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 »  Home  »  Croatians in B&H  »  More about Marin Cilic winner of the 2014 US OPEN tennis competition and of the Gram Slam title
 »  Home  »  Sports  »  More about Marin Cilic winner of the 2014 US OPEN tennis competition and of the Gram Slam title
More about Marin Cilic winner of the 2014 US OPEN tennis competition and of the Gram Slam title
By Darko Žubrinić | Published  09/9/2014 | Croatians in B&H , Sports | Unrated
Marin Čilić Croatian tennis player born in Međugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina, living in the city of Zagreb

Marin Čilić in New York with the trophy of the US OPEN, 2014

Summary. In this article we provide several video recordings and interviews, describing the latest success of Marin Čilić at the US OPEN 2014. It is surprising to see a young Croatian giant (197 cm) being so dominant in his games. He likes to work with children. His birthplace is Međugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has been visited by millions of pilgrims from all over the world during the past 30 years. Marin is living in Croatia's capital Zagreb.


Marin Cilic dominated the U.S. Open and became its most unexpected champion


No one, not even Marin Cilic, could have seen this coming. The 14th-seeded Croatain survived a wild two weeks in New York to win one of the most unexpected U.S. Open titles in history.

Since the dawn of the Open era in 1968, no player was a more unlikely U.S. Open champ than the 25-year-old Cilic. There have been lower-seeded players to win (Andre Agassi was unseeded in 1994, Pete Sampras was the 17th seed in 2002) but both were established stars whose rankings had slipped. Patrick Rafter, the No. 13 seed, was an unexpected winner in 1997, but that was a weak year of competition, with only one tennis great — Pete Sampras — in contention. That’s a far cry from winning a tournament that featured Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Whether due to fatigue, nerves, Cilic’s dominating serve or a combination of all three, Kei Nishikori never got comfortable in the Monday afternoon final. He could only convert one of nine break points and gave up his own serve five times. By the middle of the second set, the match was essentially over. The young Japanese player, who was the first Asian man ever in a Grand Slam final, shouldn’t feel too bad though: Neither Federer nor Tomas Berdych could get anything done against Cilic either.

Here are the three biggest takeaways from Cilic’s surprise win.

1. His dominance in the final rounds was historic

In sweeping through Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer and Nishikori in straight sets, Cilic became just one of four players to win the U.S. Open without dropping a set in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.

Doing that against any opponent is impressive, let alone against the greatest player in tennis history and a perennial Grand Slam contender in Berdych. Nishikori’s run to the final might have been more impressive (he defeated No. 5 Milos Raonic, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 1 Novak Djokovic en route to the final), but Cilic didn’t exactly coast to a title, except on the scoreboard.

The greatest stat from Cilic’s final three rounds: He won 123 of 147 first-serve points, a whopping 84% average.

2. Marin Cilic is an unlikely Slam champion, but he’s far from the most unlikely

Though he was a 66/1 longshot to win the Open before the tournament, Cilic still has a fine tennis resume. He had advanced to one Grand Slam semifinal and spent six weeks in the top 10 of the ATP rankings way back in 2010, when he hit No. 9 after a strong performance at the Australian Open. Last year, he fell all the way to No. 47 last October while suspended for a positive test for a banned substance. With his two-year suspension eventually reduced to four months, Cilic came back strong, winning two minor tournaments and advancing to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.

Cilic’s six weeks in the top 10 prior to his first Slam sounds low, but Gaston Gaudio (0 weeks), Thomas Johansson (0), Albert Costa (2) and Rafael Nadal (5) are among the first-time champs who had less top-10 prestige. (Nadal was a new member of the top 10 when he made his French Open debut in 2005 and won the tournament.)

No surprise winner can compete with Gustavo Kuerten, who won the 1997 French Open while ranked No. 66 in the world. (He had never been ranked higher than No. 64.) After the win, Guga skyrocketed to No. 15, then went on to become one of the greatest clay-court players of his generation. Such a leap isn’t expected for Cilic, but with his recent play, expect him to continue to contend in Grand Slams.

In terms of U.S. Opens, Cilic might be up there, however.

3. “No fear and just full-out confidence”

That’s a quote from Roger Federer after Cilic’s straight-set victory on Saturday. In his final game that day, Cilic went ace, ace, ace, winner. In his final game against Nishikori, Cilic hit two booming serves that went unreturned, then won a lengthy point at 30-0. On his first championship point, he double faulted. Were the nerves getting to him? Before anyone could ask the question, Cilic hit a wicked, crosscourt backhand winner. Eight of the biggest points of his life, eight nervy shots.

Marin Cilic, 2014 U.S. Open champion. Unexpectedly, dominantly and undeniable.


Celebrities including Bruce Willis, Michael J Fox, Thierry Henry, Robert Redford and Bill Gates were among the crowd.

Goran Ivanišević, Wimbledon 2001

MARIN CHILICH with very young Croatian players, 2012

Marin Čilić was born in Međugorje in Bosnia and Herzgovina, now living in the Croatia's capital Zagreb.

US Open 2014: Marin Cilic praises coach Goran Ivanisevic after winning New York title

Marin Cilic says a more carefree attitude instilled by coach Goran Ivanisevic helped him win the US Open crown.

The 25-year-old Croatian defeated Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-3 6-3 on Monday night to clinch the first grand slam title of his career.

When Cilic started working with Ivanisevic at the end of 2013 he had only been to the semi-finals of a major once before but was not fazed by the big stage as he blasted his way through the draw at Flushing Meadows.

Cilic believes he has benefitted from not over-analysing his game, something taught to him recently by the 2001 Wimbledon champion.

“Probably one of the most important (pieces of) advice Goran gave me in this tournament was not to think too much,” Cilic told Sky Sports.

“‘Toss the ball, hit it, play your game, be aggressive and try to be relaxed. You’re going to miss a lot but you’re going to make a lot if you’re going for it'.
“I felt that I was playing the right way and it happened like that. There are no words for it.”

Although he tried to maintain the new mental approach throughout the fortnight in New York, Cilic admitted that he did finally start to feel the nerves prior to the final.

He added: “Once we got on the court I felt the nerves kick in for the first time this tournament, but I managed to get off to a good start and got the break in the first set that relaxed me a bit more.

“It wasn’t easy to play today, it was very gusty and I was missing some (shots) but feel that the serve got me out of trouble many times.”

Cilic, like so many players of the current era, played for years in the shadow of the ‘Big Four’ and made only two quarter-final appearances in his previous 16 grand slams.

With Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray no longer enjoying the dominance they once did, Cilic thinks his victory will show other hopefuls they can also reach the top of the game.

“Everything that I was working for and dreaming (about) came today,” he said at the presentation ceremony.

“For all the other players that are working hard - I think this is a big sign and a big hope that if you’re working hard things are going to pay off.”


Two Croatian giants: Marin Čilić (197 cm) and Ivo Karlović (211 cm). Source Croacia ya piensa en Argentina.

Here is an interesting list of ATP players with the greatest number of aces for 2014 (till September). Number one is Ivo Karlović, Croatian tennis player, who has 270 aces in 15 matches (that is, in average nearly 20 aces per every match). Then follows another Croatian, Marin Čilić, with 247 aces from 22 matches.
  1. Karlović, Ivo 270 aces in 15 matches
  2. Čilić, Marin 247 aces in 22 matches
  3. Anderson, Kevin 198 15
  4. Gulbis, Ernests 191 16
  5. Isner, John 156 10
  6. Dolgopolov, Alexandr 146 18
  7. Querrey, Sam 138 10
  8. Monfils, Gael 137 14
  9. Berdych, Tomas 137 17
  10. Federer, Roger 136 15
Ivo Karlović, with his 211 cm of height, is a true giant among contemporary tennis players. Marin Čilić has impressive 197 cm.


The record for the most aces in a tournament is held by Goran Ivanišević who hit 213 aces en route to winning Wimbledon in 2001. Goran Ivanišević holds the record for most aces served in a year with 1477 in the 1996 season. He also holds the record for most career aces with 10,183. His height is 193 cm.

Source Ace

Croatia was the winner of the prestigious DAVIS CUP tournament in 2005,
with Goran Ivanišević, Ivan Ljubičić, Mario Aničić and Ivo Karlović.

Formated for CROWN by Darko Žubrinić
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