Marin Cilic: “I don't know if that comes with playing several years on grass, but year after year I was feeling better” - UBITENNIS
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Marin Cilic: “I don't know if that comes with playing several years on grass, but year after year I was feeling better”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 30th of June. M. Cilic d. J. Chardy 7-6, 6-4, 6-4. An interview with Marin Cilic

 

Q. Obviously you had a pretty good match on your serve; 33 aces in three sets. It is the most satisfying thing of the match for you?

MARIN CILIC: I would say so. I mean, I would say first part of the match before the rain break was extremely high-quality tennis from both of us, especially from Jeremy, who was serving very, very good.

I didn’t have any opportunities on his serve. That was a really, I mean, causing a lot of trouble on the return games. When I came into that tiebreak was not easy to prepare. I didn’t know what to expect. Especially with his big shots he was not giving my too much rhythm.

I think when we came back he was not serving as big as in the first part. That allowed me to get more in his service games.

Overall, I would say I was serving really well and putting more pressure on him with that. He didn’t have too much freedom to make any mistakes on his serve. I think that made a huge difference in the end.

 

Q. Last year you had to pull out; you’re the first one through now to the quarterfinals. Quite a turnaround. How do you feel compared to last year mentally and physically?

MARIN CILIC: Last year I felt that I was in a pretty good form as well. This year I just felt that I’m one step further with my form. I don’t know if that comes with playing several years on grass, but year after year I was feeling better and better.

But, you know, sometimes it’s difficult to prepare your form exactly for these two weeks. Over here I think we had really good preparation week before Wimbledon, and it’s paying off in the matches, obviously.

 

Q. Chardy said that the most difficult thing with your serve is to read it because you vary it a lot. Would you say that is the biggest improvement with Goran?

MARIN CILIC: Yes. Overall, the serve became bigger weapon, and I can rely on it during the matches. Over here I feel I’m keeping it on a good level. Even percentage is high and I’m hitting a lot of aces.

I even felt in some points that Jeremy was guessing where the serve was going to go and he was, I mean, obviously making some mistakes.

That gave my a little bit more confident that the serve is in a good position and I have to just keep going.

 

Q. You served your suspension shortly after Wimbledon last year. Have you learned your lesson from how that came about, and what was that time like for you?

MARIN CILIC: For me, most important part was that I found some mental toughness out of all of that. When I came back, it sort of gave me more motivation to work and use every opportunity I have to be prepared for every tournament.

Obviously I use that time as well for physical preparation. I was doing a lot. I had some time off. I didn’t practice, let’s say two, three weeks maximum, four months.

Overall, I use it very, very good in a physical part and I am feeling very well. I think my game is on a high level. Plus, it’s becoming much more consistent performances day after day.

 

Q. Goran was such a big character. He played here and when he won here, and when he did, he was talking about the different sides of his personality that he would bring out at different times. Does any of that rub off on you, his sort of larger-than-life approach?

MARIN CILIC: I mean, main part that is coming from Goran to me and what I feel in this relationship is big confidence from my own side towards Goran.

All the things we are working on, they’re working for me on the court. That’s huge confidence for me when I come step on the court, that I’m seeing on own my season that things are working well, and I feel like that. It’s improving a lot.

Having him obviously over here beside me is definitely another plus, big plus to have him in my box. He’s been many times in the second week of Wimbledon, so of course I’m leaving up to him all the small details to give me some advices. It’s working very well.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome

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Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

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Alexander Zverev eases past Hugo Dellien to set up a third round match clash against Kei Nishikori in Rome

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This year’s Madrid Mutua Open champion Alexander Zverev cruised past qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 on Nicola Pietrangeli Court to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Zverev fired 27 winners and fended off all six of the break points he faced. The German won five consecutive games from 0-1 down with a double break to race out to a 5-1 lead and served out the opening set at 15 in the eighth game. 

Zverev went up a break in the third game to take a 2-1, but he had to save six break points in a 12-game fourth game. Zverev managed to hold serve after seven deuces before breaking serve in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. The German served out the win on on his second match point in the eighth game. 

The  German star will face Kei Nishikori for the second time in two weeks. He beat Nishikori, Dan Evans, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini last week at the Madrid Mutua Open en route to the fourth ATP Masters 1000 title of his career after claiming three previous trophies in Rome and Canada in 2017 and Madrid in 2018.  

Federico Delbonis didn’t face a break point and converted four of his nine break points in his 6-2 6-1 win over David Goffin. The Argentine player will take on Felix Auger Aliassime, who cruised past last year’s Rome finalist Diego Schwartzman 6-1 6-3. 

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Aslan Karatsev beats Danil Medvedev in all-Russian clash in Rome

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Aslan Karatsev beat his compatriot Danil Medvedev 6-2 6-4 after 1 hour and 18 minutes in an all-Russian match to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Karatsev has scored his fifth career win against top 10 opponents.

 

Karatsev has improved his win-loss record to 21-6 in his 27 matches this year, including the ATP 500 title in Dubai, the semifinal at the Australian Open and the final at the Serbian Open in Belgrade. 

Karatsev has scored his second top 5 win in the past month after taking an upset win over world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinal in Belgrade. 

Karatsev earned a double break in the fifth and seventh games to open up a 5-2 lead. The 27-year-old Russian player earned another break in the seventh game with a volley to take a 4-3 lead. He never looked back and served out the win on his first match point in the 10th game. 

Karatsev won 90% of his first serve points and saved just one break point. 

Karatsev faced Medvedev for the first time in his career on the ATP Tour. They teamed up with Andrey Rublev at the ATP Cup in Melbourne last winter helping Russia win the final against Italy. 

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