Cilic Wins Seventh ATP World Tour Title
(Nalby last final came in Auckland in January 2011 (l. to Ferrer)ÖHis last title came in Washington in August 2010 (d. Baghdatis)
World No. 25 Marin Cilic won his seventh ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the AEGON Championships capping a strong return from injury.
The 23-year-old Cilic was sidelined for the first seven weeks of the year due to a knee injury, but has come back strongly to compile a 15-9 match record. The Croatian was a finalist at the BMW Open in Munich in May (l. to Kohlschreiber) and two weeks ago reached the third round at Roland Garros (l. to del Potro).
"I played good today and came here to play four, five matches," said Cilic "I won them and pretty comfortably in those first two or three. Iím feeling really good and I think my form is on the spot where it should be."
The Queenís Club trophy marks Cilicís first grass-court title and first piece of silverware since triumphing at the St. Petersburg Open (d. Tipsarevic) last October. He had only dropped one set en route to the final of this ATP World Tour 250 grass-court tournament, needing three sets to defeat Sam Querrey in Saturdayís semi-finals.
The final ended in unusual circumstances, resulting in the default of Argentine David Nalbandian. With the score at 6-7(3), 3-3, Nalbandian was stretched wide to the forehand side. After seeing that his forehand had landed wide, resulting in a break of serve for Cilic to lead 4-3, Nalbandian kicked the front of a three-sided sponsorís advertising board, which surrounds the linesmanís chair. The front board struck the linesmanís left leg, leaving his shin bloodied.
After consulting with umpire Fergus Murphy, tournament supervisor Tom Barnes awarded the match to Cilic by default due to unsportsmanlike conduct from Nalbandian.
"I made a mistake and I apologise," said Nalbandian. "I feel very sorry to the guy. I didn't want to do that. This is a bad situation for everybody that I really apologise for."
"Iím definitely very sorry to finish the tournament like this, especially in the final where we both I think played good tennis," said Cilic. "He was playing also some great rallies and in those last two games it was extremely interesting with making two breaks one of each side. So I think it was good tennis today."