Northeast

Marin Cilic wins US Open

Sept. 8, 2014: Marin Cilic, of Croatia, reacts after a defeating Kei Nishikori, of Japan, during the championship match of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York.

Sept. 8, 2014: Marin Cilic, of Croatia, reacts after a defeating Kei Nishikori, of Japan, during the championship match of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York.  (AP)

Marin Cilic of Croatia won his first Grand Slam title by beating Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Monday in the U.S. Open final, a year after missing the tournament because of a doping suspension.

The 14th-seeded Cilic prevented Nishikori from becoming the first man from Asia to win a major singles championship.

There hadn't been a matchup between two players making their Grand Slam final debuts at Flushing Meadows since 1997, and this hardly qualified as a classic. It lasted less than two hours, with Cilic hitting 17 aces and relying on the same powerful groundstrokes that helped him eliminate Roger Federer in the semifinals.

A year ago, Cilic missed the U.S. Open while serving a four-month ban after testing positive for a stimulant.