U.S. Open without fans would devalue title win says Cilic


Former champion Marin Cilic reckons that winning the US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium without fans will recall as a Grand Slam victory with a very big asterisk.

Due to coronavirus pandemic, all sporting events come to halt including tennis and will resume till the end of July as air travel also banned in many countries.

Organisers of the US Open are looking alternatives to resume it without spectators as the US Open is planned to be held from August 31.

Cilic reckoned that without fans the US Open seems practice only.

“I just feel that it’s going to more or less feel like practice matches,” the former world number three said in an interview from Croatia.

“It’s always going to be … in the years to come, ‘oh, you know that guy won a US Open in 2020 without fans’. I don’t think it’s going to have that weigh. It wouldn’t be the best scenario.”

Cilic lifted the silver trophy at Flushing Meadows in 2014, reckons that to build-up tennis, the International travel restrictions should be lifted.

Marin Cilic lifted the trophy after defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan in final match at the 2014 U.S. Open

“Tennis season is slightly different than football, then basketball,” he added.

“They have seasons to finish off, and the next season is depending on this season as well. For tennis, if we start in December or in January, it’s not going to change too much.

“I believe that there won’t be any tournaments without fans.

“Basically the whole tour is revolving a lot on sponsors and people coming to the tournaments. Sponsors are investing money because people are coming to watch tennis and see the players.”

In this nationwide lockdown, many players have lots of spare time but this lockdown ascertained favourable for Cilic as he became a father in January.

The 2017 Wimbledon finalist told that his entire day was evolving around his son named Balbo on the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

“It is a very, very big blessing for me. It’s a silver lining situation,” the 31-year-old said.

“Basically since his birth I have missed only two weeks of his life. It’s been a beautiful time with him, spending time with my family, seeing how he’s growing up and then feeling all the things that he is going through.”

“It’s been, I have to say, one of the best moments and best periods of my life, of my tennis career.”

When everyone is taking care of their physical fitness, Cilic also feels that he might also have a physical motive when the tennis will resume.

“I was really privileged as we moved to my wife’s hometown, which is quite a small place,” he said.

“I know a person that runs a couple of tennis courts here and he gave me keys to one. So we were able to play on our own, me and my coach.

“I believe, more or less, when things become calmer everyone is going to have enough time to prepare and train but hopefully I’m going to be just slightly better.”


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