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Cilic Secures Hat-Trick in Zagreb
By Chris Oddo
(February 10, 2013) --
became the first player to win three titles at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors on Sunday when he defeated
, 6-3, 6-1. The 24-year-old Croatian defeated the Austrian for the seventh time in nine meetings, and third time in a row.
Cilic didn’t face a break point and only lost eight points on his serve over the course of the one hour and six minute final. The victory pushes the World No. 12’s career record in finals to 9-7, including 4-2 in indoor finals, and it marks the sixth consecutive year that Cilic has won a title since his first triumph in New Haven in 2008.
After knocking off defending champion Mikhail Youzhny in a two and a half hour semifinal, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, Cilic needed less than half that time to dismantle fourth-seeded Melzer.
Melzer recorded his 300th career ATP win on Friday when he defeated Lukas Rosol in the quarterfinals.
On Sunday, there was very little he could do to derail a very confident Cilic on his favorite court (he owns a 17-4 career record in Zagreb to go with his three titles). Melzer saved four of five break points in the first set, but with Cilic riding his big serve to comfortable holds, there was little else Melzer could do but keep the match close.
In the second set, Cilic made 14 of 16 first serves and broke the Austrian three times in his four service games to end the week in style.
(Photo Credit: ATP Zagreb)
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