LONDON (Reuters) – Marin Cilic’s firepower proved too much for American Brian Baker as the Croatian cruised through his Wimbledon first-round match 6-3 7-5 6-3 on Monday.
The 6ft 6in tall ninth seed, a quarter-finalist last year, thundered down a series of 130 mph-plus serves and stinging forehands to see off the challenge from Baker, ranked a distant 589th in the world.
Cilic, 27, broke serve once in each of the first two sets. Baker, whose career has been plagued by knee, elbow and hip injuries, had a glimmer of a chance in the second when he too had break points – but Cilic emphatically shut the door with a series of unreturnable serves.
The 31-year-old American’s resistance crumbled in the third set as his serve was broken twice by Cilic, who was cheered to victory by his coach Goran Ivanisevic, a former Wimbledon champion.
(Reporting by Pravin Char, editing by Ed Osmond)