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Cilic fights back to beat Djokovic in enthralling Queen's final

Marin Cilic lifts second Queens Club Championships

London, June 24: Marin Cilic was crowned champion for a second time at Queen's Club after saving a match point in a pulsating Fever-Tree Championships final against Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic was on the brink of his first title for almost a year when he had a championship point in the second set and led 4-1 in the tie-break, but Cilic battled back to win 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 on a glorious Sunday in London.

Feliciano Lopez came back from a similar position to beat Cilic in the final of the prestigious grass-court tournament last year, but the top seed was not to be denied on this occasion.

Cilic served 18 aces and prevented Djokovic from winning a first title at Queen's despite having a first-serve percentage of only 48 and only breaking once in what was only his second triumph over the Serbian in 16 matches.

Djokovic served superbly and played with great intensity in another hugely encouraging performance from the 12-time grand slam champion just eight days before Wimbledon gets under way.

The sprightly Djokovic saved five break points in a long seventh game and held with great defiance after several stunning rallies.

It was the 2012 champion who found himself a set down after drilling a forehand wide under pressure, but he fended off two break points early in the second as Djokovic showed the sort of athleticism that has made him a modern-day great.

Cilic was on the ropes at 5-4 down and facing a championship point, but he saved it with a booming ace out wide and won six points in a row from 4-1 down in a tense tie-break.

The Croatian pumped his fist after a forehand winner levelled the match and he broke to lead 5-3 after getting the thumbs up from Djokovic following a thunderous forehand winner down the line at full stretch.

Cilic served out the match to love, claiming an 18th tour-level title which will move him up a spot to fifth in the rankings.

Source: OPTA

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Story first published: Sunday, June 24, 2018, 23:30 [IST]
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