Marin Cilic’s Shanghai campaign didn’t last long. The US Open champion was bounced by Ivo Karlovic in a tight 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(2) victory in the first round at the Rolex Masters.
“It’s a gamble with him,” said Cilic. “He goes all in or nothing. It’s always difficult. He was serving really well towards the end of the match. I couldn’t get into his serve. It can happen with Ivo. It’s always tricky.
“The game, I’m feeling it’s on the spot. Though I lost today, it’s unfortunate, bad luck, but I’m going with positive energy into the next weeks to finish the season well.”
After winning 10 straight matches, Cilic has now lost his last two.
Cilic moved down to sixth in the ATP’s Race to London, but thanks to his Grand Slam win he’s all but assured a spot in the 8-man year-end field.
Still hunting for a London berth is Grigor Dimitrov, and the Bulgarian improved his chances beating Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-3.
Richard Gasquet, John Isner, Kevin Anderson and Jack Sock, who beat Bernard Tomic, were among the other winners.
On Tuesday, Andy Murray opens play against Gabashvili. The top seeds Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are expected to be in action on Wednesday.
TUESDAY SHANGHAI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 1:00 pm
M Youzhny (RUS) vs  E Gulbis (LAT)
V Pospisil (CAN) vs S Giraldo (COL)
 A Murray (GBR) vs [Q] T Gabashvili (RUS)
Not Before 8:00 pm
L Mayer (ARG) vs [WC] D Wu (CHN)
GRANDSTAND start 1:00 pm
G Simon (FRA) vs G Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
 F Fognini (ITA) vs [WC] C Wang (CHN)
E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs J Janowicz (POL)
Not Before 6:30 pm
M Kukushkin (KAZ) vs  K Anderson (RSA)
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Everyone always says anyone can lose to Dr Ivo, but its not true: the Big Four don’t lose to Dr Ivo.
Cilic should be at a level where he doesn’t lose to Dr Ivo. Obviously he was not playing the tennis that won him the USO.
I said at the time that I’d take Kei’s future chances over Marin’s, just based on the fact that Kei had been consistently challenging top players for the last year, while Marin came much more out of nowhere, and, as a newfound power player it seemed much more a case of a hot streak than a new standard-level-of-play for him. Its still too early, and I would love to see Marin continue to challenge the top players, but I would not be surprised if he falls back to top 16 level.
October 6th, 2014 at 8:08 pm