Cilic takes down Daniel in Singapore

By: AFP      Published: 10:23 PM, 24 Feb, 2021
Cilic takes down Daniel in Singapore

Croatia's Marin Cilic swept aside Japan's Taro Daniel in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the quarter-finals at the Singapore Open.

Third seed Cilic, who received a bye in the first round, ended a four-match losing streak since November to remain on course for his 19th ATP singles title. 

The 2014 US Open champion raced to a 3-1 lead after holding serve but an unforced error from Cilic's backhand handed Daniel the break, bringing the match back level to 4-4. 

A perfectly timed backhand winner then gave Cilic three set points before he closed out the opening set 7-5 in 55 minutes.

Serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, Cilic fired a big unreturned serve and two consecutive aces to give himself three match points. He went on to close the match with a forehand winner on his third match point.

"It's the beginning of the season and obviously still feeling a little rusty. But it was important to compete well today. It was a job well done and a result that I definitely needed for the start of the tournament," said Cilic.

Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik will also head into the quarter-finals after cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Turkey's Altug Celikbilek. 

In the other singles matches, Italy's Roberto Marcora beat Latvia's Ernests Gulbis 7-5, 6-4 while Bulgarian wildcard Adrian Andreev was dumped out by Australia's Alexei Popyrin after losing 1-6, 7-5, 3-6.

Organisers meanwhile announced that up to 250 fans a day will be allowed to watch the weekend's semi-finals and finals in person.

All spectators must take a mandatory Covid-19 test and will only be allowed into the venue if their result is negative. They must wear masks at all times and will not be allowed to mingle between groups. 


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.