Cilic beats Murray to win first Masters title; Kerber ranking bid falls short in Cincinnati

A pair of Rio Olympic medallists failed to fire in the Cincinnati Masters finals on Sunday, with Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber going down in upset losses.

Men's top seed Murray, bidding for his third title at the event, was felled by accumulated fatigue as he lost to Marin Cilic 6-4, 7-5.

Rio champion Murray was playing his 14th match in 15 days.

"I really appreciate your support today," Murray told the crowd. "I'd like to congratulate Marin on his first Masters Series title.

"It's been a great run the last few months. I look forward to coming back many more years."

Kerber, Rio silver medallist, lost her bid to take the WTA number one ranking from Serena Williams, losing 6-3, 6-1 to Karolina Pliskova.

The Czech 15th seed earned the win of her life in 62 minutes.

"I tried my best, but sometimes you have days where it's not working so good," Kerber said.

Cilic achieved a Masters 1000 title on his 71st attempt, winning only his second title since claiming the US Open two years ago.

Cilic had his own recovery problems to face after playing until almost 1:10 am (0510 GMT) in a rain-delayed semi-final.

"It was tough with rain delays, big thanks to the ballboys who were drying the courts day in and day out," Cilic said.

"This week is going to be remembered, it's really, really something special. I look forward to the US Open in a couple of weeks. I hope we can continue with good form."

Murray went down two breaks in the opening set and got one back before Cilic took the set after aceing for three winning chances.

In the second, Cilic broke on his fifth chance of the 11th game for 6-5. A few moments later, he was raising his hands as champion.

Kerber was broken twice by Pliskova in the first set to trail 3-0, losing the opener after 32 minutes.

Pliskova, winner of five previous titles, went up an early break in the second set, with a frustrated Kerber dropping to 1-5 after double-faulting on a break point.

Pliskova finished the job a game later on her second match-winning chance as she played in her 15th final, ending with 24 winners.

"I had a pretty good week, improving match to match," Pliskova said. "I was expecting to play good, but I wasn't expecting it to be that easy.

"The match was not as east as the score looked. I think she might be little bit tired or she felt a little bit of pressure on herself.

"I'm really happy with my game today. I was playing aggressive almost without mistakes. There was not one thing what I would change in this match."

"I won my first grand slam, everything what's happened in the last months is just incredible. I'm trying to enjoy it.

"Some days you're losing matches; some days you win. I'll try to take the positive things from the match and from the last few weeks to New York (US Open)." 

Last update: Mon, 22/08/2016 - 01:21

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