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Cilic: Rankings slip was a positive

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Originally published on: 05/09/12 00:00

The 23-year-old Croatian reached his career-high position of No.9 in the world rankings two and a half years ago but at one stage last year fell to No.32 as he failed to build on his early potential. Now he is back to No.13 and looking to climb further after his performances at the US Open.

“You always have doubts when you are losing matches that you don't want to lose,” Cilic said in New York. “In a way it was tough for me, but in another way it was also a positive thing for me, as I learned from those situations. I learned from different experiences.

“I was in the top 10, played great tennis, dropped, and now I’m coming back where I feel I can be, with different understanding that I have to just focus on myself and focus on the right things and not bother about too many other ones, which in the past I was having trouble with. Just having some more experience, that can help.”

Cilic reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open two years ago, when he lost to Andy Murray, but in his next nine appearances at Grand Slam tournaments he failed to go beyond the fourth round. However, his fortunes have taken a turn for the better recently. Having won only one tournament last year, he has won two titles this summer, at Umag and at Queen’s Club in London.

“Since playing in the semis at the Australian Open, I've been having lack of results at the Grand Slams,” Cilic said. “This just shows I had a really good summer, played consistently. I think what helped me the most was playing a lot of matches. I won two titles. It just kept me pushing, going and going after that kind of a game.”

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