Cilic credits coach Goran Ivanisevic for serve, net, mental improvements

by: Matt Cronin January 01, 2014

Wikimedia Commons

Former Top 10 player Marin Cilic credits coach Goran Ivanisevic with reconstructing his serve and helping him improve his net game. Former Wimbledon champion Ivanisivic has worked with Cilic before, but never on a full-time basis.

“To simplify. Throw the ball in the air and hit it,” Cilic said of his compatriot's advice to him. “For me before, I was a lot thinking about the serve. To be more relaxed, nothing unusual. But we worked a lot on it, and it seems that it fit in the right place. We worked a lot also on volleys, and of course game at the net where I had the most space to improve.  Last few years I was not doing too well at the net and I wasn't playing as offensive as I would want to, the way I would need to play, like a taller player, to have shorter points and put more pressure on the other guy.”

The 25-year-old Cilic, who served a four-month suspension last season for testing positive for the stimulant nikethamide and sees this season as a “new beginning,” added that Ivanisevic is trying to teach him a champion’s mentality.

“Goran showed me already a lot of things,” Cilic said after his win over Grigor Dimitrov in Brisbane. “I feel my game is improving. Goran say all the things that he went through many more times than I did already in my career he can show me and tell me in front, 'Okay, be careful of this.' He's going to be one step ahead of me in some kind of situations. I think that's huge help when you have something like that, especially someone like him who was Top 10 for many years in his career, played many times in finals of Grand Slams. I think he knows the game and he knows what I need to improve on. I think he's the right guy to help me.”


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