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NEW YORK -- Marin Cilic was barred from last years U. [url=http://www.metssale.com/me
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NEW YORK -- Marin Cilic was barred from last years U. Gary Carter Jersey .S. Open during a doping suspension he still says was unjust. Unable to compete, he watched the tournament on TV from his home in Croatia, while using the forced time away from the tour to improve under the tutelage of new coach Goran Ivanisevic. Now, 12 months later, look at Cilic. "Seems completely unreal," he said, "to be called Grand Slam champion." The 14th-seeded Cilic won his first major final Monday, beating 10th-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 at the U.S. Open by using 17 aces and the rebuilt game and confidence instilled by Ivanisevic. "This is a second chance he got," Ivanisevic said, referring to Cilics four-month ban in 2013, "and now he can just go forward and forward." Cilic earned a $3 million winners check and will rise to No. 9 from his pre-U.S. Open ranking of No. 16, which made him the first man from outside the top 10 to win a Grand Slam title in a decade. "This," Cilic said, "is (from) all the hard work in these last several years -- and especially this last year." He prevented Nishikori from becoming the first man from Asia to win a major singles championship. "Tennis has not been our biggest sport in Japan," Nishikori said. "Hopefully I can win next time." There hadnt been a matchup between players making their Grand Slam final debuts at the U.S. Open since 1997. Lopsided and lasting less than two hours, this hardly qualified as a classic. It had been 40 years since a U.S. Open mens runner-up failed to win at least four games in any set of the final. "Both of us were pretty nervous in the first set, especially," Cilic acknowledged. Cilic won the last 10 sets he played in the tournament, including three against 17-time major champion Roger Federer in the semifinals, and three against 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals. Nishikori stunned No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, so this was the first Grand Slam final since the 2005 Australian Open without Djokovic, Federer or Rafael Nadal, who won the U.S. Open in 2013 but is sidelined now by a wrist injury. That trio had won 34 of the past 38 major titles, but this was the second of this season that eluded them. Some, including Cilic, had seen Stan Wawrinkas victory at the Australian Open in January as an indication that the next tier -- Cilic calls them "the guys from second line" -- was about to get a crack at the hardware. Cilic tested positive for a stimulant at a tournament in Germany in May 2013. The International Tennis Federation initially sought a two-year punishment; Cilic wound up with a much shorter suspension on appeal. He said he ingested the substance unintentionally via a glucose tablet bought at a pharmacy and says the process that led to his penalty "wouldnt be fair to any tennis player." But he looks on the bright side. "I just used the positive parts, which, you know, made me tougher," Cilic said. Plus, it was last September that he connected with the only other man from Croatia to win a major, 2001 Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic. "Any Croatian knows where he was at that time," said Cilic, who was 12 and at summer camp. Ivanisevic insisted the biggest change for Cilic is being more relaxed on court. "He didnt learn how to play tennis in this year," Ivanisevic said. "He always knew how to play tennis." The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Cilic, who is 25, and the 5-10 (1.78-meter) Nishikori, 24, each works with a guy with a major championship: Michael Chang is one of Nishikoris two coaches. The Arthur Ashe Stadium artificial lights were on and the stands were mostly empty when the players walked out to the court at 5 p.m. -- which was 6 a.m. in Japan, but did not prevent folks there from gathering to watch on TV. There wasnt much to cheer for. Cilic won 19 of his last 20 service points in the opening set. The biggest problem for Nishikori, really, was there were not many extended groundstroke exchanges -- and when there were, he tended to lose them. He was off, whether because of the wind, the accumulated fatigue from a pair of four-hour-plus victories over No. 3 Wawrinka and No. 5 Milos Raonic, or perhaps knowing what was at stake for him, his country and his continent. Nishikori admitted feeling jitters early and getting "a little bit lazy." Cilic wound up with twice as many winners, 38-19. "I guess Kei didnt feel it today," said Dante Bottini, who helps Chang coach Nishikori. Nishikori only broke once, in the second set, and Cilic broke right back. In the third set, trailing 4-2, Nishikori had three other break points. But one was erased by an ace and on the others, Nishikori slapped second-serve returns into the net -- an escape Cilic termed "lucky." Soon enough, Cilic was kissing his shiny silver trophy. Later, he cradled that cup as he walked into his news conference, which was interrupted by his constantly ringing phone. "I feel," he said of his career-defining moment, "its going to definitely change my life." Tom Seaver Jersey . His absence against the Celtics comes a day after he scored 43 points in the Heats 100-96 win at Cleveland. Custom New York Mets Jerseys . With just under five seconds remaining - the Raptors having clawed back from a 19-point deficit and pulled within one - DeRozan took the handoff from Chuck Hayes. http://www.metssale.com/mets-mike-piazza-jersey/ . Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone dismissed Tuesdays massive anti-government protest in Manama as "a lot of kids having a go at the police." "I dont think its anything serious at all," Ecclestone was quoted as saying in The Guardian newspaper on Wednesday.MIAMI - This is why Dwyane Wade rested. This is why the Miami Heat opted to go without their longtime franchise player for so many nights this season, why teammates hoped their frustrations about playing without him for 28 regular-season games would ultimately be rewarded, why he often seemed more comfortable in a suit than a uniform. News flash: The regular season didnt mean all that much to Wade and the Heat. Everything about the Miami franchise revolves around chasing more titles, and Wade is doing his part. He and the two-time defending NBA champion Heat will take a 2-1 series lead over the Indiana Pacers into Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night, and Wade — who is playing without any significant injury issues at this point of the season for the first time in years — is looking as good as he has in months. "Im in the groove and the flow that I want to be in, and also understanding that the game of basketball is tricky," Wade said. "You can get out of it in a second, and youve got to figure out a way still to compete and help your teammates win." True, but that groove hes in is a pretty good one. Heres how good hes been in the fourth quarters of these East finals: Wade has as many field goals in those three final periods — 13 — as any other two players in the series combined to this point. Hes shooting 72 per cent in fourth quarters in this series, including a 6-for-7 effort in the last 12 minutes of Game 1 and a 5-for-5 showing in the final period of Game 2. "Weve got to make him a little bit more uncomfortable than he is," Pacers forward David West said. "Hes just playing the game at way too high of a comfort level in terms of were just not putting enough pressure on him. All the guys on the floor need to guard him and get him out of his comfort zone. Hes really lining his shots up, taking his time, which we cant allow. "He just cant be as comfortable as hes been." That sounds like things opponents were saying about Wade before the summer of 2010, when he helped lure LeBron James and Chris Bosh to Miami and formed the core of a team that is two wins from a fourth straight East title. But after hearing plenty of talk in recent years that his game isnt so much declining as it is freefalling, WWade seems to be reveling in the reminders that, yes, he can still be among the elite players in the NBA. Mookie Wilson Jersey. The show Wade is putting on is so good right now that James wouldnt even leave to get some much-needed treatment for a hamstring cramp late in the third quarter of Game 3 until seeing what the 2006 NBA Finals MVP was going to do on Miamis final possession of the period. Wade wound up connecting on a 3-pointer, after which James immediately hobbled off, basically unable to work one of his legs. Worth it, James said. "Thats what our team is built for," James said. "When one of the guys goes out, were able to still hold the fort. Its great to see the way he closed out the quarter. The way hes been playing in the conference finals. We need it all." James never really hid his frustration about playing without Wade, though it never rose to the level of any obvious locker-room rancour, either. Whether they liked it or not, the Heat understood the plan for Wade and why it was crucial to preserve his balky knees with hopes that he would be at his best for the biggest time of the year. So far, so good. And Wades confidence — which wasnt perfect after he had to miss nine games late in the regular season because of a hamstring injury, an absence not related to the maintenance plan — is as high now as its been all season. "You need it, no question about it. We all do," Wade said. "So for me, the first round was me just kind of trying to get my footing a little bit, trying to do some of the things that I was capable of doing, trying to see if I could do it. Then the second round came a little more and then the third round. Like I said, ideally for me, missing the last 2 1/2 weeks wasnt ideal, but thats what happened." Its also now forgotten. He might not be the guy Heat President Pat Riley used to call "BIW" — short for best in the world — anymore, but Wade at his best makes Miami look its best. "Dwyane understands his game and where hes effective as much as anybody in this league," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Thats why youre seeing a shooting guard shooting an incredibly efficient field goal percentage that he does, and its gone up the last two years. He knows how to get to his spots." 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