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Marin Cilic wins second latest ever finish at US Open

04 September, 2018, 23:14 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • Marin Cilic and Alex de Minaur got within four minutes of 2.26am the latest US Open finish on record

Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, denied the 19-year-old de Minaur a place in the last 16 with a gripping 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 victory in a midnight thriller on Louis Armstrong Stadium in NY. "I gave it every single inch of energy I had left and it is a great learning experience for me".

Croatian tennis star Marin Cilic didn't hide his happiness after surviving a challenging US Open third round clash against rising star Alex de Minaur.

He was unable to, with de Minaur fending off another match point to break back and then level the set at 5-5.

After their three-hour thriller in Rome, much was expected of the third-round match between Maria Sharapova, the 2006 champion, and Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open victor.

Just 19, De Minaur pushed his more seasoned opponent all the way, saving six match points from 5-2 down in the final set and winning three straight games to take it to 5-5.

Cilic moves through to a clash with 10th seed David Goffin on Monday.

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"Incredibly happy. It was an insane atmosphere", Cilic said.

As the clock hit 2.22am at Flushing Meadows, Cilic finally clinched a 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 victory on his eighth match point.

Previous year was De Minaur's introduction to the ATP Tour.

"Alex showed incredible fighting spirit, he played his heart out", said Cilic who had squandered a 5-2 lead in the final set.

In the end the crowd were firmly on the fresh-faced youngster's side, willing him on to victory and giving him a standing ovation as he walked off the court in defeat at the end of the epic contest.

"I was just a little luckier tonight".

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