Danish Caroline Wozniacki at 18 years old defeated top seed Russian Anna Chakvetadze 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 while 19 year-old Croation Marin Cilic took care of last year’s finalist American Mardy Fish to take the Pilot Pen tournament 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Wozniacki got off to a poor start and was outplayed in the first set. Moreover, the Danish teen went down a break after the first game of the second set. But Caroline matured in a hurry, cutting down on her mistakes and grinding it out to win the second set. Despite being the more experienced competitor, Chakvetadze who had been 7-0 in finals, was left in the dust with Wozniacki easily carrying the third set to win the trophy. This tier II tournament is Wozniacki’s biggest title so far and her second of the year. Caroline will crack into the top twenty with her ranking going from 22 to 18.
On the men’s side, Fish donated a break to Cilic in the first game and this was the only difference needed for the Croatian to take the initial set. Throughout the first set, Fish had issues with his string tension. After that problem was resolved, Mardy’s serve, his principal weapon, which had been shaky, began to find its target. In the second set, Fish who made no inroads on Cilic’s service game got the early break and the lead 2-0. Thereafter, the players remained on serve until Fish served for the set at 5-3. With a multitude of inane unforced errors, including hitting a ball that was going out, Mardy lost his serve. But Fish grabbed the momentum right back breaking Cilic to win the set.
Extended into a decisive third set, the first few games were a seesaw of breaks until Cilic held to consolidate at 4-2. From that point on, Fish’s game deteriorated and Cilic capitalized with a second break. The Croatian teenager then closed out the match with a strong service game to secure his first ATP title. For a young player, Cilic’s game is versatile. Marin hits with power from the baseline and has a strong backhand while his volleying skills are steady. Cilic’s ranking of 31 will also improve with this victory.