Defending champion Marin Cilic stunned at Istanbul Open

ATP Tour

Marin Cilic’s defence of his Istanbul Open trophy came to a shuddering halt as he went down against Malek Jaziri.

World No 4 Cilic, who finished runner-up to Roger Federer at this year’s Australian Open, had high hopes of successfully defending his title, but Jaziri stunned him 6-4, 6-2 in the last 16 on Thursday.

The Croat had the early advantage as he broke to make it 2-0, but Jaziri claimed three consecutive breaks of serve to win the opening set while two breaks in the second set earned the Tunisian the win.

“It was my first match and Malek played great,” Cilic said.

“I had issues with my knee, so I wasn’t serving that well. But all the credit to Malek. I tried to play aggressively and I didn’t want to slow the pace down or be defensive.”

Jaziri will face seventh-seeded Jiri Vesely for a place in the semi-final after the Czech player beat Thiago Monteiro from Brazil 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3).

Second seed Damir Dzumhur also crashed out as he was beaten 6-2, 0-6, 6-2 by Thomas Fabbiano, who will face Jeremy Chardy next after the Frenchman overcame Dusan Lajovic 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.

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