Cilic to face Melzer in Zagreb Indoors finale
Top-seeded Croat Marin Cilic will face fourth-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria in the Zagreb Indoors final tomorrow.
Cilic rallied to defeat defending champion Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 today to reach his third final at the tournament, while Melzer earlier beat Robin Haase of the Netherlands 7-6 (2), 6-3.
Cilic was given two time violation penalties before advancing to his 16th career final. He was penalized for the first time in the opening set and again in the third, as he prepared to serve while facing a break point. Youzhny then took a 3-2 lead but failed to win another game.
Youzhny received treatment to his left leg at the beginning of the first set, but downplayed the problem.
"I would not even call it injury. It happened during the match, it was kind of tightness," he said. "Marin played very well."
Cilic has a 6-2 record against Melzer and is aiming for his ninth career title.
Melzer won 33 of 36 points on his first serve to advance to his 12th career final and the first since winning in Memphis a year ago.
The Austrian failed to convert two set points at 5-4 in the first set but comfortably won the tiebreaker.
In the second, Melzer failed to serve out the match at 5-2 but broke again in the next game to clinch the win.
"This is by far my best match here this week," Melzer said. "I felt I was the better player today even though we had to play a tiebreaker."