Tennis: Cilic hails Goran effect

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Marin Cilic says a more carefree attitude instilled by coach Goran Ivanisevic helped him win the US Open crown.
The 25-year-old Croatian defeated Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-3 6-3 on Monday night to clinch the first grand slam title of his career.
When Cilic started working with Ivanisevic at the end of 2013 he had only been to the semi-finals of a major once before but was not fazed by the big stage as he blasted his way through the draw at Flushing Meadows.
Cilic believes he has benefitted from not over-analysing his game, something taught to him recently by the 2001 Wimbledon champion.
“Probably one of the most important (pieces of) advice Goran gave me in this tournament was not to think too much,” Cilic told Sky Sports.
“‘Toss the ball, hit it, play your game, be aggressive and try to be relaxed. You’re going to miss a lot but you’re going to make a lot if you’re going for it’.
Nerves “I felt that I was playing the right way and it happened like that. There are no words for it.”
Although he tried to maintain the new mental approach throughout the fortnight in New York, Cilic admitted that he did finally start to feel the nerves prior to the final.
He added: “Once we got on the court I felt the nerves kick in for the first time this tournament, but I managed to get off to a good start and got the break in the first set that relaxed me a bit more.
“It wasn’t easy to play today, it was very gusty and I was missing some (shots) but feel that the serve got me out of trouble many times.”
Cilic, like so many players of the current era, played for years in the shadow of the ‘Big Four’ and made only two quarter-final appearances in his previous 16 grand slams.
With Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray no longer enjoying the dominance they once did, Cilic thinks his victory will show other hopefuls they can also reach the top of the game.
“Everything that I was working for and dreaming (about) came today,” he said at the presentation ceremony.
“For all the other players that are working hard – I think this is a big sign and a big hope that if you’re working hard things are going to pay off.”

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