2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic praised the performance of world No. 108 Dennis Novak after beating the Austrian at the ATP Cup on Saturday. Novak, who has never been ranked inside the top-100, competed extremely well against Cilic but the former world No.
3 managed to clinch a 6-7 (4) 6-4 6-4 win. In the second rubber of the tie, Croatian Borna Coric surprised world No. 4 Dominic Thiem to ensure the first Croatian victory at the inaugural ATP Cup. "[I'm] very excited.
It was absolutely very difficult. Dennis played a great level. It was our first meeting, and it was absolutely a thriller and difficult match... and also a great match to start the year," Cilic said, per the ATP Cup. "I think the level was really, really good."
Novak, a former world No. 104, saved a set point on his serve in the 10th game before winning the first set tie-break. Cilic kept serving well as he never lost his serve and broke Novak once in each of the following two sets to complete a comeback win.