Marin Čilić (Croatian pronunciation: [ˌmâriːn ˈt͡ʃǐːlit͜ɕ]; born 28 September 1988) is a Croatian professional tennis player whose biggest success to date is having won the 2014 US Open. So far Čilić has won 13 ATP singles titles. His career-high singles ranking is World No. 8, achieved in October 2014. Čilić first came to international prominence by defeating then World No. 2 Andy Murray in the fourth round of the 2009 US Open. He followed this by reaching the semifinals of the 2010 Australian Open. Čilić was also a quarterfinalist at the 2014 and 2015 Wimbledon Championships.
Čilić started to develop his career at a young age; his first steps of tennis started in Bosnia and Herzegovina. His potential was discovered by local hometown coaches who saw him play and encouraged his move to Zagreb for further training. He was soon befriended by his countryman Goran Ivanišević, who introduced him to coach Bob Brett. Čilić turned professional in 2005, and ultimately hired Ivanišević as his full-time coach in 2013.
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Tennis career
- 2.1 Junior circuit (2004–2005)
- 2.2 ATP Tour 2004–2007
- 2.3 2008: First ATP singles title
- 2.4 2009: First major quarterfinal
- 2.5 2010: First major semifinal and top-10 ranking
- 2.6 2011: Sixth ATP title
- 2.7 2012: Seventh and eighth ATP title
- 2.8 2013: Suspension and reinstatement
- 2.9 2014: First major title
- 2.10 2015 14th ATP Title
- 2.11 2016
- 3 Clothing and equipment
- 4 Career statistics
- 4.1 Grand Slam singles performance timeline
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Marin Čilić was born to Herzegovinian Croat parents and grew up in Krstine, Medjugorje, a town in Herzegovina. He was raised as a Roman Catholic. His father Zdenko was determined that his sons — Marin and older brothers Vinko and Goran — would have the opportunities he lacked in playing sports. When the first tennis courts in the town were built in 1991, Marin and his friends were amongst the first to play on them. At the recommendation of Goran Ivanišević, Čilić moved in 2004 to San Remo, Italy, at the age of 15 to work with Ivanišević’s former coach, Bob Brett. He has a younger brother, Mile, who also is playing tennis.
Junior circuit (2004–2005)
Čilić began playing on the junior ITF circuit in spring 2004. At the start he played on clay courts, winning the La Vie Junior Cup Villach in singles and the Dutch Junior Open in doubles. He then qualified for the 2004 US Open, where he lost in the second round to Sam Querrey. In 2005, he won the French Open title in Boy’s singles, beating Andy Murray in the semi-final and Antal van der Duim in the final. He finished 2005 ranked number two behind American Donald Young. While on the junior circuit, he won six tournaments in singles and four in doubles with his Canadian partner, Greg Kates.
Before representing Croatia, he played for Bosnia and Herzegovina as a junior with partner Zachary Rosen.
ATP Tour 2004–2007
In 2004, Čilić played one Futures event (Croatia F1), at which he reached the second round; he finished the year tied at No. 1463 on the rankings of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP Tour). He played seven Futures tournaments in 2005, winning one, the Croatia F3 event; two Challenger tournaments, in Zagreb and Geneva; and one ATP International Series tournament, the Croatia Open, where he lost in the opening round. He finished the year ranked No. 587.
In 2006, he played three Futures, winning the Croatia F1 and Croatia F2 events. He also played in nine challengers, nine International Series events (reaching the semis at Gstaad), and two Davis Cup ties, against Austria and Argentina. By the end of the year, he was ranked No. 170.
In 2007, he won the first and second professional tournaments of his career: the Casablanca Challenger (in April) and the Rijeka Challenger (in May). In June, at the Queen’s Club Championships, he beat Tim Henman in the first round after trailing 2–4 in the final set, and reached the quarterfinals, where he fell to Andy Roddick. After that performance, he reached a new career-high ranking of No. 101 on 18 June 2007.
In the World Group playoffs in the first round of the 2007 Davis Cup, Čilić beat Benjamin Becker of Germany; however, Croatia went on to lose the tie, three matches to two.
2008: First ATP singles title
In 2008, Čilić reached the semifinals at the Chennai Open, in both singles and doubles. In the singles, he was defeated by Mikhail Youzhny, who went on to win the tournament.
Čilić made it to the fourth round of the 2008 Australian Open, taking out two seeds on his way, including 2007 Australian Open finalist Fernando González. James Blake beat him in the fourth round. He had achieved his goal for the year of reaching the top 40. His fourth-round result at the Australian Open put him at no. 39 in the ATP rankings.
Čilić also made it to the fourth round of Wimbledon, beating Jarkko Nieminen in five sets in the second round and knocking out fourteenth seed Paul-Henri Mathieu. He lost in straight sets to Arnaud Clément.
At the Canada Masters, he defeated Andy Roddick in reaching the quarterfinal stage, giving his best performance in a Masters Series tournament to date. He lost in three sets to Gilles Simon in the quarterfinals.
Čilić played the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament in New Haven, Connecticut, where he won his first ATP title. He defeated Viktor Troicki, Jürgen Melzer, and Igor Andreev in early rounds, then 2007 finalist Mardy Fish in the final.
Čilić, seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam, reached the third round of the US Open, but lost to Novak Djokovic in a match that lasted almost four hours. Čilić came back from a break down in each of the second, third, and fourth sets. In the first round, he had defeated Julien Benneteau in five sets in a match that lasted more than four hours, winning the deciding set.
2009: First major quarterfinal
Čilić won his first title of 2009 and second career ATP title in the 2009 Chennai Open, defeating first-time finalist Somdev Devvarman.
He reached the fourth round of the 2009 Australian Open after beating David Ferrer in straight sets, equalling his 2008 record. In the fourth round, he was defeated by Juan Martín del Potro in four sets. Later in the year, Čilić won the PBZ Zagreb Indoors, defeating compatriot Mario Ančić in the final. He helped his country defeat Chilean opponents in the Davis Cup first-round tie by winning the opening singles match and joining forces with Mario Ančić to win the doubles rubber.
Čilić reached a career best at the French Open when he beat eighteenth seed Radek Štěpánek in the third round in straight sets. After two competitive sets against the third-seeded Andy Murray, Čilić lost the match.
He reached the second round of the Queen’s Club Championships, an ATP World Tour 250 series event, where he was defeated by Nicolas Mahut of France. He beat Alberto Martín to make it into the second round at Wimbledon and won a five-set match (spread over two days) against Sam Querrey. He played another five-set match in the third round against Tommy Haas. He recovered from two sets down, but lost 10–8 in the deciding set, having held a match point.
During the hard-court season, Čilić was defeated in back-to-back events in the first round. At Washington, he was defeated in straight sets by Somdev Devvarman. He then failed to duplicate his quarterfinal appearance in Canada, losing to Mikhail Youzhny. In the 2009 US Open, as the 16th seed, he reached the fourth round, after defeating Ryan Sweeting, Jesse Levine, and Denis Istomin. He defeated Levine after being down two sets to love, coming back to win. He then scored the biggest upset of the 2009 US Open with a straight-sets victory over second-seeded Andy Murray in the fourth round. Čilić outclassed Murray by saving all the break points he faced and took advantage of Murray’s unforced errors. After the match, he said it was the biggest win of his career to date. However, in the quarterfinals, he lost to the eventual champion Juan Martín del Potro, despite leading by one set and an opening break in the second set.
Following his impressive US Open run, Čilić participated in the 2009 China Open in Beijing as the eighth seed. He won his opening match against Russian Igor Andreev, followed by a three-set victory over Frechman Julien Benneteau. In the quarterfinals he defeated fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko, before stunning world No. 2 and top seed (in the tournament) Rafael Nadal in a straightforward win. In the final, Čilić went down to second seed Novak Djoković in straight sets.
He reached the fifth final of his career at the 2009 Bank Austria-TennisTrophy as top seed, however he lost. He received a wild card for the 2009 Davidoff Swiss Indoors, where he finished in the quarterfinals, losing to Radek Štěpánek. His final tournament of the year was the 2009 BNP Paribas Masters. Entered as 12th seed, he came from a set down to defeat Łukasz Kubot in the second round, and then from a set down again to defeat seventh seed Fernando Verdasco, before coming to a halt in the quarterfinals against eventual finalist Gaël Monfils.