Cilic crushes Nishikori to claim U.S. Open title

Mon Sep 8, 2014 7:07pm EDT
 
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Croatia's Marin Cilic swept past Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-3 6-3 to win the U.S. Open on Monday and reach the pinnacle of the sport one year after a doping ban kept him out of the year's final grand slam.

The big-serving Croatian overwhelmed a weary Nishikori in one hour, 54 minutes to clinch a ruthless victory and deny his 10th-seeded opponent's bid to become the first Asian man to win a grand slam.

With the win, 14th seed Cilic becomes the first Croatian to win a grand slam title since his coach Goran Ivanisevic celebrated a Wimbledon victory in 2001.

The final marked the first time since the 2005 Australian Open that at least one of tennis's big three of Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer was not playing for the title.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

 
Marin Cilic of Croatia reacts as he holds serve in the third set against Kei Nishikori of Japan during their men's singles final match at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz