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‘Extremely proud’ Cilic joins exalted company with Slam semi-final spot – and is all set for more press interviews

The 33-year-old joked that he doesn’t mind going under the radar if it means doing fewer press conferences

Marin Cilic Marin Cilic celebrates beating Andrey Rublev (Aurelien Morissard/Panoramic)

There are five active male players who have reached the semi-finals of every single Grand Slam. Even non-tennis fans would guess four of them – Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray.

Marin Cilic joined that elite group as he beat Andrey Rublev 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) in the Roland-Garros quarter-finals on Wednesday – and set up a semi-final against Norway’s Casper Ruud.

“Extremely proud with that and really happy,” the Croat reflected in his press conference.

He was quick to point out that success at Roland-Garros did not come as a surprise to him, that his form on clay had been good over the last five years.

“I would say last few years coming back from 2017, I started to feel great on clay and had some great success,” he said. “But, you know, in the end it’s also such a short season for clay, it’s difficult to time everything every single season.

Marin Cilic at Roland-Garros 2022 against Andrey Rublev (Aurelien Morissard/Panoramic)

“I’m feeling great on the court, enjoying myself, being me, playing my own game. It’s paying off, and just, you know, enjoying the run. And, you know, obviously knew with my kind of level, with my tennis in last several years that I have, you know, been playing if I’m, you know, finding good form, good things are always happening.”

Cilic: I wasn’t as consistent as the top guys

The 33-year-old joked that he was happy to go under the radar, outside of the spotlight of such exalted company, because it also meant fewer press conferences.

“I’m happy with less press conferences, I’m happy with less media – that was fantastic, I have to say, in these last two years, every tournament, easy, no press! I’m kidding!” he smiled before acknowledging that his own lack of consistency had let him down.

“No, just comes down to the guys who are under the highlights. You know, these guys have been, they are the top of the game so many years. You know, looking at my own career, I had some obviously huge successes and, you know, won so many things.

“But also comparing to the top guys, it was not as consistent, you know. Had three, four seasons that were incredibly good, incredibly consistent, but I was a little bit in and out.

“I really don’t mind being under the highlights or not. You know, I’m just trying to use my opportunities as much as I can during my career every day, every match to give my best and to, you know, when I go out of the game that I’m absolutely proud. If I do more press conferences, it’s fine, yeah!”

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