PBZ Zagreb Indoors 2014: Daily Scores, Results and Schedule
Marin Cilic will have his hands full defending his title at the 2014 PBZ Zagreb Indoors, which takes place in Zagreb, Croatia, and is a yearly stop on the ATP World Tour 250.
The men's-only event features many of Eastern Europe's finest tennis players, with No. 12-ranked Tommy Haas and No. 14-ranked Mikhail Youzhny leading the way. In addition to the singles draw, there is a competitive men's doubles draw ongoing, as well.
Starting Monday, Feb. 3, the qualifiers will commence, and then later in the same day the main draw will begin, as noted by the event on Twitter:
Day 1: First up is the final round of the qualies, later will feature the beginning of the main draw. Good luck, players! #ATPZagreb— PBZ Zagreb Indoors (@ATP_Zagreb) February 3, 2014
The final match is scheduled to take place Sunday, Feb. 9.
Keep reading to find out how the tournament unfolds.
Results for Sunday, Feb. 9
Results for Sunday, Feb. 9
Marin Cilic (5)
Tommy Haas (1)
For the second straight year, Marin Cilic gave his Croatian countrymen reason to celebrate at the Zagreb Indoors on Sunday.
The fifth-seeded Croat defeated top-seeded Tommy Haas 6-3, 6-4 in a breezy straight-sets victory to take his first win of 2014 and 10th win of his career. Cilic, 25, has captured four of his 10 career ATP titles before the home crowd and has now won the event four of the last six years.
The match lasted all of 80 minutes, with Cilic putting on yet another display of dominance. Cilic did not lose a set in his five matches in the Croatian capital, where he now holds a sterling 22-4 record for his career. Per the tournament's official Twitter feed, Cilic was happy with finally reaching double-digit career victories:
Haas, who came in a favorite despite Cilic's long history, played a solid match but was at times playing against both the crowd and his opponent. Nearly every important point went Cilic's way, each time with the roars from the stands getting louder.
Things got especially fervent with each Cilic ace. The world's No. 37 player hit 10 aces past Haas, on his way to winning 80 percent of his first-serve points. While Haas also did a nice job on his serves, winning 66 percent on first-time attempts, Cilic broke when he needed it most. It took only three break conversions to make a difference in the match, but ultimately that's all he needed.
The victory was Cilic's first after his doping ban, which cost him both points in the world rankings and to some his reputation. He has consistently denied he took any illegal substances and had his suspension reduced amid some controversy, but it had to feel good for him to get back in the win column.
Whether that means anything for the rest of his season remains to be seen.
Results for Saturday, Feb. 8
Results from Saturday, Feb. 8
Marin Cilic (5)
Tommy Haas (1)
5-7, 6-4, 6-3
|Philipp Marx and Michal Mertinak||Mate Pavic and Marin Draganja||6-3, 6-4|
While Bjorn Phau and Daniel Evans both entered the PBZ Zagreb Indoors semifinals with upset aspirations, chalk ultimately prevailed as No. 1 seed Tommy Haas and No. 5 Marin Cilic held firm and will face each other for the tournament title.
Cilic had the Croatian crowd firmly behind him in his match, and he had little trouble with his underdog opponent. With the victory, Cilic reached the tournament final for the fourth time in six years, having won in each of his three previous opportunities, including last year.
Despite Phau's failure to overcome Cilic, ESPN tennis analyst Brad Gilbert had nothing but good things to say about his effort:
great effort this week from Kung Phau earning him a trip into Memphis main draw,today Marin County Cilic all over him— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) February 8, 2014
If Cilic is going to repeat as Zagreb Indoors champion, then he will have to overcome a game opponent in the form of Haas. The No. 1 seed has made it to the finals despite being a marked man, but it hasn't been an easy road.
Haas dropped the first set to surprising Brit Daniel Evans, but his game rounded into form as the match continued, and he was ultimately able to rebound.
The German veteran's focus has already shifted to knocking off Cilic in the finals, according to the Associated Press.
I am happy to play in the final, excited to play against the player who is a big star in his country. He is a three-time champion, many things say in his favor, but I'll try whatever I can to make his run stop.
Like Phau, Evans figures to benefit greatly from his shocking run to the semifinals as well, per BBC's Russell Fuller:
Dan Evans heading for a career high ranking inside top 130 despite losing to Tommy Haas in 3 sets in Zagreb semis.— Russell Fuller (@russellcfuller) February 8, 2014
Haas and Cilic were viewed as two of the best players in the field when the tournament started, so it is fitting that they are the final two remaining.
A Croatian has won in four out of the past five years, so history isn't on Haas' side, but he is battle tested and has the tools necessary to give Cilic everything he can handle.
Results for Friday, Feb. 7
Results from Friday, Feb. 7
Marin Cilic (5)
Ivan Dodig (4)
Philipp Kohlschreiber (3)
6-4, 2-6, 6-4
Tommy Haas (1)
|Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau||Philipp Marx and Michal Mertinak||7-6, 3-6, 10-6|
Day 5 Recap
The hard-court action in Zagreb, Croatia continued on Feb. 7 as eight top players battled for a spot in the semifinals of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors tournament. Although there were some surprises, top seed Tommy Haas of Germany outlasted Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov in straight sets.
Haas had to battle in the first set and took it in a tiebreak, and he managed to finish off his opponent in the second. It was a big win for Haas as he continues to work his way back from a shoulder injury, according to ATPWorldTour.com.
"There's a lot of work to be done. I haven't played a lot of matches in the last four months." Haas said. "I have had problems with my shoulder and I haven't been able to do what I want to do because of (that)."
In addition to that, a pair of home-country favorites went at it in the quarterfinals as No. 5 Marin Cilic defeated No. 4 Ivan Dodig. The crowd was split, but it was easy to get behind Cilic's exciting style of play.
Per tennis journalist Chris Goldsmith, Cilic has the most aces on tour this season, and Dodig had issues with Cilic's serve all match long:
Marin Cilic has hit 129 aces in 2014 so far and leads the list. Ivo Karlovic next on 126. @bgtennisnation— Chris Goldsmith (@TheTennisTalker) February 7, 2014
Cilic won this tournament in both 2009, 2010 and 2013 while Dodig won in 2011, so it was a marquee matchup to say the least.
As good as that encounter was, the highlight of the day may have been Daniel Evans' upset of No. 3 Philipp Kohlschreiber. The Brit entered the match as a heavy underdog against Kohlschreiber, but he came through in three sets and reached his first ATP semifinal in the process, according to PBZ Zagreb Indoors on Twitter:
Bjorn Phau's win over Dudi Sela flew under the radar since neither player is seeded, but it was a huge win for Phau as he will have an opportunity to knock off the defending champion in Cilic. Haas will face Evans in the other semifinal, so an all-German final isn't outside the realm of possibility.
Even without the likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and other top men's players, the Zagreb Indoors tournament has been highly competitive, and the closing rounds should proved some great tennis as well.
Results for Thursday, Feb. 6
Results from Thursday, Feb. 6
Ivan Dodig (4)
Mikhail Youzhny (2)
4-6, 7-5, 6-1
Philipp Kohlschreiber (3)
1-6, 6-3, 7-6(5)
1-6, 6-1, 7-6(4)
Tommy Haas (1)
4-6, 6-3, 6-3
|Philipp Marx and Michal Mertinak||Toni Androic and Marin Cilic||7-5, 6-3|
|Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau (2)||Sergiy Stakhovsky and Mikhail Youzhny||wo.|
Day 4 Recap
It was a great day for upsets and simply not a good day for Michael Berrer. A member of the No. 1 doubles team along with being one of the final 16 singles players remaining, Berrer was knocked out of the competition in doubles on Wednesday and both on Thursday.
Berrer was ousted along with fellow German Tommy Haas in doubles on Wednesday and couldn't finish off Great Britain's Daniel Evans after jumping ahead with a 6-1 win in the first set.
The PBZ Zagreb Indoors official Twitter account provides a look at the winner in the singles match:
Haas nearly met the same fate as his teammate, but was able to rebound from a disappointing start. After dropping the first set to fellow countryman Bejamin Becker, 4-6, Haas dominated the second and third sets, winning both by a final of 6-3.
As for the other competitors in the singles, the biggest upset earlier in the day came from Bjorn Phau over No. 2 Mikhail Youzhny. Much like Evans, Phau lost in the opening set but charged back in the final two sets to win the match overall.
Though Youzhny came in as the No. 2 see in the tournament, he said that he was ill heading into the match with Phau, according to the PBZ twitter account:
Mikhail Youzhny said in presser that before the match he was a little sick. pic.twitter.com/5ctYu05SMo— PBZ Zagreb Indoors (@ATP_Zagreb) February 6, 2014
On the doubles front, Youzhny was also forced to drop out of his match with teammate Sergiy Stakhovsky against the No. 2 duo of Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau. Youzhny's illness played a factor in his second match as well, as he was unable to play in two matches because of it.
The tournament will continue on Friday with four of the top five competitors remaining in the tournament. Given the way the tournament has gone thus far, expect another exciting day of tennis out of Zagreb.
Results for Wednesday, Feb. 5
Results from Wednesday, Feb. 5
|Marin Cilic (5)||Dusan Lajovic||6-4, 7-5|
|Dudi Sela||Lukas Rosol (6)||6-3, 7-6(2)|
|Igor Sijsling (8)||Blaz Kavcic||6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4|
|Andrey Golubev||Victor Hanescu||7-6(6), 4-6, 7-6(5)|
|Andrey Kuznetsov||Sergiy Stakhovsky||6-4, 7-6(8)|
|Daniel Evans||Jan Hajek||6-3, 6-1|
|Philipp Marx and Michal Mertinak||Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo (1)||6-3, 6-4|
|Sergiy Stakhovsky and Mikhail Youzhny||Michael Berrer and Tommy Haas||7-6(4), 6-3|
|Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau (2)||Benjamin Becker and Daniel Brands||6-2, 6-3|
|Marin Draganja and Mate Pavic (4)||Jonathan Erlich and Lukas Rosol||6-2, 6-4|
|Marcelo Demoliner and Purav Raja||Johan Brunstrom and Julian Knowle (3)||6-3, 7-5|
Day 3 Recap
Croatians had plenty of reason to celebrate on Day 3 at the Zagreb Indoors as defending singles champion Marin Cilic and the fourth-seeded doubles pair of Marin Draganja and Mate Pavic advanced.
The fifth-seeded Cilic booked a spot in the quarterfinals after knocking off Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in straight sets. The 25-year-old recorded a dozen aces and saved three of four break points en route to securing the victory.
While Draganja and Pavic cruised past Jonathan Erlich and Lukas Rosol, the biggest surprise in Wednesday's doubles action was Philipp Marx and Michal Mertinak stunning the top-seeded duo of Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo. The straight-sets win saw Marx and Mertinak break serve twice and win 79 percent of their total service points for the match.
#Melo: This tournament has strong competition. You can win the title and lose in R1 (next year). I hope it will be better next year.— PBZ Zagreb Indoors (@ATP_Zagreb) February 5, 2014
The top upset in the singles draw was Dudi Sela topping Lukas Rosol in straight sets. Sela, currently ranked 78th in the ATP world rankings, would survive in a second-set tiebreak after breaking the sixth-seeded Czech twice in the opening frame.
The only other seeded singles player in action on Day 3, Igor Sijsling came from behind to defeat Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic. The Dutchman blasted 13 aces in the three-set win and was aggressive against Kavcic's second serve, winning 56 percent of those points for the match.
Results for Tuesday, Feb. 4
Results from Tuesday, Feb. 4
|Michael Berrer||Borna Coric||6-4, 3-6, 6-4|
|Ivo Karlovic||Daniel Brands||6-7, 7-5, 7-6|
|Bjorn Phau||Ante Pavic||6-3, 6-4|
|Dusan Lajovic||Pedja Krstin||6-2, 6-3|
|Lukas Lacko||Jan-Lennard Struff||6-4, 6-4|
|Jonathan Erlich and Lukas Rosol||Tomasz Bednarek and Mateusz Kowalczyk||6-1, 6-4|
|Johan Brunstrom and Julian Knowle||Dino Marcan and Nikola Mektic||6-2, 7-6|
|Marin Draganja and Mate Pavic||Jesse Hutagalung and Frank Moser||6-4, 6-4|
|Marcelo Demoliner and Purav Raja||Frantisek Cermak and Mikhail Elgin||6-3, 6-4|
Day 2 Recap
Day 2 saw a bit of history take place, as Ivo Karlovic not only moved on in the tournament, but also made some history along the way. From the ATP World Tour on Twitter:
Despite that, Brands gave Karlovic all he could handle in the closest match of the day. But it's hard to survive a service game that is clicking like Karlovic's was.
17-year old Borna Coric did all he could to defeat Michael Berrer, but in the end he didn't quite have a victory in him. He spoke after the match about getting the honor of practicing with Rafael Nadal, via the tournament's Twitter account:
Borna Coric: After I practiced with Rafa Nadal, I won a challenger. I talked a lot with him and his coach.— PBZ Zagreb Indoors (@ATP_Zagreb) February 4, 2014
Borna Coric: Rafa #Nadal told me about how much he practiced when he was 17, the age I am now.— PBZ Zagreb Indoors (@ATP_Zagreb) February 4, 2014
When Nadal talks, you listen, and you do what he says. Sounds like Coric will be hitting the practice courts with a newfound vigor.
Despite some wonderful play throughout the day, however, there was a bit of bad news on Wednesday, as the tournament's Twitter account passed along:
Unfortunately, Radek Stepanek had to withdraw from the tournament due to a right foot injury. Lucky loser Daniel Evans will replace him.— PBZ Zagreb Indoors (@ATP_Zagreb) February 4, 2014
That's a blow for the tournament, but Evans will surely look to make the most of his opportunity.
Results for Monday, Feb. 3
Results from Monday, Feb. 3
|Pedja Krstin||Martin Fischer||2-6, 6-3, 6-2|
|Bjorn Phau||Daniel Evans||6-3, 6-4|
|Andrey Kuznetsov||Mate Pavic||6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(4)|
|Michael Berrer||Marco Cecchinato||6-2, 6-2|
|Benjamin Becker||Jesse Huta Galung||6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(6)|
|Marin Cilic||Mate Delic||6-4, 6-4|
|Toni Androic and Marin Cilic||Ivo Karlovic and Franko Skugor||6-7(3), 6-4, 10-7|
Day 1 Recap
Getting the action kicked off on opening day, four players advanced from the early qualifiers to the main draw, as relayed by the tournament on Twitter:
The 4 Qualifiers that progressed to the main draw are Michael Berrer, Pedja Krstin, Andrey Kuznetsov, and Bjorn Phau. Congratulations, guys!— PBZ Zagreb Indoors (@ATP_Zagreb) February 3, 2014
Now a bigger challenge begins.
After the final qualifiers concluded, Cilic took on Mate Delic in his first match as the defending champion, and he quickly put his opponent away in straight sets.
5th seed Marin Cilic wins in straight sets over fellow Croatian Mate Delic, 6-4, 6-4, to progress to Rd 2 #ATPZagreb pic.twitter.com/wgEhLQFekR— PBZ Zagreb Indoors (@ATP_Zagreb) February 3, 2014
His service game was on point, as Cilic drilled 14 aces and lost just nine total points on serve, according to ATPWorldTour.com. Cilic said, via the report:
It was really solid. I would say my serve was working really well today. I thought Mate played a good match. Now I'm looking forward to my next match. It always feels great playing here in Zagreb; it always raises my form. I hope this week is going to help me improve my game and get confidence for the upcoming tournaments.
Benjamin Becker wasn't quite as thrifty dispatching his first opponent, however, needing two hours and 22 minutes to take down Jesse Huta Galung, 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(6).
Josh Meiseles of ATPWorldTour.com pointed out Galung's failure to sew up the match when he had it in hand:
Jesse Huta Galung lost 11 straight points up 5-3 40-0 in the third against Benjamin Becker in Zagreb. 7 MPs saved in total by Becker.— Josh Meiseles (@jmeistennis) February 3, 2014
His loss is Becker's gain, and he's now set to face his fellow German Tommy Haas in the next round.