Cilic: ‘I want to study my game a bit more’

Eyeing a Grand Slam title this year, World No 6 Marin Cilic — who crashed out of the ATP 250 event in the semifinals — says things can be rusty at the start of the year.

Marin Cilic returns to Giles Simon in Pune on Friday.   -  Special Arrangement

When a top seed of a tournament crashes out in the semifinal, it definitely kills the thrill; but Marin Cilic — who will next head to Melbourne — believes it’s alright. “Last couple of years, I had good results in Grand Slams and my goal is to win it this year. It’s the start of the year, things are a bit rusty, which is normal,” he said at the post match conference.

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After losing the first set 1-6, Gilles Simon restricted Cilic’s top game and forced him to errors. The Croat realised that he was running out of gas. “I wasn’t serving good compared to the first set. I missed a couple of balls, lost my rhythm on the shots while I was at the rallies. But there were a lot of games, which were close. I had two to three break points, I had chances to get back in the third set too. I could have waited for the right ball,” added Cilic, who feels he is satisfied with the level of play.

However, the World No 6 praised Simon for his counter-punching ability. “He also runs well and puts the ball back into play. To beat him, you need to be aggressive from the back of the court. I was trying to catch up and the mindset was great. It was not easy on the court. He is a solid player.”

There are big challenges for Cilic, but he is confident of executing his plans. “With a good mindset and good tennis, I can get there. I have to play week after week. I will study my game a bit more and give myself a bit of time,” he informed.