Marin Cilic aims to win Croatia Open
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With a win in the final, Cilic will become the first Croat since 1990 to win his home tournament. He has a 4-1 record against Granollers, who won their last clash in Valencia last year and is seeking his first career title.
Cilic started slowly as Dolgopolov broke twice for a 5-4 lead, but the Croat broke back amid a six-game winning streak which put him up a set with a 3-0 lead in the second.
Last year, Cilic lost to Dolgopolov in the Umag final.
"Dolgopolov is a really tough opponent, he proved that in the beginning of the first set," Cilic said. "But I knew I had to be patient, I knew it would stop."
Granollers, "is really great," Cilic said. "He knows exactly what should be done."
"(The final) won't be easy but I hope there will be a happy ending for me on Sunday."
Fourth-seeded Granollers broke twice to win the first set against Verdasco. Verdasco reached 5-3 in the second but Granollers forced a tiebreaker. Verdasco, the 2008 Umag champion, carried momentum into the third set by breaking immediately but Granollers broke back and never lost a game the rest of the way.
"Today I played against a very good player. Fernando is one of the best in the world," Granollers said. "That makes me even happier, I am very pleased with the way I played today."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press