Nadal’s Comeback Victory Leaves Čilić Without Rogers Cup Semi-final

Daniela Rogulj

Čilić collected 36 straight points, which was twice as much as Nadal, but mistakes eventually cost him the quarter-final. 

The No. 1 tennis player in the world, Spaniard Rafael Nadal, advanced to the semi-final of the ATP Masters 1000 series tournament in Toronto after defeating Croatia’s best singles tennis player Marin Čilić 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter-final on Saturday night, reports HRT on August 11, 2018. 

This was the eighth match between Čilić and Nadal and the sixth win for the Spanish player. However, the first hour of the Rogers Cup quarter-final gave viewers the impression that the final outcome would be much different. At first, Čilić was the significantly better player, and it seemed that for the first time in his career, he would advance to the semi-finals of the Canadian Masters.

After taking two of Nadal’s serves, Čilić looked like he would win the first set just 25 minutes into it. In the marathon seventh game, the Spaniard saved five match points and reduced the gap to 2-5 after 11 minutes. What he couldn’t do in the seventh, Marin accomplished in the eighth game, and won the first set of the game in 41 minutes.

In the first game of the second set, Čilić had a chance to break, but with Nadal in the way, the first break in the match didn’t come until three games later as the result of several errors by Čilić. Marin was up 15-40 in the final game of the second set, though two errors by the Croatian player allowed Nadal to take the set 6-4. 

In the third set, Nadal kept the pressure on Čilič and lost just six points on serve. Čilić saved a break in the fourth leg of the decisive set, and when he served in the tenth game to resume the duel, Nadal reached 0-40. Čilič managed to save the first two match points, but a backhand mistake for the third gave the victory to the Spaniard for 6-4.

Croatia will nevertheless have representatives in the Rogers Cup semi-finals but in the doubles competition. From 18:30, Mate Pavić and Oliver Marach will play against South African Raven Klaasen and New Zealander Michael Venus, while at midnight, Nikola Mektić and Alexander Peya will fight in the semi-finals against Finnish player Henri Kontinen and Australian John Peers.

Marin Čilić will play at the Masters in Cincinnati next week, where he is free in the first round and awaits the winner of the match between Philippe Kohlschreiber and a qualifying player in the second. In addition to Čilić, Borna Ćorić will also play in the tournament and awaits his rival from qualifications, and Ivo Karlović will play as well.


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