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Marin Cilic Optimistic In The Absence Of Andy Murray At Us Open

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Marin Cilic believes Andy Murray’s withdrawal from the US Open has gifted him a golden opportunity to win his second Grand Slam title.

Cilic was moved into Murray’s slot in the draw following the Scot’s withdrawal from the tournament with a hip injury on Saturday.

That has left the Croatian, who won the title at Flushing Meadows in 2014, on the opposite side of the draw to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with Alexander Zverev his potential semi-final opponent.

Cilic himself has had his own injury worries and was pushed harder than might have been expected by 105th-ranked American Tennys Sandgren in the opening round on Monday, eventually coming through 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-3.

But having played his first match since the Wimbledon final, he insists his physical problems are now behind him and hopes the same can soon be said about the rust.

“Everything feels okay physically. I’m very happy with that. That’s the number one thing,” he said.

“On the court, obviously I felt that I’m just lacking a little bit of that consistency point after point, to be continuing with my aggression, with my tennis.

“Obviously Andy is not playing. It is a great opportunity, especially for all of us guys in the bottom half of the draw. It’s much more open now.

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“I’m still feeling a little bit different than I would have felt, for example, if this would have happened in Wimbledon or maybe the French Open, because even though Wimbledon wasn’t too long ago, I still didn’t have any matches after that.

“I had to take a long break without tennis, without running. So that just pushed me back a bit. I’m still focusing on regaining that form. The opportunities are there. It’s just whether I can be ready or not.”

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