Cilic Takes 2-Sets-to-0 Lead Versus Nishikori in U.S. Open Final

Croatia’s Marin Cilic won the first two sets 6-3, 6-3 against Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the men’s final on a cool, breezy night at the U.S. Open in New York.

The 25-year-old Cilic, seeded 14th, is trying to become the biggest surprise to win one of tennis’ four major tournaments since unseeded Gaston Gaudio of Argentina won the 2004 French Open. Cilic missed the U.S. Open last year while serving a suspension for failing a drug test.

Nishikori, 24, the 10th seed, is the first man from Asia to play in the final of a men’s Grand Slam tennis tournament.

Cilic has won eight of his nine service games so far in the match, and has broken Nishikori’s serve four times.

It is the first men’s Grand Slam final since 2005 not to include 17-time champion Roger Federer, 14-time champion Rafael Nadal, top-ranked Novak Djokovic or 2012 U.S. Open champion Andy Murray. Cilic beat second-seeded Federer and Nishikori upset No. 1-seeded Djokovic in the semifinals.

The lack of familiar names led to a decrease in resale ticket prices, and one media analyst predicted a television ratings drop of about 33 percent. The 23,771-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium was about half full at the start of the match, and was about 75 percent full at the start of the second set.

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