US Open champ Cilic, Nishikori tested but win


Reign­ing US Open cham­pion Marin Cilic and run­ner-up Kei Nishikori ad­vanced to the third round of the ATP and WTA Washington Open in hard-fought matches that fin­ished early Wed­nes­day morn­ing. Ja­pan s fifth-ranked Nishikori ral­lied to beat Aus­tralian James Duck­worth 6-7 (8/10), 6-1, 6-4 while Croa­tia s eighth-ranked Cilic de­feated 77th-ranked South Korean teen Chung Hyeon 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 in their first hard­court ap­pear­ances on the road to this year s US Open. "It wasn t easy to put him away," Cilic said. "He s a great coun­ter­puncher." Cilic, the first reign­ing US Open cham­pion to play in the US cap­i­tal since An­dre Agassi in 2000, and sec­ond seed Nishikori each had first round byes and saw their matches pushed into the wee hours by a rain de­lay. "It gives me more con­fi­dence," Cilic said of his Grand Slam ti­tle. "I m sure it s go­ing to give me more faith in my game. In this mo­ment I m very happy with my game." Next in Nishikori s path will be the win­ner of a Wed­nes­day match be­tween Ar­gentina s Leonardo Mayer and Slove­nia s Blaz Rola.

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