190224 Marin Cilic
Marin Cilic Image Credit:

Tokyo: Former US Open champion Marin Cilic mowed down local favourite Yuichi Sugita 6-4, 6-4 to reach the second round of the Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.

The 31-year-old, beaten in the first round last year, made no mistakes this time winning 88 per cent of points on his booming first serve and saved the only break point he faced in the 74-minute contest to advance.

Up next for the Croat, who has slipped to 30th in the world rankings as he chases his first title this year, will be the winner of the clash between Chung Hyeon and Italian Lorenzo Sonego.

Fifth-seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille made short work of Hubert Hurkacz winning 6-4, 6-3 to book a spot in the next round where he will face Yoshihito Nishioka, who defeated Joao Sousa 7-5, 6-3.