Cilic advances to Basel semis, moves up in race to London

Marin Cilic is himself within one victory of a tentative spot in the World Tour Finals after he defeated Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-3 in the Swiss Indoors Basel quarterfinals on Friday night. If Cilic advances to the title match, he will take over eighth place in the race to London.

The world No. 12 started this week in position to be the second alternate at the year-end championship behind David Goffin, with Tomas Berdych maintaining the eighth spot. Cilic’s win over Granollers guaranteed that he will be at least 80 points ahead of Goffin next week and if he advances past Mischa Zverev on Saturday he will pass Berdych by at least 10 points.

‘It’s still the main goal of the season that I set at the beginning of the year,” Cilic said of qualifying for the World Tour Finals. “I had knee issues in the first months and I did not play so well, but in the second half of the season I raised my level. Hopefully I will keep playing good tennis and remain in this good form. I am bidding to win [the title in Basel].”

The Croat took his 2016 season to a new level beginning on grass, with a semifinal performance at Queen’s Club and a quarterfinal run at Wimbledon. Most importantly, his summer was highlighted by a title at the Cincinnati Masters. Although his race standing is not impacted by individual Davis Cup accolades, Cilic has Croatia in next month’s final.

“Absolutely,” Cilic responded when asked Davis Cup ranking points would have helped (they had been awarded prior to 2016). “Especially this year where I won much for Croatia. It’s a pity. but I cannot do anything. The most important thing will be the [final tie against Argentina].”

25 Comments on Cilic advances to Basel semis, moves up in race to London

  1. Zverev got a cake draw after how it shook out. Fritz who is out of form, Pella in stead of Gasquet, and Wawrinka who usually doesn’t raise his level at smaller events.

  2. Don’t understand why Cilic keeps hitting his ROS cross court all the time when Zverev was there at the net ready to intercept. It’s so predictable and Cilic is still doing the same thing, why not returns it DTL to surprise Zverev and keeps him guessing?

    Cilic losing out in his court position, got to move inside the court.

  3. Mischa is looking tired. Commentators reminded me that he came through qualifying to get here. And that was a stunning win in front of the Basel crowd over Stan.

    Kudos Mishca!

  4. Yeah nice run for Zverev but lucky for Cilic he’s even more inconsistent than him. Choked big time on that last break point which was probably his last chance to win.

  5. Stan doesnt play well at Basel; I think the court there doesnt suit his game. It suits Cilic’s (and Delpo’s) game better.

  6. Yes! Good win by Cilic, moves ahead of Berdych now in the race.

    Good contrasting styles, Zverev 43/72 at the net, not very effective for a S&V’er. Cilic has 46 winners, less off 16 aces, he has 30 non service winners vs Zverev’s 22 winners (4 aces), Cilic really has to go for winners, esp passing shot winners to beat Zverev.

    Nishi also had a hard time beating Muller earlier on, another S&V player. Nice to see contrasting styles at play, the top players still win because they are better when it matters.

    Nishi vs Cilic final, a repeat of USO2014 final, Cilic seems to play better this tournament so I think Cilic for the title.

  7. Cilic looks to be hitting a good level. But I’m rooting for Kei as usual. Go Kei!

    Happy that Cilic will jumped Berdych!

    • Murray the heavy favorite for me right now. Djokovic has to be wary. I could see him bowing out to the red hot Muller in his first match. That match will be close and will be important for Gilles to have belief he can win it. That’s the only way he can do it.

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