Cilic Puts Himself Into World Tour Finals, Murray Continues Push for World #1
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Marin Cilic won his second title of the season and put himself into the final spot avaliable in the Race for London with a 6-1 7-6(5) victory over his rival Kei Nishikori. The Croatian was strong all week in Basel as he posted wins over Mikhail Youzhny, Pablo Carreno Busta, Marcel Granollers, and resurgent veteran Mischa Zverev en route to the final. Zverev took a set off of Cilic and continues to boost his ATP ranking after years in the challenger wilderness. He stunned home favorite Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals.
Nishikori dropped to 1-4 in ATP finals this season, but he did beat Dusan Lajovic, Paolo Lorenzi, Juan Martin Del Potro, and Gilles Muller to make the final. The win over Del Potro was a big one for Nishikori’s confidence, and he looks healthy and ready to challenge the ATP’s elite next season.
Marcel Granollers and Jack Sock beat Robert Lindstedt and Michael Venus in the doubles final.
Andy Murray had no trouble in the final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as the world #2 continued his bid for the year end world #1. Murray took home a third straight title, as he’s unbeaten in ATP play since the US Open and showed at 29 years of age there is still room for improvement in his world class game. Murray beat Tsonga 6-3 7-6 for a seventh title this season, and his 69th win, compared to just 9 losses.
Murray dropped sets against Martin Klizan and Gilles Simon earlier in the week, but John Isner provided little resistance in the quarters, and David Ferrer withdrew to give Murray a walkover into the finals and a much needed breather.
Tsonga beat German’s Benjamin Becker and Philipp Kohlschreiber, then eased past Albert Ramos, and battled past Ivo Karlovic in a third set tiebreak to reach the final. The Frenchman only made one ATP final this season but he has now posted more wins in 2016 than he did last season, so there are signs of improvement.
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo beat Oliver Marach and Fabrice Martin to capture the doubles title.