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Unseeded Lopez beats Cilic to take Queens title

 

By Tom Allnutt

Feliciano Lopez completed the perfect preparation for Wimbledon by beating world number seven Marin Cilic to win the Aegon Championships at Queen's.

Lopez has never gone past the quarter-finals at the All England Club but after winning his sixth ATP singles title the unseeded Spaniard will be one of the form players in Friday's draw.

For comparison, Andy Murray's early exit means he has played two competitive grass-court sets ahead of the third grand slam of the year while Lopez, having reached the final in Stuttgart last week, has 27.

He battled back from a set down and saved a match point in the deciding tie-break to win 4-6 7-6 (7/2) 7-6 (10/8) against 2012 champion Cilic, to whom he lost in straight sets at the French Open last month.

But that was on clay and this on grass, Lopez's favourite surface, where the world number 32's bending left-handed serve and sizzling slice backhand can be exploited to the full.

For Cilic, this was a surprise loss but he too will head to SW19 full of confidence after an excellent week, which had seen the likes of Murray, Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka all falter in the first round.

"Wow, I cannot believe I have finally won this trophy," Lopez said.

"I was waiting so long so I'm so happy today."

l Roger Federer showcased his sensational form ahead of Wimbledon by breezing past Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-3 to claim his ninth title at Halle.

It was a thorough dismantling from the Swiss, who oozed ­confidence as he conceded just four games to the German in winning his favourite Wimbledon warm-up tournament yet again.

Federer took just 53 minutes as he destroyed Zverev and will be much fancied to continue his superb form in 2017 when he arrives in Wimbledon as the number three seed.

Belfast Telegraph

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