Lopez beats Cilic in nail-biting Queen's Club final

LONDON (AP) - Marin Cilic ended Gilles Muller's seven-match winning run on grass with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 victory to reach the final at Queen's on Saturday.

Fourth seed Cilic, victor in 2012, overpowered American teenager Stefan Kozlov 6-0 6-4 while Querrey, who triumphed seven years ago at the west London club, got the better of Australian Jordan Thompson, winning 7-6 (3) 3-6 6-3.

"I approached today as any other day", Cilic said.

There's no betting against Cilic right now with the way he's serving.

Spain's Feliciano Lopez advanced to his third Queen's quarter-final with a 6-1, 7-6 (4) win against French qualifier Jeremy Chardy.

Thompson, ranked No. 90, failed to follow up his huge upset of the top-ranked Murray in straight sets on Tuesday, losing to American player Sam Querrey 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3.

Querrey, who caused the big shock at Wimbledon past year when he knocked out defending champion Novak Djokovic, failed to take any of the six break points that came his way in the first set against Thompson but edged the opener in a tiebreak. Yet for the first half of the match on Sunday, he was second best as Cilic, bidding for a second title after winning in 2012 when David Nalbandian was defaulted for injuring a line judge in a fit of temper, dominated.

Lopez, for all his elegant grasscourt skills and one of the most devilish serves in tennis, has only made three Wimbledon quarter-finals in 15 visits.

Yet he has never got past the quarter-finals and a year ago faltered from two sets up against Roger Federer, squandering three match points in an epic last-eight clash.

It proved to be a momentary lapse, as Cilic regained control and converted his second match point when he fired down a second-serve ace.

"We had a great battle in the 2014 final so I knew it would be tough", said Lopez, referring to a match that featured three tiebreakers. Cilic has been broken just once this tournament and has provided just two break chances overall. "The last few years have been really good for me, considering the results and also the way I was playing".

When regarding to his own top-three favourite tag - assigned to him by former coach Goran Ivanisevic and Lopez - Cilic was keen to keep himself grounded ahead of the third Grand Slam of the year.

His conversion of break points (two of 13) was disappointing but proof that Cilic's return game, against one of the game's best servers, is also in fine fettle.

  • Julie Sanders