Cilic blames rustiness for upset loss

"It was my first match of the season so I was a bit rusty. I was hesitating to go for my shots and this gave Kovalik an opportunity," said Cilic after his loss against Jozef Kovalik.

Cilic also said that he needed to add mental toughness to his game to win more grand slams.   -  R. Ragu

Marin Cilic, who was knocked out of the Chennai Open in the second round by 117th ranked Jozef Kovalik, blamed his rustiness for the loss, but said he wasn't too disappointed by the way he played. "It was my first match of the season so I was a bit rusty. I was hesitating to go for my shots and this gave Kovalik an opportunity."

"Being the first game, I was feeling the conditions a bit but I got better and better as the game progressed. I expected to pull it off in the third set, but couldn't do it. But credit to Kovalik also, he was playing really well and hitting some good winners down the line," said the top seed.

However, the Croatian said this wont affect his preparation going into the Australian Open. "I was expecting to play a couple of more matches but now I will just train next week, there isn't much time left anyway (for Australian Open)," added Cilic.

Need to be mentally tough

Cilic also said that he needed to add mental toughness to his game to win more grand slams. "I need to have more consistency in my game and be mentally a bit more tougher,". The World No.6 had lost three games last season, after being two sets to nil up including the famous Davis Cup tie against Del Potro,"I dint do much wrong, I couldn't convert the match points which was a little bit unfortunate, again I feel it comes down to mental toughness. But I din't lose my confidence because of those games."