Marin Cilic Focuses On The Positives After Blister Leaves Him Heartbroken At Wimbledon
Marin Cilic’s first experience of playing in a Wimbledon final is something that he will never forget, but for all the wrong reasons.
Playing against the formidable Roger Federer, the Croat was on the verge of tears after the opening set as he struggled with his movement. A painful blister on his foot hindered Cilic throughout the match as he managed to win just eight games.
“It was definitely one of the unfortunate days for me to happen. I got a really bad blister.” Cilic explained.
“Every time I had to do a reaction fast, fast change of movement, I was unable to do that.”
Sunday’s outcome was a nightmare ending to what has been a strong season on the grass for the 28-year-old. Leading into the final he had a win loss record of 11-2 on the surface, losing both of his matches in a final set tiebreaker. The consistent results elevated him to only his second major final and first since winning the 2014 US Open.
“(It) was very tough emotionally because I know how much I went through the last few months in preparation with everything. It was also tough because of my own team. They did so much for me. I just felt it was really bad luck.” He said.
Cilic’s mentality was understandably in ruins during his clash with Federer. During that clash he said knew knew that he would not be able to ‘give his best game.’ Still he kept going until the finish line. Cilic has also attributed his lacklustre mindset to his below-par service performance. In the final, he produced three double faults and could only win 39% (14/36) of his second service points.
“For me, it was actually very difficult to focus on the match, as well, as my mind was all the time blocked with the pain.” Said Cilic.
“It was tough for me to focus on the tactics, on the things that I needed to do. I wasn’t serving very good today because of that.”
The positive side
It isn’t all doom and gloom for the world No.6, who is closing on his debut in the top-five. At Wimbledon he defeated four seeded players to become only the second Croatian finalist after former mentor Goran Ivanisevic. Furthermore, his blister injury will not impact on his future plans.
Cilic will now enter the North American hard court season as a title contender. Since April he has reached the quarterfinals or better at seven out of eight tournaments. Justifying why he is currently at a ranking high in the Emirates rankings.
“I know that these last two weeks have been great tennis from me. My level was at a position where it was not before on grass, so I’m extremely satisfied with that. Extremely happy. This will give me much more confidence, much more strength for the rest of the year.”
Cilic will now take a three-week break from the tour before returning to play tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati.