2021. He won Stuttgart in June, his 19th title, while he lost in the Moscow final last week. This makes it his jubilee 20th title of his career! 

Čilić won the first set after a tie-break, although at 5:3 he had the serve and missed a set point. In the second set, Croatia's best tennis player even had a break advantage twice, but Fritz came back both times and equalized at 1:1.

In the deciding set, Čilić lost the service first but then outpowered his opponent to win his second title this year after celebrating in Stuttgart in June. He played the final in Moscow last week but lost to Aslan Karatsev.

Čilić won the St. Petersburg Open for the second time in his career. He celebrated there for the first time in 2011. 

Recall, Čilić advanced to the final after defeating Dutchman Botica van de Zandschulp in the semifinal (6:3, 6:3).

Donna Vekić is currently playing her ninth WTA Tour final of her career in Courmayeur and is facing 18-year-old Clare Tauson (WTA 49), who defeated Ludmila Samsonova 4:6, 7:6 (8), 6:4 in the other semifinal match. The Osijek native beat Italian tennis player Jasmine Paolini (WTA 56) 6:2, 6:0 in 64 minutes in the semifinal. 

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Saturday, 30 October 2021

"Russia Loves Čilić": Marin Secures St. Petersburg Open Final!

October 30, 2021 - Marin Čilić is on fire, advancing to his second final in one week - this time the St. Petersburg Open final! 

Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić reached an ATP Tour final for the second week in a row, reports HRT.

After playing in the final of the Moscow tournament a week ago, this week, he reached the final in St. Petersburg, defeating Dutchman Botica van de Zandschulp in the semifinal in just one hour and nine minutes of play (6:3, 6:3).

Čilić completely dominated against the 26-year-old Dutchman, who played in his first semifinal on the ATP Tour on Saturday, served excellently, had a first-serve percentage of 69 percent, and did not allow his opponent a single break point. Moreover, Van de Zandschulp did not even equalize in any of Čilić's service games.

On the other hand, Čilić had one break in the first set, using the third of three tied break points in the sixth game, while in the second set he took the serve twice, the first time at 1:1, and the second time with a 5:3 advantage, which ended the match.

This will be Marin's 35th appearance in an ATP tournament final and the third in 2021. He won Stuttgart in June, his 19th title, while losing in the Moscow final last week.

To win his second title in St. Petersburg, the first of which he won exactly ten years ago, Čilić must face American Taylor Fritz, who in the first semifinal defeated German Jan-Lennard Struff 5:7, 6:1, 6:3.

It will be Fritz's first final in 2021. He last played in the final in Acapulco in February last year, and so far has won only one title in Eastbourne 2019.

Čilić and Fritz met only once, four years ago in Indian Wells, and the American tennis player was better.

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Sunday, 18 October 2020

Borna Coric in Second Straight St. Petersburg Final, this Time Against Rublev

October 18, 2020 - Croatia's best tennis player, Borna Coric, advanced to the final of the ATP tournament in St. Petersburg after defeating Canadian Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinal after an hour and 56 minutes of play.

Jutarnji List reports that this was the second meeting between Coric and Raonic in which Coric retaliated against the Canadian for losing in Delray Beach three years ago.

With the victory against Raonic, Coric repeated last year's result in St. Petersburg, when he also reached the final. However, last year, Russian Danil Medvedev was more successful. On Sunday, Coric will also play against a Russian opponent for the title, but it will be Andrey Rublev.

Coric's appearance in Sunday's final will be his seventh final match on the ATP Tour. So far, he has won two titles, Marrakesh 2017 and Halle 2018, while his last appearance in the final was just last year in St. Petersburg in September.

Coric lost the first set very quickly, and the key was the second game, which lasted more than 10 minutes. Coric saved three breaks, each with an excellent serve, but on the fourth, he made a double fault. Raonic then quickly reached a 5-0 lead, and thus the set.

However, in the second set, the situation changed completely. Coric started to return Raonic's powerful serve much better, and already with a 1-0 lead, he reached three breakpoints. He used the third for 2-0, which was Raonic's first lost service game in the tournament. Coric did not stop there; with an advantage of 3-0 and three excellent winners, he reached an advantage of 15-40 on the opponent's serve. Raonic missed one backhand, and Coric reached an unattainable 4-0.

At the beginning of the third set, Coric managed to save three breaks in his first service game in that set. After overcoming a small crisis, he played much better again and managed the 3-2 advantage. By the end of the match, Coric held his serve firmly for a significant victory.

"I don't know if I ever played as badly as in the first set. In the second set, I found my rhythm, played better and in the end managed to win," said Coric after the match, and then looked back at his next opponent, Rublev, against whom he's lost in all three previous duels:

"Rublev plays perhaps the best tennis of his life. I hope I will be able to play my best match on Sunday as well."

Rublev reached the final with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory against another Canadian player, Denis Shapovalov. For the 22-year-old, it will be the eighth final in his career, and he has won five titles so far.

Coric and Rublev meet today at 15:30. 

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Saturday, 21 September 2019

St. Petersburg Open: Borna Coric Books Spot in Final

September 21, 2019 - Croatian tennis player Borna Coric is in the final of the St. Petersburg Open!

HRT reports that Borna Coric topped Portuguese player Joao Sousa (ATP-64) in the semifinal of the St. Petersburg Open with another comeback of 3:6, 7:6 (5), 6:1 after two hours and 18 minutes of play.

In St. Petersburg, Coric celebrated against Hungarian player Marton Fuscovis and Norwegian player Casper Ruud after losing the first set, and managed to do the same against Sousa. Borna has thus secured this eighth ATP final and hopes to claim his third title after Marrakesh and Halle.

Coric entered the match poorly and Sousa led at 4:1 and 5:2. Down 3:5, Coric came to the 0-40 lead and had two chances to break Sousa on his serve to get back in the set, but missed it all. Coric's struggle to break his opponent continued in the second set, and at 7:4, he had his seventh chance to break Sousa and also a set point which he did not use. However, in the next game, Coric showed his worth. 

In the tie break, Coric found a way to take Sousa’s serve and equalized 1:1 in sets.

In the first game of the third set, Coric took Sousa’s serve, which happened after his 14th chance to break him in the match. Borna then managed his second break point and led 4:1 to finish the match easily.

This was the second match between Coric and Sousa and the second victory for the Croatian tennis player.

Russian Daniil Medvedev and Belarusian Egor Gerasimov are playing In the other semifinal match on Saturday.

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Friday, 20 September 2019

St. Petersburg Open: Borna Coric Advances to Semi-final

September 20, 2019 - Not a bad day for Croatian tennis players after Borna Coric and doubles team Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor advance to the semifinal of the St. Petersburg Open in Russia.

HTS reports that Borna Coric is in the semifinal of the ATP tournament in St. Petersburg! Croatia’s best tennis player achieved another turnaround and celebrated in three sets, this time in action against Norwegian player Casper Ruud, 60th on the ATP ranking - 3:6, 7:5, 6:3.

Ruud was up by a set and had a 3-2 lead in the quarter-final, with the serve in the second set, but the Zagreb native once again managed to find a way to victory.

Coric took the second set after he broke his opponent in the 6th and 12th games. The sixth game of the third set was crucial for Coric when he took away Ruud’s serve for the third time in the match. Borna managed seven aces during the match and achieved a first-serve percentage of 60 percent. 

This success has moved Coric up one position on the ATP ranking, making him the current 14th best tennis player in the world. To reach the final, Coric will play against the winner of the match between Kukuskin - Sousa. 

Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor, the first-seed in St. Petersburg this week, also won a spot in the semifinal on Thursday. In the first round, the Croatian duo was better than Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis and Serbian Janko Tipsarevic (6:3, 6:4), and topped American Nicholas Monroe and Belarusian Andrei Vasilevski (who didn’t have a single break point in the match) in the quarterfinal - 6:4, 6:2.

Mektic and Skugor will play Igor Zelenay and Divij Sharan in the semifinal on Saturday. 

Recall, Donna Vekic lost in the round of 16 at the Japan Women's Open on Thursday against Misaki Doi. 

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