CILIC STUNS RAONIC FOR ISTANBUL TITLE

Marin Cilic wins the hotly-anticipated final against Milos Raonic in straight-sets to be crowned TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open champion.

In front of a packed up crowd at the Garanti Koza Arena, Marin Cilic defeats Milos Raonic 7-6(3), 6-3 in the blockbuster final between top 10 stalwarts and top seeds to clinch the title at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open. 28-year-old Croat captured his first triumph on clay since Umag 2012, notching his 17th title overall.

There was an expected service battle in the first set as both men managed to hold before the tie-break made the difference. Cilic was way stronger in the crucial game with his damaging groundstrokes from both sides before closing it out with seven points to three in 70 minutes.

2014 US Open champion found the first and only break of the match on the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead. Right after that Cilic took another big step for the victory as he recovered from 0-40 on his serve and hold the break advantage. Three games later he was on serve for the match where he sealed the deal with his ninth ace.

Hitting 30 winners and 17 unforced errors in the match that lasted exactly two hours, Cilic won 82 percent of his first serve points. Meanwhile Raonic who was appearing in his maiden final had 19 winners and 21 unforced errors.

It was an unforgettable week for Cilic in Istanbul, having reached the 400 match wins milestone in the quarterfinal stage, adding 250 points and €78,270 in prize money for his first title of the year. He will also move to no. 7 in the world rankings.

World no. 6 Raonic, who was sidelined since Miami Masters due to hamstring injury, couldn’t manage to prevent the second loss in three meetings against Cilic and is now 8-13 in tour-level finals.