Former ATP No. 3 Marin Cilic backed up a title he won nearly half a year ago in Stuttgart as the Croat won the St Petersburg event on Sunday.
The one-time US Open finalist whose career has fallen on relatively hard times in recent seasons, owns 20 trophies overall.
Cilic defeated Taylor Fritz of the US 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4 in the Russian final sending down a dozen aces compared to 10 for his opponent.
Each man lost serve five times, with Cilic saving seven of 12 attempts.
Cilic joined an elite groups as only the sixth man in ATP history to lift at least 20 titles; the others: Roger Federer (103), Rafael Nadal (88), Novak Djokovic (85), Andy Murray 46) and Juan Martin del Potro (22).
Cilic left it a decade to achieve success in St Petersburg, where he won the event on his last entry in 2011; he also won Moscow back-to-back in 2014 – the year of his US open title – and 2015.
No. 35 Cilic spent nearly two and a half hours in constructing the win, coming good after reaching the Moscow final a week ago but losing to Russian Aslan Karatsev.
“Coming 10 years after winning in 2011 and also winning now, it’s so, so special for me, especially this part of my career,” Cilic said.
The 33-year-old added: “Having a family – two sons – I want to absolutely dedicate this trophy to my newborn.”
Main photo:- Marin Cilic winning his 20th title in St Petersburg – ATPTour.com