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Cilic impresses at Queen’s

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Originally published on 22/06/17 00:00

The Croatian was in fine fettle as he defeated young American, Stefan Kozlov, 6-0 6-4, in just 65 minutes and he will play Donald Young for a place in last four on Friday.

Cilic, the highest ranked seed left in the competition, was the aggressor from the outset and he bullied his younger rival with his forehand. Kozlov was more competitive in the second set however he was broken in the seventh game and his hopes of scoring a comeback victory were dashed.

“I felt really good from the start of the match,” said the 2012 champion.”I was returning really well and obviously serving well is the key on grass – and I was doing that really well again today.

“It’s very rare that the top seeds always go through so it’s not easy, especially at a tournament like this where there are so many great players. It’s also one of the first weeks on grass and it’s always very tricky, so I’m trying to remain focused against players like Kozlov. He is a young player and he had nothing to lose, so I had to be ready.”

In the second match of the afternoon on Centre Court, Sam Querrey defeated Jordan Thompson 7-6(3) 3-6 6-3 in a tightly-contested duel.

It was an entertaining battle between two players in form however it was the extra firepower of Querrey that proved to be the key difference. The 2010 winner will play Gilles Muller in the quarter-finals.

Thompson, the conqueror of Andy Murray, was eager to claim another scalp and he was dogged and tenacious in the opening set. Querrey continually threatened to secure a break of serve but he was unable to turn his superiority into something tangible on the scoreboard.

The first set was decided by a tiebreak and it was comfortably claimed by the American, who stunned Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last year. Thompson responded well in the second set and his willingness to advance into the net proved to be an effective tactic. He soon levelled the match but he was unable to stay with Querrey in the decider.

“It was a long match for grass,” remarked the American. “It was tricky out there with the wind and that makes things so much more difficult. Jordan’s tough, he is playing well and he was coming off that win over Andy [Murray] so he was confident. I’m happy to get through.”

Daniil Medvedev dropped just four games as he thrashed Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2 6-2 to set up a quarter-final meeting with Grigor Dimitrov.

The Russian defeated the Australian last week at the Ricoh Open in s-Hertogenbosch, and the outcome was the same in London.

Kokkinakis, on the comeback trail after a wretched time with injuries, impressed in his first round win over Milos Raonic but he was out of sorts against the Russian.

“Thanasi did not play his best today,” admitted Medvedev, who took just 59 minutes to seal victory.”He is a great player with a huge serve but I’m happy that I managed to show a very solid game. I was serving amazing and I’m happy to be in the quarter-finals.”

Feliciano Lopez continues to excel on grass and he was a comfortable 6-1 7-6(4) winner over Jeremy Chardy.

The veteran Spaniard, who will play Tomas Berdych next, said: “I think I played a great match but it’s true that he (Chardy) had a bad start and the first set was very easy. In the second set it was a normal set on grass, it was tough to return and he was serving as he usually serves, but a few points made the difference in the end.”

At the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Roger Federer overcame Mischa Zverev 7-6(4) 6-4 and the defending champion, Florian Mayer, defeated Lucas Pouille. Kei Nishikori was forced to retire in the early stages of his match with Karen Khachanov with another injury issue and Andrey Rublev beat his countryman, Mikhail Youzhny.

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