US Open: Čilić Breezes through Second Round with Win in 79 Minutes

Daniela Rogulj

Čilić will play in the round of 32 on Saturday against 19-year-old Alex de Minaur. 

Croatia’s best singles player Marin Čilić needed just 79 minutes to get through the 2nd round of the US Open, defeating Polish qualifier Hubert Hurkacz (ATP – 109) 6:2, 6:0, 6:0. This is Čilić’s most convincing career win in three sets, and the ninth time the tennis player has advanced to the 3rd round of the final Grand Slam tournament of the season, reports on August 30, 2018. 

Čilić’s rival in the 3rd round will be 19-year-old Australian player Alex de Minaur who defeated 20-year-old American player Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-0, 5-7, 6-2. The 3rd round match is scheduled on Saturday, which will be the first match between Čilić and the much younger Australian player. 

In the 2nd round match, the only moment Hurkacz could have overcome the 2014 US Open winner was the third game of the match when Čilić was faced with two break points. But with four consecutive points, Marin found a solution, and for the first time in the next game, he broke Hurkacz’s service, which was the beginning of the end for the 21-year-old player.

While nobody could have known, Hurkacz did catch only one game at the end of the match, and 4-2 in the first set for Chile – not one. The Croatian tennis player won 14 gems in a row and thus reached his most successful win in three sets. 

“It was one of those days when everything went right. I enjoyed this evening match and the support of my fans,” Čilić said just after the end of the match, calmly and collected, despite the heat wave that continued to make it difficult for players in the tournament. 

“I feel great. I have good performances behind me in Toronto and Cincinnati, I trained well here and I had enough time to rest. This is the tournament where I have always played the best tennis and I feel the best. We’re moving on,” said the No. 7 tennis player in the world, who got to know Hurkacz in the 2nd round of Roland Garros when it took nearly three hours to win four sets.

Marin now awaits 19-year-old Australian player Alex de Minaur, who plays very similar tennis to his coach Lleyton Hewitt. Alex is a very fast and tough rival, whose highest quality is a great defensive game that has been well demonstrated against Tiafoe. Čilić will have to be careful and keep his hits under control. Against Hurkacz he played almost perfectly – had 34 direct points and only 12 unforced errors. With such a statistic, Čilic is a tough rival for anyone. De Minaur has advanced to the 3rd round of a Grand Slam tournament for the second time in his career and equalized his best odds two months ago at Wimbledon.

Čilić will have a day off on Friday, though Croatia’s other remaining representative, the US Open’s 20th-seed Borna Ćorić, will take the court. Ćorić will play against Russian Daniil Medvedev, not before 23:00 CET. 


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