Croatian tennis star Marin Cilic spoke positively of world No. 331 Nuno Borges after surviving a scare against the Portuguese qualifier.
Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, recovered from a set down to beat qualifier Borges 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-4 and reach the Estoril Open quarterfinal.
Borges, who was playing in the Estoril Open main draw for the first time in his career, fell just short of clinching the biggest win of his career.
Borges fell just short of claiming a win but he earned a praise from former world No. 3 Cilic.
“Nuno is serving good, good forehand, moving well, fighting good, which is which is very important and he has got a good spirit… So he has got a good game and you know, with more matches his level is going to be rising. So he is on a really, really good way and definitely I wish him all the very best,” Cilic said of Borges.
Borges couldn’t believe the Cilic words
When told what Cilic said of him, Borges couldn’t believe.
“Did he really say that? Oh… I didn’t really feel I was that good. I felt that his shots and his serve are much stronger than mine. But I’m very happy he said that. That helps me to motivate and keep working,” Borges said, when told what Cilic said about him.
Cilic was up 5-2 in the first set and had three consecutive set points on Borges’ serve but failed to convert as the Portuguese qualifier saved a total of four set points in the eighth game.
After saving four set points in the eighth game, Borges broke back Cilic in the following game to eventually force a tie-break.
In the tie-break, Borges was 5-4 down before winning three points in a row to seal the opener.
But Cilic created a comeback as he claimed one break of serve in each of the following two sets and lost no service games.