SHANGHAI (Reuters) – US Open champion Marin Cilic made a shock first-round exit from the Shanghai Masters on Monday after losing 7-5 2-6 7-6(2) to fellow Croatian Ivo Karlovic.
After dropping the first set, Cilic broke his opponent twice in the second to force a decider but Karlovic clinched the tie-breaker to seal victory.
Cilic, sixth in the race to November’s elite eight-player ATP Finals in London, had won his last two matches against Karlovic, who blasted 20 aces to his opponent’s nine.
It proved a good day for big-servers as world number 14 John Isner belted down 22 aces to beat Spaniard Pablo Andujar 7-6(5) 1-6 6-3.
The American, who lost to Tomas Berdych in the China Open quarter-final last week, won 71 percent of his service points.
Argentine Juan Monaco downed Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-2 7-6(4) to set up a second-round clash with eighth seed Milos Raonic.