Pune: Top seed Marin Cilic bid for the third title in India came crashing down after losing to unseeded Gilles Simon 6-1,3-6,2-6 in the semi-final of the inaugural Tata Open Maharashtra ATP 250 Series tournament here on Friday.
The world no 6 will now be heading to Melbourne Australia, where he will be taking part in the first grand slam of the year i.e Australian Open.
The big-serving Croat has already set his eyes on winning the grand slam title this year.
Speaking during the post-match press conference he said “Last couple of years, I had good results in Grand Slams and my goal is to win it this year. It’s the start of the year, things are a bit rusty, which is normal,” he said at the post-match conference
Inspite of winning the first set 6-1, Cilic continued to struggle in the second and third set against Gilles Simon who forced him to make unforced errors throughout the match. Speaking about his game he felt satisfied with the level of play but also rued for the fact that he was unable to convert the chances he was offered. “I wasn’t serving good compared to the first set. I missed a couple of balls, lost my rhythm on the shots while I was at the rallies. But there were a lot of games, which were close. I had two to three break points, I had chances to get back in the third set too. I could have waited for the right ball,” said the world no 6.
Cilic praised Simon for his counter-punching game which restricted his top game and put him under pressure he said “He also runs well and puts the ball back into play. To beat him, you need to be aggressive from the back of the court. I was trying to catch up and the mindset was great. It was not easy on the court. He is a solid player.”
With a long season ahead the Cilic hopes to put in consistent performance and achieve his goals “With a good mindset and good tennis, I can get there. I have to play week after week. I will study my game a bit more and give myself a bit of time,” he said.