In a tournament that featured miraculous comebacks, stunning upsets and historic victories, maybe we shouldn’t be all that surprised that Marin Cilic won the men’s U.S. Open title (6-3, 6-3, 6-3). Defeating Kei Nishikori, who also made history a few days earlier, Cilic became the first Croatian to win a Grand Slam title in 13 years.
Cilic defeated Nishikori on pure strength to capture the title. Collecting 17 aces while also dominating the speed of play, Cilic played ahead for the entirety of the match. The impressive amount of aces earned during the match were by no means miraculous. Focusing in his training to utilize his size (6-feet-6), Cilic has worked almost exclusively on perfecting his powerful serve – and it has worked. In 2013, Cilic collected 301 aces. In comparison, 2014 has seen Cilic more than double that number on the year. As evident by his performance against Nishikori, it was a strategy that is paying off.
Featuring a match void of all big names in the sport of tennis, the U.S. Open still managed to capture the attention of many around the world as it became the first finals match to feature two rookie Grand Slam finalists in nearly a decade. While history was made, so were many memorable moments along the way.
And for Vegas and all of those oddseekers, perhaps the days of giving Cilic 100-1 odds of winning the tournament are over – at least for now.
Cover Photo: Mike Groll/Associated Press
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