Davis Cup World Group Qualifications: Čilić Believes in Victory, Worried About Conditions

Daniela Rogulj

Two days from now, the qualifications begin for the Davis Cup World Group where Croatia will visit Colombia.

Marin Čilić has repeatedly entered Davis Cup as the best ranked Croatian tennis player, but he has never been better ranked than he is now ahead of the World Group qualifier against Colombia. The Croat is currently number 5 in the world, reports Gol.hr on September 13, 2017. 

Čilić has become only the third Croatian tennis player who has managed to enter the elite society after Goran Ivanišević (ranked second) and Ivan Ljubičić (ranked third). When asked about how it feels to be in the top five, Čilic replied:

“It’s pretty beautiful, and I have worked very hard for this. This is my best career ranking and the past twelve months have been successful for me after winning Cincinnati and Basel last year and advancing to the Bercy semifinals and the Wimbledon finals this year. I did have excellent results, and I’m thrilled that in the last few months, since the beginning of the representative season, I have managed to find an incredible constant in my game. I’m pleased about it and it is a great motive for the next 12 to 18 months where I hope I can improve this already incredible ranking.”

Immediately after the US Open, Croatia heads to Bogotá for the qualifications for the Davis Cup World Group. Čilić is worried about the conditions in Colombia. 

“The conditions are incredibly different from what we are accustomed to. I think the highest altitude I’ve played in is 1100 meters in the Davis Cup against South Africa, but this is 2600 meters and is incomparable. The air is thin, it is difficult for the lungs, it’s hard to withstand long changes, the ball flies. Over the last few days we have managed to find a good way to play – but comparing this tournament to anything else is out of the question. It will be an interesting experience, and I hope we will adjust as best as we could. I believe it will not be easy, but we are still a big favorite to go further,” said Čilić.

Marin’s status as the best Croatian tennis player means that he will again have big expectations to carry on his back. In other words, this means that he will have to win two points in his individual matches.

“This is expected of me at almost every meeting of the Davis Cup, and I hope I will have a good start from the first day. We will have Viktor Galović with us for the first time. Most of us met him for the first time in training. His game is great, and he is quite offensive – I believe that he will have success against Colombia. We are aware of our quality, we have come for the victory and will stay in the World Group,” added Čilić.

At this meeting, Čilić has the chance to become a record player of the Croatian team by his number of single wins at Davis Cup. He currently has 22, and in front of him is only Ivan Ljubičić who has just one more victory.

If there are no surprises at the draw on Thursday, Čilić’s rivals in Bogota will be Alejandro González, who is currently 484 on the ATP ranking, and Santiago Giraldo, who is currently 131. Čilić has not met González yet, and against Giraldo, he is 4-1. 

Translated from Gol.hr


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