So, is Marin Cilic some kind of otherwordly being or what? Is he possibly a zombie? Because only someone with a brain soaked in formaldehyde would play a tournament the week after a Slam wherein they played six best-of-five matches, including three that went the distance. And only someone with a body powered by something supernatural would be able to do it.
Mighty Marin is through to the semis of the tournament in Zagreb. I do not intend to make any kind of lasting comment on this tournament, because you might have noticed that I sure haven't been following it, but I have been following Mighty Marin. To get through to the semis - he came through Ivo Karlovic today - is a big achievement. But to do it when you're staggering around after a fortnight like he had? It seems foolhardy, and it also screams 'INJURE ME!'
It is his home tournament, so I think it would be foolish to suggest that this is the amount of tennis he would play after every deep run... but still. You sit down and put those big feet up, Marin. I have big plans for you and they won't work out if you're injured.
Let's talk about those plans. Obviously they're not anything I have, like, actual influence over or anything, but I have them just the same. Cilic is inside the top ten now, and I seriously wouldn't be surprised if he became this year's Juan Martin del Potro - the dude that took it to the very top guys and became a force in that power dynamic. We've seen that top group get bigger and bigger over the past few years - Federer has largely been on the very top, and it's been very apparent that the heir to the throne is Rafa (injuries nonwithstanding). The Slam records - 22 of the things between them now - and their continual, mostly undisturbed presence at #1 and #2 has shown that tennis is run by a Hispano-Suisse machine.
But then you had Djokovic come into the mix, and we had the Big Three for a while there. Then Murray shot up the rankings, and it was the Fantastic Four. And then Juan Martin del Potro went and won the US Open, and suddenly it's the Fabulous Five.
One guy a year for the past year has leapfrogged the gap into that top group. I used to think that Tsonga would be the guy who'd be next in. But you wait. I think that by the end of the year, the Fabulous Five is going to be the Super Six, and it will be Cilic who takes his rightful place in the upper echelon.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago