Chennai: World No.6 Croat Marin Cilic will be the star attraction at the 22nd edition of the Chennai Open tennis tournament.
The 2014 US Open champion, who attained his best ever ranking just on Sunday, moving up from World No.7 to 6, confirmed his entry for India’s premium event at the SDAT Tennis Stadium here.
“I am so happy to announce on the day that I have broken into the top six that I am coming back to India to play in front of adoring Chennai fans,” Cilic said, in a release.
The 28-year-old star has been one of the mainstays at the Chennai Open ever he made his first appearance here in 2008. He has returned to play as many as six times in the tournament.
He hs won the tournament twice, to be in a select group headed by World No.3 Stan Wawrinka (a four-time winner), and former World No.1 Carlos Moya (twice).
Cilic annexed the trophy in 2009 and 2010. He has won two tour events in the last few months, winning Cincinnati Masters in August and the Swiss Indoor title in October.
“I hope to break into the top five, and the top three, this year. I feel Chennai is a lucky hunting ground for me, and will help me achieve my immediate goal. I think it will be a great way to begin 2017,” Cilic said.
Talking about being the highest seeded player in the tournament, he quipped: “It’s a nice feeling. But it will also put me under some pressure as I have to live up to the expectations of fans. Hopefully, it will bring out the best in me and that will be great start to my new year.”