Defending champion and top seed Marin Cilic of Croatia retained his Kremlin Cup title in Moscow on Sunday with a straight-sets win over second-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in a repeat of last year’s final.
At the dual-gender event, the 27-year-old Croat fired nine aces to win 6-4, 6-4 in one hour, 28 minutes to chalk up his second win over Bautista Agut in as many meetings, grabbing his first title of the season and 14th overall.
“It was a tough match,” Cilic said. “This tournament becomes more and more special for me.
“Coming back for second year in a row to win it again it gives me a huge satisfaction and great pleasure.”
The match looked fairly even at the start with both players holding serve until the seventh game when Cilic, 14th in the ATP rankings, broke to propel himself to a one-set lead in 43 minutes.
In the second, Cilic went 4-2 up again. Bautista Agut dug in to pull the scores level but the Croatian hard hitter stifled his efforts to claim the set and the match by the same scoreline as last year. “I gave everything I had at this court but it was not enough to win today,” Bautista Agut said. “I hope to come back next year to perform a bit better than this time.”
In the WTA side of things, Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova ended her 14-month title drought with a straight sets 6-2, 6-1 win over compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, last year’s champion, in Saturday’s final.