Cilic beats Auger-Aliassime, Tsitsipas wins in DC

Published by Tennismash

Marin Cilic improved his win-loss record in 2019 to 13-11 after beating Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the Citi Open quarterfinals (Getty Images)
Marin Cilic has turned around a form slump this week in Washington DC while top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas continues his progress at the ATP 500 event.

Marin Cilic on Thursday scored an impressive win over the in-form Felix Auger-Aliassime to move into the quarterfinals of the Citi Open in Washington DC.

The former world No.3 beat the rising Canadian star 6-3 6-4, breaking serve four times as Auger-Aliassime double-faulted 11 times throughout the match — including on match point.

Joining Cilic in the last eight was top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, Nick Kyrgios — a straight sets winner over Yoshihito Nishioka — and No.3 seed Daniil Medvedev, who got past Frances Tiafoe to set up a meeting with Cilic.

Auger-Aliassime, the world No.22, is the highest-ranked player Cilic has beaten in 2019, a year that has seen the Croat suffer a significant form slump.

At just two tournaments has Cilic managed to notch back-to-back victories before this week’s Citi Open. He reached the fourth round at the Australian Open but struggled after that, arriving in Madrid — where he reached the quarterfinals — with a 1-6 record in his previous seven matches.

Following Madrid, he failed to get past the second round at his next four tournaments before finally bettering that mark in the US capital.

Ranked as high as No.3 in April 2018, Cilic has since slipped to 17th, with a win-loss record this season of 11-10 before arriving in DC.

But he will heartened by his change in fortunes on the hard courts this week.

NEWS: Andy and Jamie Murray win doubles opener in Washington DC

Auger-Aliassime, meanwhile, had enjoyed a brilliant season in which he was 34-17 entering his battle with Cilic, having improved his ranking from outside the top 100 to his current position.

He was left reeling from the loss.

“I don’t know what it was, but I couldn’t figure it out,” he later said. “It was just really tough out there today, in every way. I just felt like I couldn’t even play close to what I’m able to.”

Later on Thursday, Tsitsipas saved a set point before eventually stopping Jordan Thompson 6-3 7-6(4).

The Greek star, who beat Tommy Paul in straight sets in his opening match, faces 10th seed Benoit Paire for a shot at the semifinals, where he could face doubles partner Kyrgios.

Kyrgios plays lucky loser Norbert Gombos for a place in the last four.

“It’s very pleasing knowing that I can be mature and handle those situations very bravely, so I’m really happy with that,” Tsitsipas told atptour.com.

“I showed character out there. I played heroic tennis, I would say, in those crucial moments. That was very nice to see.”

Also progressing to the quarters were 13th seed Kyle Edmund, who stopped Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three, and lucky loser Peter Gojowczyk, who upset No.8 seed Milos Raonic 6-4 6-4.

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