By Simon Cambers
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former champion Marin Cilic, a popular pick to make a deep run in the year’s final grand slam, opened his U.S. Open campaign with a solid 6-4 7-5 6-1 victory over Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil on Monday.
The Croatian seventh seed, fresh off a win over world number two Andy Murray in the Cincinnati final, came from a break down in the first set and was pushed in the second before easing past the world number 108.
“It’s my second home, I feel great here,” said Cilic, who won the only grand slam title of his career here two years ago. “My best memories come from here in 2014.
“Winning Cincinnati just shows me I am in good form but it’s an extremely tough tournament, over two weeks. There are a lot of contenders for the title so I will take it step by step.”
Cilic, who banged down 12 aces, now plays either Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine or Gastao Elias of Portugal in round two.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)