Zagreb, Croatia - Top-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia moved a step closer to a third title in his home event, beating Grega Zemlja of Slovenia 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Zagreb Indoors.
Cilic won this tournament in 2009 and 2010 and improved his record at the event to 14-4. He hit 11 aces and broke his opponent three times to wrap up the win in one hour and six minutes.
“I am very pleased with the way I played,” Cilic said. “I felt he was nervous in the beginning and it helped me gain an early advantage.”
Cilic will face another Slovenian, Blaz Kavcic, who rallied to upset sixth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 and reach his third career quarterfinal.
Baghdatis, the 2007 champion, failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set, and then pulled out of the doubles because of a foot injury.
“I did not want to take any risks,” he said. “I have to give credit to Kavcic, he played well.”
Ivan Dodig also reached the quarterfinals by defeating fellow Croat Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (2), 6-7 (2), 6-3. Dodig wasted a match point at 5-4 in the second set, allowing Karlovic his only break.
Dodig will play defending champion Mikhail Youzhny on Friday.
Fourth-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria also came from a set down to defeat Somdev Devvarman of India 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2. Devvarman had a 5-3 lead in the tiebreaker, but then lost four points in a row.
Robin Haase of the Netherlands defeated fifth-seeded Martin Klizan of Slovakia 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
Also on Thursday, Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic ousted Italy's Flavio Cipolla 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 and Philipp Petzchner of Germany beat Croatian wild card Dino Marcan 6-3, 6-4. Marcan entered the tournament as a replacement for second-seeded Andreas Seppi, who withdrew because of an illness. - Sapa-AP