Words by Mark Hodgkinson
A resurgent Marin Cilic could go deep at the US Open this summer. Eight years after winning the title, the HEAD ambassador feels good about his tennis and place in the game.
The noise and energy of New York City, while occasionally unsettling for some players, can provoke calm, serenity, and something close to tennis perfection in Marin Cilic. Dare we hope to see that nerveless brilliance from Cilic again this summer?
Imagine facing Roger Federer for a place in the final of the US Open, amid all the madness of the Arthur Ashe Stadium, and not feeling any nerves, just an unexpected, wonderful calmness. Suddenly, and you’re not quite sure why, you’re almost untouchable. That was the odd sensation that Cilic experienced in 2014, the summer he won his last three matches against Tomas Berdych, Federer, and Kei Nishikori without dropping a set, giving him a first Grand Slam title. Eight years on, searching for "another great moment" and a second major, he arrives at Flushing Meadows looking the part, dressed in his own exclusive HEAD performance shirt, while also believing he is still a force at the top of the game. Confident that, at the age of 33, he still has it in him to land another big title.
There's good reason for Cilic to be encouraged, given he has been pushing himself to new heights in 2022. Just this spring, he made the semi-finals of Roland Garros for the first time, and in doing so became only the fifth active player - after Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray - to reach the last four of all the majors.