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ATP Finals 2018: Marin Cilic looks to end dismal run at season-ending tournament and finish year on a high

How Cilic qualified

Marin Cilic, along with Dominic Thiem, was the last player to qualify for the ATP Finals based on rankings. Cilic started the year with a semi-final appearance at the Maharashtra Open ahead of the Australian Open. At the first Grand Slam of the year, Cilic beat Rafael Nadal in the semi-final after the Spaniard retired with an injury. In the final, Cilic took defending champion Roger Federer to five sets before ultimately losing the title. The Croat earned valuable points by reaching the finals of the Rome and Cincinnati Masters and also won the title at The Queen's Club.

File image of Marin Cilic. AP

File image of Marin Cilic. AP

Past record at ATP finals

Cilic qualified for the ATP Finals in 2014, 2016 and 2017 but failed to progress beyond the round robin stage. In fact, the 30-year-old has only won one out of nine matches.

Cilic's 2018 in a tweet

Best performance of the season

At the 2017 Wimbledon final, a teary-eyed Cilic slumped to a 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 defeat to Roger Federer. Cilic struggled with a leg injury after the first set and contemplated giving up the match. Six months later, the Croat once again met Federer in a Grand Slam final, this time at the Australian Open. This time around, Cilic was not going down without a fight. After losing the first set, Cilic won the second in a tie-break and then won the fourth set 6-3 to force the match into a decider. Federer raised his game in the final set and won it 6-1. Despite losing once again, Cilic showed his mental fortitude to banish the painful memories of his Wimbledon loss and perform at a Grand Slam final once again.

Quirks

While it is not known if he still follows it at every tournament, during his 2014 US Open title-winning run, Cilic and his coaching staff followed the same routine every day during their two-week stay in New York. Every morning, Cilic and his team went to the same place to have the same breakfast. On off days, they would go to the same restaurant, tried to pick the same practice court and use transportation at the same time. Cilic and his then coach, 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic didn't shave for the entire tournament.

Head to Head record against group players

vs Alexander Zverev 1-5

vs Novak Djokovic 2-16

vs John Isner 7-3


Updated Date: Nov 12, 2018 17:37 PM

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