Marin Cilic considered Wimbledon favorite plus Kvitova wins title

Marin Cilic may have been beaten by Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-7 (8-10), but some are considering a favorite for the upcoming Wimbledon tournament. Cilic has let it be known that he doesn’t think it should be assumed the Roger Federer is the automatic favorite after his Zverev win though.

Even in defeat, Marin Cilic is being talked about as a contender for the Wimbledon title.

The sixth-ranked Croat, who won the U.S. Open in 2014, lost a close three-set match to Feliciano Lopez in the final at Queen’s. But there was a still a sense that he was one of the men to beat next week at the All England Club.

“It’s interesting that he (Lopez) won a tournament and I’m the favorite,” Cilic said. “I’m playing really well, and especially the last few months. For me, I’m keeping my feet on the ground.”

“Definitely I’m going to get into Wimbledon with good determination, good confidence – hoping that I can go further than the last three years.”

The 28-year-old Cilic has never reached the semifinals at Wimbledon, losing in the quarterfinals for the last three years. Novak Djokovic beat him on the way to the title in 2014 and 2015, and Roger Federer rallied from two sets down to oust Cilic last year.

Lopez never once managed to break Cilic’s serve on Sunday, and even had to save a match point in the 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (8) victory.

He certainly gives Cilic a chance at Wimbledon.

“For me, he’s top three on grass,” the 35-year-old Spaniard said. “This year, seeing the other guys, it’s a very open Wimbledon. Definitely Marin is one of the contenders. I will say Roger No. 1 and then Marin, Andy (Murray).”

Murray was knocked out in his opening match at Queen’s. Djokovic, who has struggled since winning the French Open in 2016, will be playing in Eastbourne this week.

The 35-year-old Federer, though, won his fourth title of the season on Sunday at the Gerry Weber Open, beating Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3.

Federer skipped the clay-court season, including the French Open. The Australian Open champion will be looking for a record eighth Wimbledon title this year.

“To say that he’s No.1 favorite, you know, it could be true but also could not be,” Cilic said of Federer. “Definitely he’s going to be playing really well, and, you know, he’s feeling at home in Wimbledon.”

john mcenroe wont give serena williams men wins

John McEnroe says Serena Williams would be “like 700” in the world tennis rankings if she played on the men’s tour.

McEnroe, speaking to NPR about his memoir “You Cannot Be Serious,” says Williams is the best female player ever, “no question.” But when asked about her being the best ever, without gender qualifiers, McEnroe was clear that he didn’t think so.

McEnroe says “if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.”

The former tennis bad boy added that he thought Williams could beat some male players, “but if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.”

McEnroe won seven Grand Slam titles in his career. Williams has won 23.

petra kvitova wins aegon classic title

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat unseeded Ashleigh Barty 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 Sunday in the Aegon Classic final to win her first title since her playing hand was injured in a knife attack at her home.

Kvitova was playing only her second tournament and seventh match since she was attacked in December.

“It’s hard to say anything but I think I’ve been through a very difficult time in my life, and it wasn’t about the tennis, but about coming back healthy and alive and moving my fingers properly and everything like that,” Kvitova said.

“This is something clearly special. It’s some bonus to have in my life and my career and everything.”

It was the Czech leftie’s first grass-court final since her triumph at 2014 Wimbledon and her 20th career title in her 27th final.

Barty won her first career title in March in Kuala Lumpur and became the first Australian finalist here in 25 years.

While her serving was inconsistent – 13 aces and seven double faults against Barty – Kvitova’s ground strokes looked as penetrating and as hard-to-read as ever. The Czech even saw the silver lining in losing the opener.

“It was nice to lose the first set, and that I had to fight for the second and for the third,” Kvitova said. “I think (it) will give me some extra confidence that I am still able to fight.”

Barty won her first 11 points on serve and conceded only one point in her first four service games. She broke Kvitova’s serve at the second attempt, took the first set and put Kvitova under pressure in the opening game of the second.

Kvitova clung on, and the match changed course. She came up with two fine returns to break serve, began to play more freely and held for 3-0 and 4-1.

By now Kvitova was striking her groundstrokes harder, scoring brilliantly with her inside-out forehand, and she closed out the second set with two aces in three points.

Kvitova got an early break, but Barty broke back in a see-saw final set. Kvitova finished with a battery of attacks, which steamrollered 17 of the last 18 points, and won with an ace.

“I could not have imagined a better comeback than I am having now,” Kvitova said.

feliciano lopez wins title beating marin cilic 2017

Feliciano Lopez saved a match point as he came from behind to beat Marin Cilic of Croatia and claim the biggest title of his career at Queen’s on Sunday in the Wimbledon warm-up event.

The 35-year-old Spaniard failed to break the serve of fourth-seeded Cilic throughout the grass-court final but fought back to win 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (8) in a match lasting around 2 ½ hours.

In the deciding tiebreaker, Lopez saved a match point when trailing 6-5 with a stretching forehand volley, before sealing victory at the third opportunity.

A beaten finalist in 2014 when he failed to capitalize on a match point against Grigor Dimitrov, Lopez once more displayed his grass-court skills ahead of Wimbledon.

“I cannot believe that I’ve finally won this trophy,” Lopez said. “It’s the best week of my career – to win this tournament at this stage of my career, it’s so amazing.

“It’s tough to put that match point (in 2014) away from my mind. I was serving for the match again; it was so difficult to handle my nerves.”

Seventh-ranked Cilic, the 2012 champion, played a near-perfect opening set. He saved Lopez’s only break point with an ace before striking with his first opportunity to take the lead.

Lopez’s serve often came to the rescue with 10 aces during the second set, the most important of which saved one of Cilic’s two break points in the second game.

Having forced a tiebreaker, Lopez found another gear and produced faultless tennis to take it 7-2.

Neither player earned a break point as the high-quality serving continued in the third set, leading to a decisive tiebreaker.

Cilic had the first match point, but Lopez executed a fine volley under pressure before finally claiming the title as Cilic sent a forehand wide on the Spaniard’s third match point.

“There is no better preparation going into Wimbledon,” Lopez said. “To win here, to play Wimbledon in a week, is a great feeling.”

“It’s tough to believe at 35 that I’m playing my best tennis, but I am.”