In 2005, Marin Cilic defeated Andy Murray and others to win the boys’ title at Roland Garros. In 2014, the Croat memorably replicated that Grand Slam success as he defeated Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori to win the US Open. Ranked world No.16, he was the lowest-ranked major champion in more than a decade. Also the runner-up at 2017 Wimbledon, he briefly returned to his career-high No.6 ranking.
Moving from the small Bosnian town of Medjugorje to Zagreb, Croatia, to develop his tennis as a teenager, Cilic soon attracted the attention of Goran Ivanisevic. His Grand Slam-winning countryman became a friend and mentor, who later coached Cilic for three years on tour. Thriving alongside elite former pros, Marin now has Jonas Bjorkman on his team.
Few men can boast such consistency as the big-hitting Cilic, who is not only a winner at every level and on every surface, but has also claimed at least one title every year since 2008. Most recently, the 28-year-old defeated Milos Raonic to triumph on clay in Istanbul and dominated on grass, with the s-Hertogenbosch semis and Queen’s final adding to his Wimbledon success. Combined with Cilic’s first quarterfinal at Roland Garros – ensuring he’s now reached that stage of every major – it’s been a season to remember for the increasingly influential player.
Final: Wimbledon, Queen’s
QF: Roland Garros, Rome, Monte Carlo, Rotterdam