Cilic through to Kremlin Cup quarter-finals

Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:58pm EDT
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By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic was made to work hard before he earned a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over 128th-ranked Russian journeyman Evgeny Donskoy to reach the quarter-finals of the Kremlin Cup on Wednesday.

Cilic was pushed to the limit at times but claimed victory in just under two hours to keep alive his hopes of qualifying for next month's ATP Tour Finals.

The Croatian second seed had the greater composure in the decider, breaking wildcard Donskoy three times while just about managing to keep his own serve functioning, despite being broken twice by the 24-year-old Russian.

"I am generally happy with today's match," said Cilic, who will next face either Tommy Robredo or Filip Krajinovic.

"In the first match of a tournament, I always feel a bit rusty.

"I was really surprised by my opponent. I had never played Donskoy before and had not even trained with him. He played a great game today."

The Croat currently stands sixth in the "Race to London" for the end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals which will feature the top eight players.

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka have already qualified, while several players are still in contention to grab the four remaining places.   Continued...

Marin Cilic of Croatia returns a shot during his men's singles tennis match against Ivo Karlovic of Croatia at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song