Wimbledon is the target for Laureus World Breakthrough Nominee Marin Cilic
- Marin Cilic pays tribute to coach Ivanisevic: ‘I believe having Goran in my corner, one of the best grass players ever, is a big, big plus for me’
- ‘My first priority in 2015 is to stay in the top ten and my big goal is toreach top five in the world’ – says Croatian star Marin Cilic
- Cilic hoping to make it a Laureus double with former winner Ivanisevic
- Laureus editorial content is available for Media use provided credit is given; for example.....’Marin Cilic speaking to Laureus.com’
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA, March 13, 2015 – US Open champion and 2015 Laureus Nominee Marin Cilic is hoping to put injury behind him and is targeting victory at Wimbledon this year, with the invaluable support of coach and former Laureus Award winner Goran Ivanisevic.
In an interview with Laureus.com, Croatian star Cilic, nominated for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award after his win at Flushing Meadows in September, said: “I'm going to try to peak my form for Wimbledon time.”
Asked if he feels he has a good chance of winning, Cilic said: “Yes, I think so. In 2014, I also played really well there and lost to the eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals in five sets. That was a pretty close match. I felt the best on grass ever last year. I believe having Goran in my corner, who has been known in history for one of the best performances on grass and one of the best grass players ever, is a big, big plus for me.”
Ivanisevic won the 2002 Laureus Comeback Award after his own Wimbledon victory and he could be joined as a Laureus winner by Cilic when the Laureus World Sports Awards are unveiled in Shanghai on April 15. Also nominated with Cilic for Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year are footballers Mario Götze and James Rodriguez, Formula One driver Danny Ricciardo, Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin and the Swiss Davis Cup Team, including Roger Federer.
Cilic said: “That would be extremely special. Even now for Goran winning a Grand Slam as a player and now helping me winning a Grand Slam as a coach is a huge achievement. So, for both of us it would be extremely nice to share this Laureus Award. Most of the athletes who have won this Award have made it further in their own careers. I think it's also a good sign for me and I would like to follow in the steps of the athletes that were winners of the Award.”
Cilic, now 26, says his US Open victory has dramatically changed his career. “I was much more in the centre of the media after the victory at the US Open. When you are playing, everything is flowing and you are not thinking about the consequence. But now I am looking at it and it's the achievement of my life. Hopefully I can continue on this and have this as a start for something great in my career.”
As he was preparing to play in Indian Wells, he said his shoulder injury is recovering and he is looking forward to ramping up his game. “So far everything is looking OK. It was hard, definitely, to miss the Australian Open, not to play there. I'm looking into 2015 as a big challenge and definitely first priority is to stay in the top ten and my big goal is to reach top five in the world.”
Cilic also paid generous tribute to Goran Ivanisevic for the help he has given him. “Goran knows tennis and he knows what is going to be the best for me and in which direction my game needs to evolve. And so we are working on that very hard, and of course he's helped me improving my shots, especially my serve.
“Even last year he approached the grass court tournaments in a little bit different way. When I tried to play Wimbledon last year, I straightaway felt comfortable for the first time. That's what I feel is going to be similar this time. When you have Goran in your corner and giving the right advice, it makes a huge difference. I am looking forward to Wimbledon this year.”
Cilic says he is honoured to have been nominated for a Laureus Award. “It is a huge accomplishment even for me to be nominated and to be among so many of these great athletes in the past who were winners. It’s just a huge sign for me that I had a great, great season in 2014 and my work is recognised by many sports athletes.”
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