Croatia’s Marin Čilić has fought back from two sets down to advance through to the fourth round at the US Open in New York.
Čilić needed to draw on all his experience to get past spirited 19-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur on Louis Armstrong stadium in the small hours of Sunday morning in five sets 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.
Ranked no. 43 in the world, de Minaur started the match strong, capitalising on Čilić’s stack of unforced errors by taking the opening two sets 6-4, 6,3 with a number of brave winners.
Čilić, who made twice as many unforced errors as his opponent, finally got into his groove in the third set as his strong service game returned.
The no. 7 seed would take the next two sets 6-3, 6-4 to force the match into a deciding fifth set.
The Australian would get the first break in the third game of the decider to go ahead 2-1 but Čilić would break straight back. The 29-year-old Croatian would break again in the sixth game to go ahead 4-2 and would have three match-points at 5-2 but could not close it out.
After saving a number of match points on Čilić’s serve at 5-3, de Minaur would get the break to get back into the set. Čilić broke the Australian once more in the 12th game to finally take the set and match with his 7th match point in four hours.
Čilić will meet no. 10 seed David Goffin from Belgium for a place in the quarterfinal.