While there was high drama in Paris, Marin Cilic collected his first title in three years beating Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(2), 6-3 to take the Stuttgart grass title.
Cilic last won a title at Queen’s where he saved a match point to beat Novak Djokovic in the 2018 final. The 32-year-old former Wimbledon finalist now has 19 career titles with three on grass after Stuttgart.
“It was a very important win. I played two semi-finals and did not win a title since 2018, also on grass at Queen’s. Winning here brings out joy for me, good confidence and a good feeling,” said Cilic who didn’t drop a set. “I felt like I was playing good tennis in these last few weeks. Winning here is a great way for me to continue my form and it gives me a good sign for Queen’s and Wimbledon. It is a joy to win my first title with my family here for the first time at any tournament.
“Experience plays a big part, especially on grass. The conditions can be difficult, the court plays quite quick. I felt this was a good chance for me to give it my all, keep my intensity. Even though some games were up and others down, that was a big part of my victory today.”
Cilic also beat Jurij Rodionov in the semifinals and Denis Shapovalov in the quarters.
The 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime didn’t drop a set en route to the showdown with Cilic. But the Canadian falls to 0-8 in tournament finals after yet another loss. And he 0-16 in sets!
“Today I am not facing a final, I am facing Marin Cilic, it is two different things,” Auger-Aliassime said. “There has been times when I have not played my best then I felt I was not playing well, but this time around, I felt like it was close. But overall I think he was a better player overall.”
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