Following a long layoff due to a right shoulder injury, reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic began his 2015 season this week in Indian Wells, where suffered a premature exit in his opening match in the desert.
While the world No. 10 lost to Juan Monaco in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, he was pleased with his performance, as he didn’t have high expectations for his first match back on tour.
“I wasn’t expecting that I’m going to be playing great tennis, which is always difficult in the first couple of matches,” he said. “Some players do feel great from the beginning, but I’m the kind of player that needs a few matches to get into it.”
It was a difficult road to his return at Indian Wells, and Cilic was not afraid to admit it. He even had some lingering pain in his shoulder, which is why he was unable to serve well.
“In these last, let’s say 20 days, you get some blisters by not playing,” Cilic admitted. “Your body is sore, shoulder is sore, wrist, things like that. It wasn’t the best, but I’m looking forward. I’m looking at this as good preparation…”
Cilic will now look forward to continuing his steady return to the ATP World Tour by playing doubles with a player who has also been bitten by the injury bug, Juan Martin del Potro.
“You know how important it is to play matches, to play official matches, and to get myself going and to feel this feeling on the court,” he said. “With the doubles, I spoke with Delpo, and he expressed desire to play and also to get back on the court, as well. He’s planning to play in Miami, so a few matches in the doubles is always helpful.”