Cilic to face Nalbandian in Queen's final

Former Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian will face Croatia's Marin Cilic in the final at Queen's Club after defeating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Nalbandian reached the Wimbledon final in 2002 before losing to Australia's Lleyton Hewitt and 10 years later he is back in the final of a grass-court event for the first time since that memorable run at the All England Club.

The 30-year-old Argentine, seeded 10th, drew on his vast experience to subdue rising star Dimitrov and complete a remarkable run of three wins in 48 hours.

After rain caused a fixture pile-up on Friday, Nalbandian showed impressive durability to come from a set down to win against Edouard Roger-Vasselin and then Xavier Malisse.

Despite such a gruelling schedule, Nalbandian showed no signs of tiredness against Dimitrov and his reward is a first appearance in the Queen's final and his first ATP Tour final since Auckland in January 2011.

"I'm very happy. I've played this tournament quite a few times and I never reached the final, so I'm happy to be on court tomorrow (Sunday)," Nalbandian said.

"It's a long time since I made a final on grass but I don't go to the computer and see how long it is, so I don't really care.

"Marin is a tough player but I'm in good shape so let's see what happens."

Dimitrov was broken three times in the first set as Nalbandian took advantage of the 21-year-old's jitters in his first ATP semi-final to open up a one-set lead.

Nalbandian looked on course for an easy win when he broke in the third game of the second set.

Faced with a lacklustre exit, Dimitrov finally began to play with some freedom and he unfurled a trio of sumptuous winners to break back in the sixth game.

But Nalbandian had too much experience for Dimitrov and moved him cleverly out of position to break for a 5-4 lead before serving out the match.

Earlier, Cilic beat former champion Sam Querrey 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the other semi-final to become the first Croat to reach the Queen's final since Ivo Karlovic in 2005.

After missing the first seven weeks of the season with a knee injury, Cilic has gradually rediscovered his form and his shot-making ability eventually wore down Querrey.

"It was very difficult," Cilic said. "Especially in that third game having to save eight or nine break points, and then struggling a little bit with the rhythm and with the nerves.

"In the past I have found it hard to get used to the grass but this year I came a little bit earlier, had enough time on grass, and I was hitting the ball well.

"It's definitely a great week for me and great preparation for Wimbledon."

Sixth seed Cilic was soon under pressure in windy conditions, but he showed remarkable resolve to fend off nine break points in an epic third game that lasted 20 minutes.

Querrey, who needed treatment on his right thumb midway through the first set, initially seemed shell-shocked by his failure to convert so many break opportunities.

He struggled to find any rhythm and a tame forehand from the American on the first of three break points handed Cilic the chance to serve out the set.

Querrey finally recovered his equilibrium and took the second set.

But Cilic had too much firepower to be kept at bay for long and he broke twice in the final set to seal the win.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • 8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study
    8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study

    Eight of 10 world cities most exposed to natural hazards are in the Philippines and more than half of the 100 cities most exposed to earthquakes, storms and other disasters are in four Asian nations, according to a research. The study, published on Wednesday by risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft, analyzed the threat posed by storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, volcanoes and landslides in more than 1,300 cities. The study found that the 10 cities most at risk are Port Vila in …

  • Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl
    Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has found the Japanese Navy’s biggest warship at the bottom of the sea in the Philippines, 70 years after US forces sank it. Allen posted a photo on Twitter on Tuesday of the World War II battleship Musashi’s rusty bow, which bore the Japanese empire’s Chrysanthemum seal. The American billionaire, who has also pursued space exploration, said his luxury yacht and exploration ship, the M/Y Octopus, found the Musashi one kilometer (1.6 miles) deep on the …

  • Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile
    Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago believes granting Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile house arrest, while former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remains under hospital detention, will violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. “That’s already a violation of the equal protection of the law,” she said. …

  • UNA hits PNP selection process
    UNA hits PNP selection process

    The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) hit yesterday the apparent machinations in the selection of the new Philippine National Police (PNP) chief. Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, UNA interim president, said the administration and the ruling Liberal Party (LP) are perpetuating the bata-bata or patronage system in the selection process of the police chief. “They will start this by maneuvering the appointment of Gen. Garbo as PNP chief,” said Tiangco, referring to one of the top contenders for PNP …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Pacquiao: Mayweather is the fight of my life
    Pacquiao: Mayweather is the fight of my life

    Manny Pacquiao called his boxing showdown with Floyd Mayweather “the fight of my life” as he got down to work pounding the streets and gym in Los Angeles. On Monday, Pacquiao ran two miles (3.2 km) and shadow-boxed for two rounds, followed by abdominal work and breakfast of steamed rice, scrambled egg, fish and chicken broth. Then he napped until noon and had lunch before heading to trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym, which is strictly off-limits to fans and media during Pacquiao’s …

  • An ocean away, Pacquiao's trainer makes some noise from afar
    An ocean away, Pacquiao's trainer makes some noise from afar

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Armed guards patrolling the gym where Manny Pacquiao trains. Stealthy attempts to disrupt Pacquiao's sparring. And a bit of trash talking just to spice things up two months before the big fight. …

  • Ex-crew recognizes photos of sunken Japanese battleship
    Ex-crew recognizes photos of sunken Japanese battleship

    TOKYO (AP) — A former crewmember on a Japanese battleship that sank during World War II said Thursday he recognized photos of wreckage discovered this week off the Philippines by a team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options