Defending champion Marin Cilic powered his way into the third round of the U.S. Open with a 6-2 6-3 7-5 victory over Russian Evgeny Donskoy in Flushing Meadows on Wednesday.
The ninth-seeded Croatian cracked 19 aces past the 139th-ranked Donskoy and clinched the second-round match with another huge serve that clattered off the Russian’s racquet.
“This court is very special for me, brings back special memories,” the 26-year-old Cilic said in an on-court interview with ESPN. “It’s sort of unreal. I was working all my life to win a grand slam and now I’m in position to defend one.”
Cilic will next play either Bulgarian 17th seed Grigor Dimitrov or Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin.