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Fri Apr 25 04:37:48 SAST 2014

Cilic and Granollers in Croatia Open final

Sapa-AP | 15 July, 2012 12:180 Comments
The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Six
Marin Cilic of Croatia returns a shot during his third round match against Sam Querrey of the USA on day six of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 30, 2012 in London, England
Image by: Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Marin Cilic of Croatia and Marcel Granollers of Spain will play in the Croatia Open final on Sunday.

Second-seeded Cilic defeated defending champion Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 7-5, 6-2, while Granollers upset top-seeded countryman Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-7 (5) in the semifinals on Saturday.

  Cilic aims to become the first Croat since 1990 to win his home tournament, and Granollers seeks his fourth career title. Cilic has a 4-1 record against Granollers, who won their last clash in Valencia last year.

  Cilic made a slow start as Dolgopolov broke twice and led 5-4.

But Cilic broke back amid a six-game winning streak which gave him a set and 3-0 lead.

  Last year, Cilic lost to Dolgopolov in the Umag final.

  “Dolgopolov is a really tough opponent, he proved that in the beginning of the first set,” he said. “But I knew I had to be patient, I knew it would stop.” 

Granollers, “is really great,” Cilic said. “He knows exactly what should be done.” 

“(The final) won’t be easy but I hope there will be a happy ending for me on Sunday.” 

Fourth-seeded Granollers broke twice to win the first set against Verdasco. Verdasco reached 5-3 in the second but Granollers forced a tiebreaker. Verdasco, the 2008 Umag champion, carried momentum into the third set by breaking immediately but Granollers broke back and never lost a game to the end of the semifinal.

“Today I played against a very good player, Fernando is one of the best in the world,” Granollers said. “That makes me even happier, I am very pleased with the way I played today.”

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Cilic and Granollers in Croatia Open final

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