Cilic ends Murray win streak in Cincinnati final

Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:38pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Marin Cilic broke through for his first Masters 1000 series title on Sunday, beating Andy Murray in the final of the Western & Southern Open and ending the Scot's 22-match winning streak.

The 12th-seeded Cilic, who has struggled to recapture the form he showed in winning the 2014 U.S. Open, produced a dominant serve and booming groundstrokes in a 6-4 7-5 victory.

It was the Croat's first victory in the ATP Tour's premier series in his 71st appearance, and it ended a dominant run by the "big four" of Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, who had won the past 18 tournaments in the series.

The loss also put a stop to a grand run by top seed Murray that included his second Wimbledon title and an unprecedented repeat as the Olympic men's singles champion last week at the Rio Games.

"It’s been a great run the last few months, but unfortunately couldn't get it done today," Murray said at the trophy presentation. "We’ll keep working to get better."

Cilic, who lost only three points on serve in the second set, played with passion in winning a slugfest with the Scotsman, who had beaten him 11 of 13 times heading into the final.

"This week was unbelievable for me," said Cilic, who had never gotten as far as the semi-finals in a Masters series event.

"I served extremely well today and that helped me a lot. I felt today that everything was good. I felt that I played really, really high quality tennis."

Cilic took the court some 14 hours after leaving in the wee hours Sunday morning following his three-set semi-final win over Grigor Dimitrov that followed a two-hour rain delay.   Continued...

Aug 15, 2016; Mason, OH, USA; Marin Cilic (CRO) returns a shot against Viktor Troicki (SRB) on day three during the Western and Southern tennis tournament at Linder Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports