It looked as if Marin Čilić’s New York stay was going to end before it even began. In the 1st round of the US Open Tuesday afternoon, the #31 ranked Čilić dropped the first two sets to American Denis Kudla and looked dead in the water. But the 2014 US Open champion rallied to take the next three sets 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 to keep his tournament alive.
Čilić can hang with the best but has been a shell of himself for the past two years. He has already won the US Open and made the finals of Wimbledon and the Australian Open in an era of the impenetrable BIG 4: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray. Not to mention, Čilić helped Croatia pick up a Davis Cup championship as well. Can he make a run at another semifinal appearance? Sure. But not if it’s taking him five sets to win in the first round. He needs to keep is court time down at the ripe age of 31. Čilić will play Slovak Norbert Gombos in the next round.
In other news, #27 Borna Ćorić made quick work of Pablo Andujar in the first round, winning in straight sets. Ćorić will play Juan Ignacio Landero next. The ‘ace master’ Ivo Karlović faces off against Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the first round Tuesday night. #8 Petra Martić beat Tereza Martincova in three sets during their first round match and #18 Donna Vekić will face off against Kristyna Pliskova Tuesday night.