In a Slam final devoid any of the “Big Four” players on the court since 2008, 14th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia captured his first major final, beating 10th-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 at the U.S. Open by triggering 17 aces and belting forehands in excess of 100 miles per hour with a reassembled plan and self-confidence inspired by mentor Goran Ivanisevic.
The 6’6’’ twenty-five year-old Cilic earned a $3 million winner’s check and will rise from No. 16 to No. 9. Cilic is first man from outside the top 10 to win a Grand Slam title in a decade. Dave “Koz” Kozlowski caught up with the new champion after the match.