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Cilic beats Auger-Aliassime for first title since 2018


Marin Cilic of Croatia returns the ball during the men’s singles final match of Mercedes Cup against Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada in Stuttgart, Germany, June 13, 2021. Marin Cilic won 2-0 and claimed the title. (Photo by Philippe Ruiz/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Xinhua News Agency via Getty Ima

STUTTGART, Germany -- Marin Cilic won his first title in three years as he upset Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (2), 6-3 to win the Stuttgart Open, the ATP Tour’s first grass event of the year.

The former U.S. Open champion hit seven aces as he won his first title since the Queen’s Club Championships in the run-up to Wimbledon in 2018.

Cilic extended Auger-Aliassime’s losing run in tour finals. The 20-year-old Canadian has lost all eight of the tour title matches he has played in straight sets in a streak that also includes losing the 2019 Stuttgart final to Matteo Berrettini.

It was Cilic’s second win over a promising Canadian this week in Stuttgart after seeing off top-seeded Denis Shapovalov in the quarterfinals. The Croatian improved to 19-14 in career finals and has the sixth most grass-court wins among active players with 73.