Saturday, February 8, 2014
Marin Cilic reaches Zagreb final
ZAGREB, Croatia -- Top-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany and defending champion Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the final of the Zagreb Indoors on Saturday.
Haas rallied to defeat British lucky loser Daniel Evans 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, while Cilic defeated German qualifier Bjorn Phau 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal.
"I am happy to play in the final, excited to play against the player who is a big star in his country," Haas said. "He is a three-time champion, many things say in his favor, but I'll try whatever I can to make his run stop."
Haas will attempt to win his 16th ATP title on Sunday. He started strongly against Evans, winning the first two games, but Evans quickly leveled and broke again in the 11th.
Haas took control after he saved a break point at 2-2 in the second set. The German lost only eight points in his last seven service games, breaking at 6-5 in the second and at 3-2 in the third.
The fifth-seeded Cilic, the Zagreb champion in 2009, `10 and `13, halted Phau's impressive run from qualifying.
Cilic had problems holding serve in the first four games, saving two break points. He then won four consecutive games, winning the first set and taking an early lead in the second.
But Cilic still lost his serve twice. Phau served to stay in the match at 3-5 and saved five match points before Cilic served out.
"I did not serve well, especially at key moments," Cilic said. "I lost rhythm in the second set, but apart from that I felt he was not able to do any damage."
Cilic has won 19 out of his last 20 singles here and holds a tournament-best record of 21-4. It will be the eighth time in the tournament's nine-year history that a singles final features a Croatian.