Marin Cilic won the title at Queen’s Club for the second time and hopes to take his form into Wimbledon this year.
The Croat came back magnificently to beat Novak Djokovic in three sets in the final, saving a match point in the second set.
Djokovic took the first set 7-5 and had championship point at 5-4 in the second. Cilic saved that and the set went to a tie-break with Djokovic again dominating the early stages, going into a 4-1 lead.
Marin Cilic though responded with six unanswered point to take it 7-4 and level the match.
There was just the single break of serve in the deciding set but it went the way of Cilic and, after just under three hours on court, the longest final in the tournament’s history, he was Queen’s Club champion.
Cilic was beaten finalist at Wimbledon last year and, after beating Djokovic, he paid tribute to his opponent, as well as hoping that form on grass continues for the next few weeks.
He said: “It is great to see Novak coming back and we all hope that he gets back to the top level again.
“It was a special win for me because last year I had a match point and didn’t convert it. It was a tough match – no breaks for me until the final set.
“Overall I had a great time here this week. I have waited six years to get my hands on this trophy! It is an amazing crowd and I will come back every single year.
“Am I playing my best tennis at the moment? I hope so. I want to continue this great form at Wimbledon.”
Roger Federer beat Cilic in last year’s Wimbledon final but he received a blow in his preparations this year after he lost to Borna Coric in the final of the Halle Open.
Federer was denied a 10th title at the event by the 21-year-old Croat and the defeat means that he will lose his number one world ranking to Rafael Nadal ahead of the All-England Championships.
Latest Wimbledon Odds
Roger Federer is 7/4 to win the Wimbledon title this year with Cilic 7/1 and Djokovic 9/2.
Another winner on grass was Petra Kvitova who came from a set down to beat Magdalena Rybarikova in the final of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham.
She is 4/1 to win the women’s title at Wimbledon.
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