Marin Cilic hopes for London on hold after first-round Shanghai loss
Marin Cilic suffers a surprise three-set loss to Ivo Karlovic in the first round of the Shanghai Masters
US Open champion Marin Cilic is in danger of slipping out of the top eight qualifying places for the ATP World Tour Finals unless he can reclaim the form that took him to his first Grand Slam title in New York after one of the most successful years of his career.
Cilic, seeded No9 this week in Shanghai despite his No6 ranking in the Race to London, missed out on a first-round bye, and had the misfortune to draw the always-dangerous fellow Croat, the towering Ivo Karlovic, in his opener.
The huge-serving Karlovic, when he finds the groove on his massive first delivery, can upset many players, and he did just that in a 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(2) victory over Cilic. The two compatriots were dead level on points after two and a quarter hours of play, 97 apiece, but Karlovic hit 20 aces to nine from Cilic.
It means that the tour’s newest Grand Slam champion, who currently has the second most match-wins this year behind Roger Federer, can be overtaken by Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic if Nos 7 and 8 in the Race reach the semi-finals this week.
Andy Murray, currently in ninth place, would have to reach his fourth consecutive final in Shanghai to overtake Cilic.
The Croat was at No5 in the Race until he lost to Murray in the quarters in Beijing this week and then saw Kei Nishikori run to his second title in two weeks in Tokyo and past him in the Race.
Kevin Anderson, who is at a career-high ranking of No16 this week, ended James Ward’s run in Shanghai, coming back from a set down to dominate the Briton, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Ward himself reached a career-high No117 last month, and qualified into Shanghai’s main draw after a good win over Viktor Troicki.
Race to London
1 Novak Djokovic Q 8,650
2 Roger Federer Q 7,020
3 Rafael Nadal Q 6,735
4 Stan Wawrinka 4,795
5 Kei Nishikori 4,255
6 Marin Cilic 3,990 (out of Shanghai after R1 loss)
7 Tomas Berdych 3,765
8 Milos Raonic 3,740
9 Andy Murray 3,565
10 David Ferrer 3,535
11 Grigor Dimitrov 3,405
12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2,650 (out of Shanghai with injury)
13 Ernests Gulbis 2,445
14 Roberto Bautista Agut 1,800
15 John Isner 1,800 (won R1 in Shanghai)
16 Kevin Anderson 1,795 (won R1 in Shanghai)