Cilic Beats Nishikori To Win Basel And Close In On ATP Finals Spot
by Staff | October 30th, 2016, 5:11 pm

Marin Cilic is still trying to secure a spot at the ATP year-end championships with one week of regular-season play left, and he took a giant step towards his goal on Sunday by defeating Kei Nishikori 6-1, 7-6(5) in the final of the Swiss Indoors Basel.
It was the second title of the year for the Croat and the 16th of his career. He improved to 2-2 in finals this year and 16-11 for his career.

Serving into the body proved effective for Cilic against Nishikori in the first set, holding and breaking serve to race to a 6-1 win. In the second set both players saved key break points. Cilic kept three from fleeing while serving at 4-5. Nishikori in the tiebreak double faulted at 5-6 to hand the Croat the match.

“Being in the final of a 500 tournament against someone like Kei, who has been playing good tennis during the week, I knew it was going to be important to have energy straight away,” Cilic said. “I was playing well in the first set, with my shotmaking and I was serving smart.

“I felt that even during most of the second set I was playing well and creating opportunities for myself. In those situations you can expect a player like Kei will try and create his own opportunities. I did well to fight off his chances. At the end of the set, his game was rising and it was quite a good battle.”

Nishikori, already into the ATP year-end championships, fell to 1-4 in finals this year and 11-9 career.

“In the second set, I was a little tight,” said Nishikori. “I had a couple set points and couldn’t convert. He played good tennis today…It will be important to have another good week in Paris and again in London. That will be my last goal of the year.”

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18 Comments for Cilic Beats Nishikori To Win Basel And Close In On ATP Finals Spot

RZ Says:

I hope Thiem nabs one of the 2 last spots. I’d like to see the last spot go to either Cilic or Goffin, though Berdych could sneak in there with a strong showing in Paris.

RZ Says:

The chart in the article is a bit fuzzy. The pic from this tweet is better focused:

Michael Says:

Congrats to the winner and commiserations to the loser.

Michael Says:

Will Rafa quality for the World Tour finals ? I am just keeping my fingers crossed.

Willow Says:

Michael unfortunatly Rafa wont be playing the WTFs, or any anymore tennis this year, as hes called time for the season, his wrist is still not right, so no point crossing anything im afraid ….

Danica Says:

That’s right, Rafa confirmed the other day what we knew already – he is resting his wrist and will not be taking part in any tennis matches this season.

Danica Says:

I have no idea why my name is a link in my previous comment, but I’ll blame the user unfriendly iPad :)

J-Kath Says:

Nole, Andy + Tsonga have all played only 17 tournaments each – its not rocket science but lack of recovery time means Andy will be the most tired of the three….may not even get to the final at Paris. If Nole is close to his best, he’ll win.

….levels of tiredness with some other players will be due to playing too much e.g. Stan 21; Thiem 24 etc.

Van Persie Says:

one small correction, Stan played 19 tournaments this year until now, Dominic participated to 26.
I would not say that Stan is more tired then Djoko and Andy, because he played 19 tournaments…it also matters how far you “dive” into a tournament. Stan did not play so many finals or semifinals

J-Kath Says:

Van Persie:

Took the figures from the ATP rankings – presume you are adding the 2 least successful matches in some cases? Accept depth in tournaments are valid but both Thiem and Stan have commented on feeling degrees of exhaustion…..these two are reasonably high in rankings which is why I picked them. I believe Andy has to be a bit weary as he has been playing regularly. Nole has had a reasonable rest period so rightly or wrongly I’m assuming he’s pretty fresh.

You have put text and additional facts to what was a rough guide. I’m too lazy to do that as it would have taken me too long.

Paris will be interesting – seeyah.

Van Persie Says:


Thanks for the feedback.
The rankings singles-race shows how many tournaments were played in 2016. The rankings-sinles takes in consideration the last tournaments from 2015, where the points were still not droped.

Van Persie Says:

P.S. Agree, that Nole should be fresher then Andy at this tournament, but do not know, if he is also healthier.
We’ll see.

Van Persie Says:

Correction: “The rankings-sinles takes in consideration also the last tournaments from 2015, where the points were still not droped.” I have added the “also”

J-Kath Says:

Maybe you saw Nole in the doubles? – not always a guide to form though.

Van Persie Says:

Nope JK, unfortunately. Was at work. Am free tomorrow, but Nole will not play, as he has a 1 bye round. Hope he will have an evening match on Wednesday.
Expected him to lose in doubles, guess he used it as a warm up.

See ya!

Humble Rafa Says:

Michael Says:
Congrats to the winner and commiserations to the loser.

With such great insight and your unique name, you are going places.

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