Monday, 16 July 2012
Marin Cilic became the first home player to win the ATP Tour's Croatia Open in 22 years on Sunday by beating Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-4 6-2 in the final.
Cilic trailed 4-2 in the first set before winning nine games in a row to seize a commanding 5-0 lead in the second.
Cilic served for the match at 5-1, but Granollers broke and saved two match points before Cilic sealed the victory with a forehand winner.
Cilic is the first Croat to claim the title since Goran Prpic won the inaugural event in 1990. It was his second title of the year, after winning at Queen's Club last month.
"This was a special week and a special victory for me," Cilic told the crowd in Umag. "I played some great tennis."
Granollers said Cilic "was a better player today."
"I started well, but with players like Cilic you have to be careful," said Granollers, who ousted top-seeded countryman Fernando Verdasco in the semis.
Despite the loss, Granollers will crack into the top 20 in the ATP rankings on Monday for the first time, jumping from 24th to 19th. He won his last title in Valencia in November last year.