Cilic overpowers Somdev to clinch Chennai Open title

January 11th, 2009 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 11 (IANS) Third seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia won his second career ATP title when he overcame Indian wild card entry Somdev Devvarman 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the final of the $450,000 Chennai Open tennis tournament here Sunday.The 23-year old Devvarman, who beat two higher ranked players in American Kevin Kim (117) and Spaniard Carlos Moya (42) and received a walkover from Rainer Schuettler (33) en route to his first ATP tour final, put on a brave fight, but paid dearly for the missed chances.

Devvarman, the first Indian since Leander Paes in 1998 to reach an ATP tour semi-final, could convert just one of the 10 breakpoints, besides committing three double-faults against Cilic, who converted two of the four that came his way.

Cilic, only 20 and ranked 27, was clearly the more consistent of the two and had far more variations. He showed willingness to attack the net in contrast to Devvarman who camped himself at the baseline.

The power game of Cilic also made a huge difference while Devvarman was not successful in his ploy of prolonging the rallies. The longer the exchanges, the better the Indian looked, but those were few and far between.

Devvarman, whose ranking next week is expected to move from the current 202 to 153, had his chances in the first set, but blew four breakpoints in the fifth and two more in the seventh to let off Cilic, who won his first ATP title last year at New Haven, US.

Cilic’s superior power rescued him time and again as he blasted winners on the big points, with the inside-out crosscourt shots to the corners coming out truly outstanding.

Devvarman did serve well on occasions, but it looked far from solid as he survived a breakpoint in the second game and another one in the fourth.

Cilic finally came up with a break of serve in the tenth game as Devvarman virtually gifted away the set with a double-fault on the first breakpoint to trail 0-1 after 52 minutes.

Devvarman had a disastrous start in the second set as he dropped his serve to love in the very second game and looked rather flat.

Cilic obviously sensed the change in the flow and quickly raced to 3-0 before Devvarman came into the frame by holding serve in the fourth.

Cilic had nearly dropped his serve in the fifth but he managed to hold, finishing off with two aces, as Devvarman failed to convert his seventh breakpoint of the match.

With the next three games going on serve, Cilic served for the match at 5-3, but a series of unforced errors from him saw Devvarman break to make it 5-4 and then held serve to love for 5-5.

The set flowed into tie-breaker where Cilic’s powerful serves and return saw him clinch set and the match at the cost of just three points.

The results:
Singles (final): 3-Marin Cilic (Croatia) bt WC-Somdev Devvarman (IND) 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Prize-money/points: Cilic - $73,000/250. Devvarman - $37,000/150.

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