Čilić Returns to Croatia as World Number 3: “I Want to be Number One this Season”

Daniela Rogulj

Marin Čilić returned to Croatia as the third best tennis player in the world. In front of him is the legend Rafael Nadal and the winner of the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, Roger Federer.

Over the weekend, Croatia’s best tennis player Marin Čilić was defeated by Roger Federer, the best tennis player of all time, in the Australian Open final. The great match went to five sets. Marin is the only Croatian in history to play three different Grand Slam tournaments – securing one title at the US Open in 2014, and in the Wimbledon final last year, he was also stopped by the great Roger Federer.


Čilić spoke with Gol.hr on January 30, 2018, to express how he feels today after achieving his best career ranking. 

“It’s an excellent feeling. I think I’ve had great success in the last few months. But the goal of winning a Grand Slam tournament by the end of the season remains, and the ultimate goal is to be number 1,” Čilić said. 

Čilić will immediately play in a Davis Cup match against Canada in Osijek after this weekend’s grand success.

“I’ve always been honored to play for the national team. I think we have a young and excellent team and I think we can certainly do a lot this year. This tournament has taken a bit of a toll on me, but it is essential to get this match because the draw could be easier later on.”

Marin announced that his great wish is to be world number one. 

“I think this goal to be first in the ranking could be attacked this season – I took a step forward in my game, and I am happier about that than anything. I doubt Federer’s priority will be to be number one and will not try so hard at tournaments, and that’s my chance.”

What are the chances of Croatia vs. Canada?

“I think we are a more complete team than Canada, though they are pretty good. They have the young player Shapovalov who plays great tennis. They have good doubles, and it will certainly be difficult, but we have to prepare to win.”

How did Čilić experience Mate Pavić’s success and how does he see him in the national team?

“In the last few years, Mate has shown how much talent he has as one of the most promising young players in doubles, and we can expect huge results from him in the future. I agree with him being on the team because he would help us contribute to better results.”

Translated from Gol.hr 


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