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ATP World Tour Finals 2016: Wawrinka tops Cilic - keeps semis dream alive

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stanislas wawrinkaStanislas Wawrinka topped Marin Cilic in a tight contest to record his first win at this edition of the World Tour Finals. The Swiss No. 1 edged a close two setter 7-6(3), 7-6(3) to keep his semifinal hopes alive.

For Cilic it was a frustrating evening as he just failed to capitalise on his chances to record his first win at this event.

The straight sets loss also means that Cilic is now out of the tournament irrespective of the outcome of his final round robin against Kei Nishikori while Wawrinka will play Murray in the afternoon on Friday. A win for Murray will see him through to the semis, but any other result means that the semifinalists will be dependent on the outcome of the Nishikori-Cilic clash.

With both players producing clinics on how to play your service games, chances were few and far between in the first set. The best one came in the 10thgame when Cilic had the opportunity at 30-40 to sneak a break and steal the set. A mishit return put paid to those hopes, and normal service resumed as the set went inexorably to a tiebreaker. Wawrinka has so much power at his command that he often doesn’t play with the patience to construct the point, but in this tie break he did.

At 1-1 on his serve, Wawrinka played on Cilic’s patience and drew an error. At 2-1 on Cilic’s serve, Wawrinka played on Cilic’s patience and drew another error to give Wawrinka the opening he needed. Stan did not need a second invitation and pulled away finishing the tie break in style with a smash.

The second set began perfectly for Cilic who responded to dropping the tiebreak by breaking Wawrinka and consolidating a 2-0 lead. It didn’t last long. Wawrinka quickly levelled back at 2-2, staved off break point chances in the 5th game and the set once again moved to an inevitable tie-break. The second tiebreak went much the same way as the first with Wawrinka again producing in the clutch to take breaker 7-3.

Earlier, Andy Murray overcame a stern challenge from Kei Nishikori 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-4 to go top in Group John McEnroe. The World No.1 took 3 hours and 20 minutes to finally outlast a superb Nishikori in what was undoubtedly the match of the tournament so far.

Final Scores:

S.Wawrinka d M.Cilic 7-6(3), 7-6(3)

File Photograph