Zagreb - Croatian media on Tuesday hailed Marin Cilic after he won his first Grand Slam title by defeating Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in the US Open final.
"Sensational Cilic is on the Top!" read a frontpage headline of the Jutarnji List daily with a photo of smiling Cilic lifting the cup high in the air.
"Cilic crushed Nishikori and entered the circle of immortals," the paper commented reminding that the 25-year Croat won the tournament quarter-final, semi-final and final without droping a single set.
"Proud Hearth!" read the front page headline of the country's largest circulating Vecernji List daily.
The paper praised the player stressing that "Cilic has fulfilled his dream and achieved an historic success."
Cilic became the first Croatian man to win a Grand Slam title since Goran Ivanisevic, now his coach, triumphed at Wimbledon in 2001.
"Goran got a successor: Fantastic Cilic destroyed Nishikori and won US Open!" Index Internet portal read.
In a battle of first-time Grand Slam finalists, Cilic denied Nishikori's bid to become the first Asian man to win a major.
"Cilic conquered US Open," commented the Sportske Novosti daily reminding that after 13 years and Ivanisevic's win at Wimbledon Croatia won a Grand Slam.
"Cilic inscribed himself among immortals and wrote a new page of Croatia's tennis history."
Meanwhile, Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic congratulated the player saying he shared the happiness of the whole nation.
"I'm proud that you represented Croatia so successfully at one of the most important Grand Slam tournaments in the world," Milanovic said in a statement.
As the final started rather late in Croatia - at 23:00 on Monday - fans watched mostly at home and not in cafes and bars as it is often the case when important sports events involving Croatia are taking place.
However, a few hundred faithful fans have gathered at the capital Zagreb's main Jelacic square to watch the match live broadcast on a giant screen, applauding every point Cilic won.
Meanwhile, the main celebrations were held in Cilic's birthplace in neighbouring Bosnia, where some 300 people gathered at a celebration party at the home of his parents.
Many in Medjugorje, a famous Catholic pilgrimage site in southern Bosnia, watched in cafes and celebrated with fireworks and torches chanting "Marin is a champion!," local media reports said.