- About the tournament
The final of the 26th International tennis tournament St. Petersburg Open 2021 became a real present of spectacular tennis for all the fans of this type of sport. The 5th seed American Taylor Fritz and the seasoned Croat player Marin Cilic who had already hoisted the trophy of the tournament in 2011, were fighting for the main prize of St. Petersburg Open. The three-setter battle lasted 2 hrs 22 mins.
From the very beginning Cilic captured the initiative and put pressure on his opponent and he made a break 4/2, then he held serve – 5/2. It seemed there won’t be any problems and the Croat would close it out but the American came back and broke Marin – 4/5, he levelled the score and took the set into a tie-break. The Croat was more consistent in the tie-break – 7/6(3).
Cilic started to dictate the game in the second set and was up a break, but then he dropped serve making several errors, and Fritz on the contrary was playing well and hit a winning backhand down the line – 1/1. During this set the twom players traded breaks, but at the end of the set the Croat didn’t hold his service game – 4/6.
In the third deciding set Fritz was the first to convert a break to lead 3/1, but the Croat didn’t let him make the advantage bigger and broke back 3/2. The eighth game of the third set was really tight, there was a see-saw battle at deuce but Cilic played smart tactically and didn’t let the American take the initiative. And in the next game Marin put pressure on Taylor and the American doublefaulted and dropped serve. Marin Cilic seized this opporutnity to close out the match – 7/6(3), 4/6, 6/4.
“I didn’t believe that I am going to win trailing 1/3 in the third but I did believe that I am going to keep fighting, that is obviously most important. During the week I managed to turn around the match against Karen Khachanov and Roberto Bautista Agut. Taylor was playing amazing from the middle of the second set until the middle of the third set. I kept myself in there and gave myself a good chance and definitely played some great points. I feel absolutely proud, incredible to be here ten years after and still playing at this kind of level and I enjoyed it. I am definitely going to come back and try to play a few more times and Russia is a happy and lucky country for me”, – the freshly-made champion said after the final.
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