Cilic’s booming serve had been enough to see him past the mercurial Nick Kyrgios on Saturday, but it didn’t look like his power would be enough against an in-form Djokovic in Sunday’s show-piece match.
One break of serve earned Djokovic the first set, but Cilic hit back to take the second and then overpowered Djokovic in the decider.
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Djokovic’s defeat means his wait goes on for a Queen’s title, with the Serbian losing in his other final appearance a decade ago in straight sets to Rafael Nadal. Victory for Cilic is his second at Queen’s, but this win will taste far sweeter than his first back in 2012, when his opponent in the final – David Nalbandian – was disqualified for injuring a line judge.
Speaking after the match, Cilic said:
It was a special win for me because last year I had a match point and didn't convert it. It was a tough match, with no breaks for me until the final set.
And a magnanimous Novak was happy to credit Cilic with an excellent performance in the final, saying: "I have to congratulate Marin on a fantastic week. He deserved to win and came up with some big shots. It's a tough loss for me. But I have to see the positive because I haven't played a final in almost a year."
Both players will now look ahead to the main event of the grass court season, Wimbledon, which starts on July 2.
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