Croatia’s Marin Cilic AFP

Marin Cilic defeated 19-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the US Open last 16 on Sunday morning in the second ever latest finish at the tournament.

Cilic, the 2014 champion, needed eight match points to defeat the world number 45 in a four-hour tie which ended at 2.22 local time (0622GMT), just four minutes short of the record for the latest finish.

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Just 19, De Minaur pushed his more seasoned opponent all the way, saving six match points from 5-2 down in the final set and winning three straight games to take it to 5-5.

He saved one more match point in the final game before Cilic’s class prevailed.

“Not going to lie, I’m pretty devastated. It’s a great learning experience for me,” De Minaur said after the match.

The No.7, who stands an imposing 198cm, had a significant height advantage over the 180cm Aussi, but that did not stop De Minaur from putting up a mammoth fight.

Seventh seed Cilic will face Belgium’s David Goffin for a place in the quarter-finals.