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Ivanisevic: This is Cilic's time
08 Sep 2014 18:06
Goran Ivanisevic is guiding Marin Cilic to the place he always believed his countryman belonged.
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Ivanisevic first met fellow Croatian Cilic when he was 14 and has taken a keen interest in his career ever since.
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And it is Ivanisevic who will be sitting in Cilic's box tonight (10pm Irish time) when the 25-year-old takes on Kei Nishikori for the US Open title.
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The former Wimbledon champion might not have picked here and now but he is certainly not surprised that Cilic has made it to a grand slam final.
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"I always told him the truth," said Ivanisevic.
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"The last three years, I told him I always believed he's a guy who should be in the top five, but he needed to step up, to be aggressive, because against these guys, you cannot stay back. You have to be brave, to take a risk.
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"Even when he was playing well three or four years ago, when he was number nine in the world, I told him, 'This is not the tennis that you should play'.
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"He was also not believing what I was saying. And then he went backwards, in the last three years he didn't improve. So I told him this has to change. You have to use your weapons. Or you don't need me.
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"Because he's too good a player, he's always going to be between 15 and 30 without a coach.
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"I like to be here, I have really found myself being a coach and this is great. But I like to teach him something. In Rome we had this big talk and I told him this is your time.
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"The match against Novak (Djokovic) in the French Open, that's when he started to believe. I knew it, his time was going to come, sooner or later, but it came sooner than I thought.
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"But why stop now? Whoever wins is going to be on top of the world. Mount Everest is on Monday.
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"I always believed that he belonged with these guys, and this is the proof that he does."
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