Marin Cilic bests Martin Klizan in Valencia opener

Oct. 21, 2012 at 2:11 PM

VALENCIA, Spain, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Marin Cilic dropped the first set but then rallied Sunday for a three-set win over Martin Klizan to kick off the Valencia Open in Spain.

The seventh-seeded Croatian started slowly, dropping the first set 1-6, but then turned it on, finishing in 6-0, 6-3 fashion to move past Slovakia's Klizan.

This year's Valencia field is topped by Spain's David Ferrer and will also feature the retirement of former world No. 1 and Spanish favorite Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Ferrer said he considers Ferrero a colleague and friend, calling him "one of the best Spanish players in history."

The world's fifth-ranked player said the Valencia Open was coming during a 2012 season he called "my best year," while admitting that playing "at home ... for your people" has put some extra pressure on him.

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