Marin Čilić (Marin Cilic) (Croatian pronunciation: [marin tʃilitɕ], born 28 September 1988), is a Croatian professional tennis player. His career high ATP ranking is no. 9, achieved on February 22, 2010, following his best-ever performance at a Grand Slam, reaching the semi-finals in the 2010 Australian Open. Čilić developed his career at a tender age; his potential was realized by local hometown coaches who saw him play and encouraged his move to Zagreb for further training. He was soon befriended by his fellow countryman Goran Ivanišević who introduced him to current coach Bob Brett. He went on to turn professional in 2005.
Čilić grew up in Međugorje, a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was raised 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.
Marin 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 represented the country of his birth, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a junior.
In 2004, he 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, on Croatia Open Umag, 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 tournament in London, 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 June 18, 2007.
In the World Group playoffs in the first round of the 2007 Davis Cup, he beat Benjamin Becker from Germany. Croatia went on to lose to Germany in the best-out-of-five round robin format of singles and doubles.
In 2008, he reached the semi-finals in 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 4th round of the Australian Open 2008, taking out 2 seeds on his way including 2007 Australian Open finalist Fernando González. James Blake beat him 6–3, 6–4, 6–4 in the 4th round. He had achieved his goal for the year of reaching the top 40. His 4th round result at the Australian Open put him at #39 in the ATP rankings.
Čilić also made it to the 4th round of Wimbledon, beating Jarkko Nieminen in five sets in the 2nd round and also knocking out the fourteenth seed Paul-Henri Mathieu. He lost in straight sets to Arnaud Clément. At the Canada Masters, he defeated Andy Roddick in order to reach the quarter-final stage, making it his best performance in a Masters Series tournament so far. He lost in three sets to Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals.
Čilić played the Pilot Pen Tennis in New Haven, Connecticut where he won his first ATP title. He defeated Viktor Troicki, Jürgen Melzer, Igor Andreev, and 2007 finalist Mardy Fish in the final.
Čilić seeded 30th, was seeded for the first time at a grand slam, reached the 3rd round of the US Open lost to Novak Djokovic 7-6(7), 5-7, 4-6, 6-7(0) 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 defeated Julien Benneteau in five sets, in a match that lasted more than four hours, winning the deciding set 6–2.
He 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 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 4 sets. Later in the year, Čilić won the PBZ Zagreb Indoors defeating compatriot Mario Ančić in the final 6-3, 6-4. He helped his country defeat Chilean opponents in the Davis Cup first round tie by winning the opening singles match and by 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, 7-5, 7-6(4), 6-1.
He reached the 2nd 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 against Sam Querrey 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4. He played another five set match in the third round against Tommy Haas, spread over two days. 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 4-6, 2-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-0. He then scored the biggest upset of the 2009 US Open with a straight sets victory over 2nd seeded Andy Murray in the fourth round 7-5 6-2 6-2. Čilić outclassed Murray in managing to save all the break points he faced and took advantage of Murray's unforced errors. After the match,he admitted it was the biggest win of his career till date.However,in quarterfinals he lost to the eventual champion Juan Martín del Potro 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-1, despite leading by one set and a 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 6-4 6-4 followed by a three-set victory over Frechman Julien Benneteau, 6-2 2-6 6-0. In the quarter finals he defeated 4th seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-4 6-4 before stunning World No. 2 and top seed (in tournament) Rafael Nadal in a straightforward 6-1 6-3 win. In the final, Čilić went down to second seed Novak Djoković in straight sets 6-2, 7-6(4).
He reached the fifth final of his career at the 2009 Bank Austria-TennisTrophy as No.1 seed, however failing to beat the Austrian and the crowd behind him, losing 4-6, 3-6. He received a wild card for the 2009 Davidoff Swiss Indoors, where he finished in the quarterfinals, losing to Radek Štěpánek 6-4, 3-6, 3-6. His final tournament of the year was to be at the 2009 BNP Paribas Masters. Entered as the 12th seed, he came from a set down to defeat Łukasz Kubot 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2 in the second round, and then from a set down again to defeat 7th seed Fernando Verdasco 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 before coming to a halt in the quarterfinals against eventual finalist Gaël Monfils, losing 6-3, 4-6, 4-6.
Čilić won the 2010 Chennai Open final, beating Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in straight sets 7-6(2), 7-6(3).
Seeded #14 at the 2010 Australian Open, he defeated Fabrice Santoro, Bernard Tomic (in five sets), and Stanislas Wawrinka (in four sets). In the fourth round he faced 4th seed and reigning US Open champion Juan Martín del Potro; it was their third meeting in the past five Grand Slams, and the second major in a row where they met (also in the same round last year). In a match of more than four and a half hours, Čilić defeated Del Potro 5-7, 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 to reach his 2nd quarterfinal appearance at a Grand Slam. In the quarterfinals he defeated 7th seed Andy Roddick in another five set victory, 7-6(4), 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3. In doing so, he became the first Croatian to reach the semi-finals at the Australian Open. However, Čilić lost in four sets to eventual finalist Andy Murray 3–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–2. Cilic followed up his Australian campaign by defending his title in Zagreb, defeating Michael Berrer in the final, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3. Cilic achieves a new career-high ranking of #9 as a result. Čilić has been selected to play singles and doubles patnering with Karlović for the Croatia Davis Cup Team against Ecuador in March 2010. Cilic seeded #8 lost in the second round to Guillermo García López at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open.
During the French Open 2010, Cilic lost to Robin Söderling in the fourth round, 4-6, 4-6, 2-6.
Cilic was defeated in the first round of the Wimbledon Championships by Florian Mayer, 2-6, 4-6, 6-7(1).
He reached the semifinals of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C., ending Mardy Fish's 11-match winning streak in the third round, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Cilic was defeated by eventual champion David Nalbandian, 2-6, 2-6.
During the US Open 2010, Cilic lost to Kei Nishikori in the second round, 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-7(3), 1-6.
The following is Cilic's career record against top 10 players:
* Nikolay Davydenko: 3-1
* Marcos Baghdatis: 2-1
* Andy Roddick: 2-1
* Arnaud Clement: 2-2
* Fernando Verdasco: 2-3
* Stanislas Wawrinka: 2-4
* Mario Ancic: 1-0
* Juan Carlos Ferrero: 1-0
* Rafael Nadal: 1-0
* Rainer Schuettler: 1-0
* Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: 1-0
* Fernando Gonzalez: 1-1
* James Blake: 1-2
* Juan Martin del Potro: 1-2
* Tommy Robredo: 1-2
* Radek Stepanek: 1-2
* David Ferrer: 1-3
* Andy Murray: 1-4
* Roger Federer: 0-1
* Tommy Haas: 0-1
* Ivan Ljubicic: 0-1
* Gael Monfils: 0-1
* Robin Soderling: 0-1
* Tomas Berdych: 0-2
* David Nalbandian: 0-3
* Gilles Simon: 0-3
* Mikhail Youzhny: 0-4
* Novak Djokovic: 0-5
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