The Queen's Club, London: 10 - 16 June 2013
David Nalbandian by Getty Images
In the second semi-final of the day, 30 year old David Nalbandian defeated rising star Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4 to book his place in the Aegon Championships final.
21 year old Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who was making his ATP World Tour semi-final debut against world No.39 Nalbandian, dropped serve immediately in the opening set. However it seemed that nerves were catching as Argentinian Nalbandian followed suit straight after.
Still battling with windy conditions both players played it safe, aiming for a high percentage consistency rather than outright winners.
However it was 30 year-old Nalbandian’s tour experience that pulled him through the set. Dimitrov did his best to cling on, making his opponent serve it out at 5-4, but Nalbandian proved too strong and took the opener 6-4.
At the start of the second set, Dimitrov had a nasty fall when chasing down a drop shot and later on in the match lost his footing on the slippery grass resulting in a missed smash.
In the second to last game of the semi-final, Nalbandian put himself in a good position by breaking the young Bulgarian’s serve which allowed him to serve it out for the match. In the final game, Nalbandian earned two match points, but only needed one after Dimitrov netted his backhand return.
Nalbandian will play Marin Cilic in the final on Sunday in a bid to lift the Aegon Championships trophy.
Speaking about opponent Nalbandian, Cilic said: “You have to be really smart in the game to keep the ball away from him.”
Marin Cilic sealed his place in the finals at the Aegon Championships on Saturday after a three set win over 2010 champion, Sam Querrey.
The match started off tightly with both players having to battle through the blustery conditions at The Queen’s Club. The third game in the opener saw some closely fought tennis between the two 6’6” giants. After flitting between deuce and advantage for nearly 20 minutes, world No.77 Querrey could not break his Croat opponent, and after 13 deuces Cilic held serve.
Speaking about the conditions Cilic commented: "That first set was really tough. Sam was serving really well but we were missing some easy balls which we would not miss normally."
23 year-old Cilic, who was making his first semi-final appearance in six visits to the Aegon Championships, then stormed ahead to take the first set 6-3.
In the second, Querrey earned an early break after Cilic misjudged a forehand and framed the ball into the crowd. However the world No. 25 fought back and served solely to the American’s backhand or into his body. Querrey sensed this tactic and chose to run round his weaker side putting him in place to take the set 6-3.
In the decider, Cilic took back control and despite the windy conditions was able to break the big-serving American twice to ultimately win the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and book his place in the final against David Nalbandian.
Talking about his performance after the match Cilic said: "Today I was returning well and that gave me the edge in the match. I think I played really well."
Seventh seeds Janko Tipsarevic & Nenad Zimonjic will take to the court later on Saturday having booked a semi-final meeting with the Bryan Brothers after a 7-6(3), 7-6(6) win over Xavier Malisse & Dick Norman.
Croatian tennis player Marin Cilic takes The Jaguar Road to Queen's and tells us how he was attracted to tennis and who he would most like to join for dinner.
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