Marin Cilic beats Novak Djokovic to win Fever-Tree Championships at Queen'sPosted By: Patience Rutayisire - On:25/06/2018
The 29-year-old Croat fought back to win the Fever-Tree Championships 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in the longest final in the tournament's history.
Cilic, who won the title in 2012 and was runner-up last year, saved match point at 5-4 in the second set and came back from 4-1 down in the tie-break.
His serve was crucial in the final set as he won in two hours and 57 minutes.
"It was a special win for me because last year I had a match point and didn't convert it," said Cilic.
"It was a tough match, with no breaks for me until the final set."
Former world number one Djokovic, seeking to secure his first title since winning at Eastbourne last year, was upbeat despite his loss.
"I have to congratulate Marin on a fantastic week," said Djokovic, who was playing in the tournament for the first time in 10 years.
"He deserved to win and came up with some big shots. It's a tough loss for me. But I have to see the positive because I haven't played a final in almost a year."
Djokovic, 31, took a wildcard in an attempt to regain his best form before Wimbledon, having had surgery on his elbow in January.
His return of serve and athletic play blunted Cilic's powerful serve in the first set and with the Croat struggling to assert himself looked on course to end his long wait for a trophy.
But Cilic denied Djokovic match point with a blistering serve and went to take the game and then force a tie-break.
Djokovic led 4-1 in the tie-break but nerves seemed to affect him and Cilic won six points in a row to set up the decider.
It was a tense final set and Cilic produced a moment of quality to tee up the only break of serve at 4-3.
Chasing down a wide ball, the Croat fired a stunning forehand winner that left Djokovic applauding.
The world number six then served it out to love to complete his victory.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion went into the 99th final of his career with a 14-1 head-to-head record over his opponent.