Schwartzman downs Cilic to guarantee first-time Grand Slam finalist

Croatian’s lack of match play since Wimbledon final costs him in New York

Diego Schwartzman of Argentina in action against Marin Cilic of Croatia during their third round match at the US Open. Photograph:  Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Diego Schwartzman of Argentina in action against Marin Cilic of Croatia during their third round match at the US Open. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

 

There is guaranteed to be a first-time Grand Slam finalist at the US Open after Marin Cilic’s defeat by Diego Schwartzman blew the bottom half of the men’s draw wide open.

Andy Murray’s withdrawal left Cilic as the only player in that section to have won one of the sport’s biggest titles and one of only three previous slam finalists.

But the Croatian came into the tournament having not played a match since losing the Wimbledon final to Roger Federer because of an adductor problem.

The lack of match play appears to have cost him, with Argentinian Schwartzman winning 4-6 7-5 7-5 6-4.

It was a landmark victory for Schwartzman, one of the smallest men on the tour at 5ft 7in, who is through to the fourth round at a slam for the first time.

And he, along with all the other players in the half, will now see it as a huge opportunity to go all the way to the final.

Only Sam Querrey has even made a slam semi-final, while his fellow American John Isner is the highest seed left at 10.

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