In one of the most anticipated encounters of the third round at the ATP 500 event in Washington, Marin Cilic toppled the young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 26 minutes. Struggling with injuries, Marin came to Washington with a mediocre 11-10 score in 2019, desperate for some big wins and a deep run that would give him the momentum and mich-needed points.
His experience was too much to handle for the youth, fending off three out of four break points to mount the pressure on the Canadian and dominating on Felix's second serve to deliver four breaks from seven chances to seal the deal in straight sets.
Marin broke in the first game of the match following a double fault from Auger-Aliassime to gain an early boost, breaking again in game five and sealing the opener with a backhand crosscourt winner in the ninth game for a 6-3.
Cilic saved two break points in the fifth game of the second set, repelling another one with a good serve at 4-4 and moving over the top with a break in the next game when Felix hit a double fault. Marin was happy with the way he performed, also praising his opponent who should achieve big things in the future according to a former US Open champion.
"I played a very good match, it was very important to kick off the clash with a break and a 4-1 lead. Then I felt a little bit but I still did enough to close the opener, serving comfortably in the end. The second set was tighter, Felix had a couple of break points and showed he is already a great player and we will see a lot from him in the future.
Luckily, I grabbed that one break in the last game and I'm happy with the way I performed overall, it was my first clash on the center court and I delivered a good performance."