Breakthrough: Marin Cilic & Kei Nishikori

9 Sep

I couldn’t watch the telecast and wondered on the result. Marin Cilic is the US Open 2014 Champion. Marin Cilic  joins Juan Martín del Potro and Stanislas  Wawrinka as recent breakthrough champions. All of them have won maiden Slams. Perhaps the real journey starts now. I am more interested in journey and everyone’s journey excites me. So both Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori are breakthrough champions in my eyes. I don’t know why Cilic reminds me of Sampras and Nishikori of Agassi. “Kei” is such a cool name to have and “Cilic” is such a fine  student of game and life.


cilic 1

The happiest moment of life and Cilic is such a worthy Champion. May be the other happiest moment of life must be loving family or children. I hope he wins more slams.


Breakthrough champions. Cilic won the trophy. Kei a worthy runner up. He beat Wawrinka, Raonic and Djokovic on the way to finals. Phenomenal. Cilic beat Nishikori, Federer and Berdych.  He had losing record aganist all. Unbelievable. Thus both are Breakthrough players and champions.

Marin Cilic:

” I mean, seems completely unreal to be called Grand Slam champion. I was dreaming about this all my life, and suddenly last four, five days everything started to change. And with my tennis especially. I started to play absolutely unbelievable starting with the fifth set with Simon. After that I had unbelievable run of the matches against these top guys. And what it means to me, it means everything. It’s just a huge accomplishment and huge moment for myself and for my team and for everybody around me who was with me all these years supporting me, believing in me and never giving up. So this is just the peak of the world.”

” I felt the first part that helped me was the mental toughness, being much stronger and I was much tougher with myself on the tennis court when I was practicing and also when I was playing matches. The other part was enjoying much more on the court before in these last several years since I had really good success in 2010. Then I started to slip a little bit and I was not enjoying so much on the court. I was always looking for the result, hoping it’s gonna come back. It was not working. So things changed around and flipped it over with trying to enjoy on the court and enjoy every moment, which helped me to be much more relaxed. I feel that was the most important part for my game.”

” You know, when you start a tournament you sort of win first match, second match, and you are playing well but you’re not playing against top guys. Sort of you don’t know what to expect, how you’re going to deal with the pressure. I mean, overall with all these last three players or four players that I played against I had losing record. So even coming into any of those matches was, you know, trying to win and not sort of knowing that I’m going to do it. Considering everything, I mean, it’s a miracle. ”

” That’s what I felt in last several years. I was swirling around ranking top 20, 25, 15 and things were some days going well, some not. You are a lot of the time up and down. It’s, I feel, very inspirational for all the other guys out there who are, you know, working and sometimes losing motivation, having trouble to dig deep and to believe in the achievements. I would definitely feel much stronger if I would see somebody like me accomplish things like this. It sort of came out of nowhere for me. Few things clicked in just right before tournament sort of. I felt great about them, and match after match I played really good tennis. These last three matches, everything was working perfectly.”

” In one way, I mean, a lot of guys are saying people would like to watch top four guys much more to extend their streak at the top and to extend their run at the Grand Slams, because, I mean, they attract the most, the fans and the TV, and everybody else. But sort of one day definitely they gonna go out and there’s gonna be a need for somebody else. I feel this time, this year — I mean, I think the guys from second line were a bit lucky because Andy Murray was also having trouble with his back; Wawrinka was up and down with his tennis after Australia; few other players were not playing at the best all the time. And Rafa is not here. So that opened a little bit the gate for everybody else. I feel it’s gonna definitely be much bigger competition from next year. I feel the guys at the top are gonna pull the other guys, too. I think the game of tennis is definitely going to evolve much more. ”

” I feel in Croatia most of the guys who play sport, doesn’t matter which sport, everybody is very, very emotional and emotional to win, emotional when they lose. The small group that are going through, the ones that are extremely emotional and being able to control it and also not to accept the loss and to fight through, I feel that this is, you know, what makes Croatians good. It’s no other explanation. We don’t have good tennis schools. We don’t have too long of a tradition, as you said. We don’t have tennis centers like in bigger countries, France, Spain, that year after year the young ones are going through. Just, you know, every several years some youngster just comes up out of nowhere and he’s playing great tennis, and I feel that that’s the most important part that is in every one of us.”

” Well, at the beginning when we started to work, we sat together and Goran told me that my game and my tennis has to be aggressive tennis. I can’t play too much tactically, because most of the times before I was dealing too much with the tactics against players and not focusing on my game. It was always in a bad ratio. It was more thinking about tactics, like 70%, and thinking about my game, to do those things well in a smaller percentage. Then we started to work together. It wasn’t easy to change my perspective and to change completely my mindset. It took definitely, you know, even five, six months of the tournaments to be able to sink that into me and that I know on the court that’s the right way for me to play. That was the most difficult part. But from all the other parts, definitely serve has improved enormously, and then everything else has followed. Because I was much more pushing myself to play the way of the game I need to play. Week after week, I mean, you have to get better in what you do.” ( Work with Coach Goran Ivanisevic )

” Well, we never played against each other on such a huge event. I mean, most important day for both of us. All our matches were either quarterfinals or even before that, and I knew that today if I’m going to be playing well I’m going to have a good chance. Because even few matches I have lost to Kei were extremely close. Even this year at Brisbane was very close match. Few years back when he won over here at the US Open was also extremely close match. And, yeah, I just felt if I’m going to be playing right, I’m going to have a good chance. But you never know when you come on the court. You can’t be stuck with your own tactics. If it’s working well, of course; but if not, you have to be open. I was, you know, just very focused on that to do my things well.” ( On match with Kei Nishikori)

Marin Cilic is such a good thinker of game , its a pleasure to know more, please see :

Kei Nishikori:

” There is a lot of things, positive things, that I learned from these two weeks. Yeah, it was one of worst match I played today, but also he was very aggressive and very fast. You know, I was, I have to say, a little bit nervous. A little bit, you know. First final. I mean, even semis. But very excited these two weeks. You know, I didn’t expect nothing coming here. Before I was, you know, injured and little practice. Yeah, there is so many positive things for sure that I can have from these two weeks beating Stan and, you know, Novak again. You know, disappointed of course today, but very good two weeks.”

” Yeah, first of all, I think play, you know, long three matches. You know, play two five sets and another three hours, two hours, against Novak. And now I’m here with, you know — my body is heavy still, but I can able to play. I don’t think few years ago didn’t happen like this. I think I showed, you know, my potential I can beat anybody now. So if I can keep train hard and, you know, also practice hard, I think I have more chance coming up. ”

” It’s not always easy to play two five sets and coming here final. But, I mean, hopefully next time I don’t have to play a lot of five sets. But still, you know, I beat top 5 guys. Milos is almost top 5. It’s a great feeling after beating those guys.”

” Yeah, I got a little bit lazy in the third set. But, I don’t know, still there was so many unforced errors that I usually don’t have. It was windy. I mean, it was tough to play both of us. But he served great and very aggressive, you know, both forehand, backhand. Really tough to get confidence from today’s match. ”

” You know, we all disappointed for today. But he also, you know, congrats me because, you know, I didn’t have enough practice and nobody — I guess nobody was expecting to coming to the final. And even me also, you know, when the tournament starts. Yeah, he tell me, you know, Keep working hard, you know, like this. Like I said, you know, there are so many things, so many positive things you can get from these two weeks. Yeah, try to, you know, working hard and try to concentrate again for next tournament. ” ( on coach Michael Chang )

” Yeah, for sure the experience will help. You know, I was a little bit tight and nervous, you know, playing first final. But, you know, to get, you know, this experience gonna help for this season and next season, too. Hopefully I can make Masters this year. That’s gonna be my next goal.”

” Yeah. It’s really good feeling. You know, everybody call me Kei or Nishi. Actually, people still calling me Kei or Kei in U.S. But, yeah, it’s always very exciting, you know. Everybody call me my name during the match. You know, even today was very fun to play.”

Kei Nishikori is such a wonderful talent and please see more of post match interview:

Kei just may be ahead of Cilic in brand sweepstakes :

Please see a technical analysis of finals :

Iam excited with breakthroughs and sport is such a fine metaphor of life. I like to enjoy and learn from sports. Its clean and transparent. The hardwork, talent, struggle, preparation, endurance, strategy, coaching, skills, pain all are visible. Please see Cilic is such a good thinker of game and Nishikori has been a phenomenal talent coming through from Asia.

I hope we all have breakthroughs. I leave you with Marin Cilic’s wonderful words ..

” It’s, I feel, very inspirational for all the other guys out there who are, you know, working and sometimes losing motivation, having trouble to dig deep and to believe in the achievements. I would definitely feel much stronger if I would see somebody like me accomplish things like this. ”

Hope it inspires you  as it  inspires me. Have a lovely day dear friends!

Thank you!





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