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ATP Tokyo: Dominant Cilic tops Harrison. Goffin beat Gasquet

ATP Tokyo: Dominant Cilic tops Harrison. Goffin beat Gasquet

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by Jovica Ilic

The top seed and the first favorite to lift the trophy in Tokyo, Marin Cilic, needed just 52 minutes to dismiss the American Ryan Harrison by 6-2 6-0 for his 6th semi-final of the season. They first met at the US Open 6 years ago and this was the 5th win for Marin in 6 matches, with the only win for Harrison coming in Acapulco last year.

The match was fast and fluid, with short points and quick games, and Marin did everything right, losing 5 points on serve and taking 56% of the points on the return, breaking Ryan 5 times from 9 chances. Servers won the opening 14 points of the match and it looked that this could turn into a real battle before Cilic clinched 4 straight points on the return in game 4 to break for a 3-1, blasting a forehand passing shot that Ryan could barely see.

The Croat continued to serve well and he broke again in game 8 for a 6-2 in just 27 minutes, completely outplaying his rival in the first part of the match. The second set was even worse for the American, as he faded from the court completely.

He won miserable 5 points on his serve and Cilic broke him 3 times to rattle off the last 8 games of the match and reach the semi-final in style. Marin was the dominant figure in the rallies and he broke for a 4-0 lead with another forehand winner, and he converted his 3rd match point in game 6 to seal the deal.

David Goffin lifted his first ATP crown in 3 years in Shenzhen last week and he stayed on the title course in Tokyo as well, beating Richard Gasquet 7-5 6-2 in an hour and 37 minutes. Interestingly, these two have never met before and they were involved in a solid battle in the opening set, with Gasquet leading 5-2.

From that moment on, Goffin took charge and he won 11 out of the last 13 games to overcome the deficit and score straight sets win to book the place in the semis. David was more efficient on his serve, saving 3 out of 4 break points, and he stole rival's serve twice in each set to cross the finish line first, winning the last 10 points in his games to clinch the victory.

Richard saved 3 break points in games 3 and 5 and he broke David at 15 in game 6 for a 4-2 lead, using the fact that rain interrupted Belgian's rhythm while they had to wait for the roof to come on. Serving for the set, the Frenchman had 40-0 in game 9 but he made 3 errors, wasting all set points to lose his serve and bring Goffin back on the scoreboard (David earned the break with an amazing forehand winner).

This changed everything and the spotlight was now on Goffin, who won 18 out of the last 20 points to take the set by 7-5, rattling off the last 5 games and bringing the set home with a service winner. Gasquet lost the ground completely and he was broken at love at the start of the second set when David hit a nice backhand winner, and Belgian saved 2 break points in the following 2 service games to stay in front.

Return winner gave Goffin a 4-1 advantage and he closed the match in strong fashion, with 2 holds at love for the place in the last 4. Quarter-final results:

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