Cilic advances as normality restored at Queen's after shocks

Marin Cilic of Croatia plays a return to Stefan Kozlov of the United States during day four of the Queen's Club tennis tournament in London Thursday

The 4th-seeded Cilic will play Feliciano Lopez or Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday's title match at the Wimbledon warm-up event.

Fourth seed Marin Cilic dropped serve for the first time all week but recovered to stop Gilles Muller in the semifinals of the Aegon Championships on Saturday, winning 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. "I lost in the quarter-finals for the two years, so I'm really happy that I was able to go one step further", he said.

'Rafa is full of confidence after winning the French, but he didn't play on grass in the last two years, I think.

Nevertheless, the first match of the day was between two-time quarterfinalistGilles Muller, who is playing scintillating tennis on grass right now.

Cilic became the first player to break Muller in the tournament despite a barrage of 22 aces from the world number 26 and hammered down 20 aces of his own to return to the Queen's final for the first time since 2013.

Thompson, ranked No. 90, failed to follow up his huge upset of the top-ranked Murray in straight sets on Tuesday, losing to American player Sam Querrey 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3.

Two service games later and Cilic was celebrating his progression, converting the second match point to reach Sunday's showpiece.

Trailing by a set to the big-serving Cilic, Lopez held his nerve in a gripping finale to overwhelm the world number seven and secure his first ATP title since Gstaad in July 2016.

"I'm playing really well on grass", said Cilic, who won this tournament in 2012.

The tournament was badly depleted in the first round when top seed and five-time victor Andy Murray, second seed Stan Wawrinka and 2016 finalist Milos Raonic all lost.

"I've wanted to win this tournament so badly throughout my whole career", Lopez told Catherine Whitaker.

Cilic had the first match point, but Lopez executed a fine volley under pressure before finally claiming the title as Cilic sent a forehand wide on the Spaniard's third match point.

Lopez regrouped in the decider, breaking Dimitrov in the sixth and eighth game to book a ticket for the final. "I have been waiting for so long.to be here holding this trophy", he told BBC Sport.

He delivered the knockout blow with a break in seventh game of the final set and fittingly sealed the victory with an ace.

"I kept my tennis on a really high level, played aggressive and mixed up my serve quite good, which was extremely important. I have to keep it up with my level, with the way I'm playing, and wait for my chances".

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