Grand Slam champion and former No. 3 Marin Cilic insists he's still got better tennis in him, despite a lackluster 2020 season.
The 32-year-old Croatian, who won the 2014 US Open, fell to world No. 399 Jonas Forejtek in the first round of the Sofia Open on Monday. The loss came on the heels of his third-round exit in Paris last week, bowing out to Ugo Humbert.
Cilic has yet to reach a quarterfinal in an event this season. But he's aiming to do more in his career.
“I feel that I haven’t reached my peak still. Peak meaning that I feel the best on the court physically, mentally, technically, that I play my best tennis," Cilic told press during the Paris Masters, where he reached the third round. “I would like to reach that peak and feel that okay, I have done that. This is what I was working for.
"I feel definitely, I wouldn’t say disappointed, but just, that maybe I haven’t reached my peak and accomplished what I could have accomplished.”
And while he might not have a lot of notable tournaments on court in 2020, Cilic had one big event off the court—the birth of his son.
“I’m feeling very happy on the court, off the court,” he said. “This just gives me a little bit more stability in playing. And when I’m finishing tournaments, if I’m losing, I’m happy to go home.”
The winner of 18 singles titles, Cilic was the No. 8 seed in Sofia. Seventh seed Nikoloz Basilashvili also lost his opener, falling to Marc-Andrea Huesler after failing to convert a pair of match points. The 149th-ranked lucky loser prevailed, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (6), firing 22 aces to advance in one hour and 52 minutes.