Cilic Wins Cincinnati; What Does Andy Murray’s Loss Mean?
by Jeremy Davis | August 22nd, 2016, 12:10 am

Pretty much nothing.

The Brit is on top of the world (almost) at the No. 2 rank behind the struggling Novak Djokovic, who lost first round at the Rio Olympics and is suffering both physically and mentally.

Murray came directly to Cincy from winning a second consecutive gold medal at the Rio Olympics. Djokovic pulled from Cincy citing a left wrist injury. Can the US Open then the subsequent months before the end of the season be enough ground for Murray to challenge for No. 1?

Cilic, on the other hand, has also thrown himself into the mix as an outside contender for a second US Open win. In the Sunday final he turned around from a late-night semifinal win to out-hit Murray approximately 14 hours later 6-4, 7-5 for this first Masters-level title.

“I thought I was going to have a good chance if I played well,” said Cilic, who finished his semifinal against Grigor Dimitrov after 1:30 a.m. Sunday. “I didn’t feel too tired yesterday in the evening. It was obviously very difficult mentally. It was very humid on the court. We were sweating a lot, so a lot of up and downs, especially in the third set. I had to work out the positive and negative emotions and that took a bit of energy.

“I went to sleep around 4 a.m. and woke up a little bit before 11 a.m.. That was enough to recover.”

The loss for Murray snapped an amazing 22-match win streak but his streak in tournament finals is now at seven.

“Really after Miami, the last four, five months have been — it’s not even close to anything else I had done before,” Murray said. “It was way, way better. Seven finals in a row, you know. Won obviously Wimbledon again, the Olympics. I still feel like there are some things I can improve upon. Yeah, it’s been really good.”

After his first career Masters title (in his 71st attempt) and 15th overall, Cilic will return to the Top 10 when the ATP Monday rankings are released.

“I felt that this week I played really great tennis,” Cilic said. “That’s obviously a big sign for me for moving forward. Obviously this is the best week that I’ve played since 2014 US Open. Even last year I was having some good tournaments but searching still for my game.”

Cilic, 27, also becomes the youngest player on tour at the moment to have a Masters title.

“It’s nice to feel young at 27, almost 28, so it’s great definitely,” Cilic added. “Obviously the game in last ten years is — the age of the guys is getting further and further.”

Murray will get a week’s rest before New York, with few regrets over the summer.

“I’m very proud of this week,” Murray said. “Obviously today it didn’t go how I would’ve wanted. But I certainly didn’t expect to get to the final when I arrived here. I had some pretty good wins along the way. Today there were tough, tricky conditions with the wind…But it’s a very, very positive week. I’m looking forward to a few days’ rest now.”

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40 Comments for Cilic Wins Cincinnati; What Does Andy Murray’s Loss Mean?

AndyMira Says:

I’m very proud of Andy..i certainly did not expect him to progressed as far as the final knowing how drained he is,mentally and physically after a very long,gruelling but very fruitful season for him so far..This lost mean nothing as i’m sure he will have time to recover and recharge his battery back in a weeks time..and he still a big contender for the USO..i think only Novak are capable of stopping him and the USO trophy..but we will see how everything goes in 3 weeks’s certainly very interesting to see the battle of the top 2 giants to battle for the no 1..

As for Cilic..sure he gained much confidence from this win but whether he can maintain this high level to the 2nd week at Flushing Meadow is remain to be seen..

Good luck to both of them..and a very special words for Andy..C’MON ANDEE..DO IT FOR YOUR AUNTY MARGOT!!

Margot Says:

Congrats to Marin.
Well done Andy, just carry your amazing year into the USOpen.
Good luck!

Okiegal Says:

@ Margot…..I will have to admit, I don’t understand the fickle sport of tennis……sorry your main squeeze and my second fave lost……Didn’t really see that coming, but maybe this time of the season is Marin’s best time to shine…….USO, here already! Can’t beweeve it! It might be interesting this year. I don’t see Rafa going far, and Novak will be rested, Andy a little bit tired, probably, but he has been playing good…..he will get it back!!

Willow Says:

Congrats Cilic, maybe hes nearing 2014 USO winning form, as for Murray think he was running on empty, needs some rest, still think Novak will be the one to beat, depends on the wrist i would think, so not necassarily the big favorite, USO seems a more open GS, i hope everyone is fit anyway ….

Lakie Says:

USO looks interesting! Nole or Murray top contenders. Cilic looks good too. If Delpo or Nadal are ready for 5 setters, they could be in with a chance.

Colin Says:

I wouldn’t say it meant nothing. We are constantly told how much of the sport is mental. With Lendl back on the team, Andy has had a late flowering of confidence,

Is Cilic, who is younger, achieving a similar mental advance? My guess is not quite, and I too am not sure he can sustain this level through two weeks in New York. But if he can, it means there’s another player besides Nole who can stop Andy in a slam. More likely I think (and hope)Andy can work out how to beat Cilic. Andy’s good at studying opponents.

Cilic’s serve hasn’t got the brute force of Raonic’s, but it’s more varied and he’s more nimble at following up the serve.

This USO will be fascinating, and should answer lots of questions about the top players.

Van Persie Says:

Congrats to Marin! I like to see him playing, when he’s in his best shape.
Will agree with Colin, that his serve is much more varied then Raonic’s.

Giles Says:

AM. That’s a great story. Well done Brazil and of course Rafa. 😀 Thx.

FedExpress Says:

no single prasie from murray’s side for cilic

RZ Says:

Nice to see Cilic back up his US Open win with a Master’s title. We can finally stop hearing about how no one younger than Djokovic has won a master’s event (and no, this isn’t me being negative against Novak, I was just getting tired of reading that tidbit after every masters event the last couple of years).

It was another good run from Murray too, but I think the most noteworthy achievement of the week was that Dmitrov almost made the final. Is he finally back on track?

Margot Says:

FedExpress: What, on here? Please see my post at 1.25.

FedExpress Says:

i dont mean the fans margot ;)

i mean the real murray who praised himself in the end how good he is but didnt lose a word about cili’s performance who outplayed him in all departments.

Margot Says:

FedEx: You may well be right, but I haven’t seen a transcript of the full interview, just a small quote which looks as if it’s in reply to an idiot question along the lines of, “Why did you lose?” .

AndyMira Says: always,you’re very much welcome!

Giles Says:
Rafa, as usual, is the popular choice. 🤓

Travis Bickle Says:

There is a reason to worry about Muzza.

Cilic was physically drained by playing a hard three-setter until 2 am and had to show up next day to face Murray who had a full day rest after his fairly easy semi.
Yet, Cilic won in straight sets…

If they meet again in USO quarter-final, my money is on Cilic. Especially after yesterday win, which boosted Cilic’s confidence against Murray.

Willow Says:

I Dont read much into this defeat of Murrays, Cilic has the game to trouble the very best when he sets his mind to it, he totally out classed Roger at the USO in 2014, and lets be fair he shouldve done the same at W this year, but his great results tend to be one offs ….

Willow Says:

To add Murray must have been, well in fact he was knackered, i think it was a mistake playing Cincy, after the Olys he shouldve pulled out to rest ….

Travis Bickle Says:

@Margot (9:56 am),

Here is the full transcript of Murray’s press conference after the final:

Yep, not a single word about Cilic!

Have to say FedExpress was spot on regarding this one…

RZ Says:

Question for Jalep and Kimberly (if you are lurking out there) – can one of you set up the racket bracket for the US Open? I wouldn’t be able to do it before Sunday, which doesn’t allow much time for entries.

Wog Boy Says:

People who are saying that Andy was tired should take into account that Cilic played final basicaly 12 hours after grueling 2,5 hours SF with Dimitrov in humid and tough conditions that finished at almost 2am.
Andy’s match with Milos was basicly practice session, all he had to do was to put ball in play and wait for Milos mistake, and they surly came in abounds.
When ever I think Milos is ready for the big things he proves me wrong and shows how limited is his game against good returner (Andy is one of the best returner). Even Milos serve is stright forward without variations, his return is (was) pathetic, if you can’t attack Andy’s second serve then you are doomed, he had teo or three second serves on BP he missed all of them, FH was going everywhere but not in court where it counts, BH…no need to comment on that one, same as his all court coverage, there is a lot of work on the hands of Moya and JohnMc.

For USO Andy has to be favorite, he is inform player, Nole is big question mark, Cilic can do damage if he makes it to QF, I really can’t see any other player challenging Andy but these two, Rafa certainly can if he is fit, but he isn’t.
I wish if Nole can play top 20 players all seven matches, he is more likely to lose to outside top30 player in the first werk than any top player in the second. Can you imagine Delpo in the first or second round for Nole?!:(

lakie Says:

Murray sounds almost like Fed praising himself. but you have to forgive both Fed and Murray for their boastfulness. Fed is an all time great and Andy played amazing this year after IW/Miami. Starting with Madrid Open, he reached the final of every tournament he played winning 4 of them including Wimbledon and Olympics. Who knows we might soon have @pseudoAndy

Humble Rafa Says:

Can you remove me from the trunk? Now that it’s false, it’s uncalled for.

skeezer Says:

^that is not your choice. Why don’t you ask the REAL rAfael NaDal? Maybe then you’ll get some clout. Till then, go back and work on your bad comedy routine. Give Will Ferrell a call. Don”t mention your fishing and fishies.

chrisford1 Says:

Looked at the USO site, Rafa is already there, practicing. May be seeing a return of the sleeveless shirt.

Anki Says:

Any update on Novak’s injury?

Margot Says:

@Wog Boy
Not according to the bookies. Nole 5/4 Andy 9/2
Andy’s humour is very dry and self-deprecating already, not sure that would work.

Wog Boy Says:


I don’t know how bookies wotk their odds, but if we look at last six months (CC season onwards) Andy has to be favorite, he did better than Nole point wise and tournamet wise, Nole wins Madrid Andy Rome, Nole wins FO Andy Wimbledon, Nole wins Toronto Andy wins Olympic gold, if you chuck in Queens and better performance in tournaments that Nole bombed out and most importantly uncertainty of Nole’s health (they are watertight with informations), Andy is sky high on confidence and Nole is on his lowest point since USO 2014, that’s my argument for Andy being favorite.
BTW, what were the odds for Wimbledon, I think Nole was heavily backed by bookies, wasn’t he?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not unhappy with Nole’s year, on the contrary, but I am not surprised at all with a dip in his form, it is so natural after almost two years of cleaning up titles left and right. I keep telling for a months that it is inevitable for that to happen, while posters (non Nole fans) kept saying just give him the title. I’ll cheer him all the way, but if he doesn’t succeed no big deal for this, he already achieved what nobody believed he will.

Wog Boy Says:

and if you check this link, “outright betting”, you will see that Nole pays $2 and Andy $3, which is much closer:

Margot Says:

@Wog Boy
They do say that bookies never lose money, but of course there are exceptions and the odds on Marin must now be closing.
I think Nole’s had a good year. 2 slams for goodness sake! Wow by anybody’s standards. And I do remember you guys saying, if he won RG, you’d all live happily ever after….;)

Willow Says:

Novak and Andy have been the two best players this year, Novaks won two GS this year, and Andy has made all 3 GS finals winning 1, Novak will be the favorite, although it depends on how serious the wrist injury is, if Rafa cant win the USO, then i would love for Murray to do it, as i think it would be amazing for him to also have won two GS in a year ! ….

AndyMira Says:

@Willow…agree..last year,i predicted Novak will win 2 slams this the most 3..and if he win USO,it’s still within my prediction..which is okay by me as for much as i want him to win,i know atm that means reaching for the stars,so..for the sake of my happiness along with Margot,RZ,Okie,JK,i wish Andy will win this edition..this is the right moment for him to do so..we don’t know how next year will turn out for’MON ANDY!!

Humble Rafa Says:


I understand it’s a tough time for you. Between the Arrogant One’s long injury time, Warrier’s “Great Loss”, too many cats to take care of. These things can affect the best of men, not to mention lesser men.

Take care.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

What does this loss mean? For Andy, nothing. For the fans, a slight addition of spice: added to his strong performance at Wimbledon, it establishes Cilic as, well, a non-zero chance contender. Which, in the age of Novak vs No One, was rare.

Novak is the dominant force in tennis, it takes more than a hiccup in his run to change that. But much of his most recent #1 spell was in a time of ownership of Rafa, Fed and Andy; Rafa being gone or recovering for much of it, Andy taking a very long time to get back to this position after his back surgery.

I haven’t seen anything to suggest Andy or Rafa or anyone else is ‘better’ than Novak. But we’ve seen signs that Novak CAN lose. And on the other side, we’ve seen the challengers now, especially Andy and Milos, at the end of tournaments over and over. A year ago, I would have rated either of their Slam chances much lower. Now Andy is an honest challenger. And then we have Rafa, Del Potro, Raonic who, let’s face it, no one would be shocked at this point. Then, to a lesser extent, Fed, Stan and now Cilic. Maybe Thiem.

The most likely result is a Novak win, and perhaps another streak of dominance. But uncertainty is what makes these things exciting, and I would say there’s more uncertainty in this Slam than we’ve seen in a while.

For many years, there were only 2 people with even a theoretical shot at the French. (during which Stan proved that you didn’t need to be called a challenger to become a champion). This year, we have a nice group of folks to watch make their way through the draws

jalep Says:

What this means for Murray is confidence going into the last GS of the year. He’s been on and is still on a great run. He competed well in Cincinnati until the final where he ran into an inspired Marin Cilic.

US Open is shaping up nicely. Novak, Andy, Stan, and Rafa all healthy, presumably. Delpo in the mix with a Wild Card. For me, it sounds like an exciting draw and US Open :D

Colin Says:

Travis and FedExpress, I think you are over-interpreting that interview. The interviewer wasn’t exactly putting leading questions, but they weren’t far off. How do you feel about YOUR week, how are YOU playing right now, that kind of thing. You must both be well aware that Andy, after losing a match, has frequently said the other guy was the better player on the day.

Having arrived at this stage of his career, he’s in a bit of a bind. He feels with justification that he can win big matches and beat most opponents, so his expectations are greater and he is annoyed with HIMSELF. So he gets called arrogant, where before he was called mentally weak. As has just been pointed out, Roger often seems arrogant – it goes with the territory.
Maybe he just doesn’t like Cilic. Who knows? He certainly didn’t refuse to shake hands. I shan’t be betting on Andy to win this USO, because I never bet – it’s a mug’s game for all but professional gamblers – but I believe he is the most likely winner. We shall see.

J-Kath Says:

Andy played tired in the Cinci final – whether he should have been rested as has been suggested, he simply wasn’t. In contrast Cilic played hot – overcoming any tiredness just as Andy did at Rio. The difference of 18 months in their ages is irrelevant.

Andy’s priority was Rio and he did what he wanted to do. If he wants the US GS as much, it will be hard to stop him.

Khb Says:

What a surprise, Nole messed his arm up, then suddenly, he sucked and threw away tiebreaks. If he’s fine, he doesn’t play a bunch of tiebreaks and play just for the important tournament image and respectful gesture.
He only feeds the fedalray trolls when he can’t move on court. Shocking!
Don’t count on Fedal to get lucky again.

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