LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) - Top seed Marin Cilic ended Nick Kyrgios’s entertaining run at the Fever-Tree Queen’s Club championships with a 7-6(3) 7-6(4) on Saturday as he reached the final for the fourth time.
A high-level semi-final full of thundering serves predictably boiled down to two tiebreaks in which the ice-cool Cilic proved the more composed player.
The world number six was out-aced 16-11 but never gave Australian maverick Kyrgios a sniff of a service break as he moved through to a final against 12-times Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic or Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
“It’s special to play here and I’ve played great tennis throughout the week and it’s great to have another shot at the title,” the 2012 Queen’s champion said on a sunny centre court.
“Nick is serving so good and it was tough to get a look on the service returns. As expected a couple of points made the difference in the tiebreaks.”
Kyrgios, ranked 21, had served 82 aces on his way to the semi-final and was in scintillating form against defending champion Feliciano Lopez on Friday.
His serve was potent again and in the eighth game of the first set he bashed down three consecutives aces before playing one of his trademark ‘tweeners’ to level at 4-4.
Cilic, runner-up at Wimbledon last year to Roger Federer and this year’s Australian Open, also to Federer, was relentless though and seized on a couple of Kyrgios groundstroke errors in the opening tiebreak to pocket the first set.
Kyrgios saved the only break points of the match, recovering from 15-40 at 2-2 in the second set.
As the set sped towards another tiebreaker, the pressure was beginning to tell on Kyrgios as he yelled “I can’t focus”.
Sure enough a Kyrgios double-fault at the start of the tiebreak gave the initiative to Cilic who quickly built a 6-3 lead and although he netted on his first match point he converted the second when Kyrgios skewed a backhand wide.
While Kyrgios will be frustrated, his level during the week augurs well for his Wimbledon prospects. (Reporting by Martyn Herman Editing by Edmund Blair)