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Marin Cilic Wins U.S. Open, Sealing An Improbable Journey

Marin Cilic of Croatia reacts after a shot against Kei Nishikori of Japan during the championship match of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament. Cilic won in three sets.
Mike Groll
/
AP
Marin Cilic of Croatia reacts after a shot against Kei Nishikori of Japan during the championship match of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament. Cilic won in three sets.

Marin Cilic won the U.S. Open on Monday, sealing an improbable journey and ending that of Kei Nishikori, who had become the highest-ranked Japanese player in history.

Cilic, as we reported, got to this point by dispatching Roger Federer in three sets on Saturday.

Today, he beat Nishikori, who had defeated the No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, in three sets, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. After the win, Cilic ran up the stands to hug his family.

He was asked how he managed to play so well, despite his lack of experience in the majors.

"It's all hard work from the last several years," he said. He added that his team had taught him to have fun while playing and that he'd had the best time of his life during this tournament.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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