ZAGREB, January 31, 2015
Disappointing news came on Friday when Marin Cilic announced that all efforts to recover from a shoulder injury did not help to participate at this year’s edition of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors in order to gain a third consecutive title. The current US-Open Champion and best-ranked Croatian tennis player was forced to withdraw from his appearance in the Domu Sportova.
“Unfortunately, I will not be able to defend my title in Zagreb. Although my shoulder is getting better, it hasn’t fully healed yet and I will need some more time for recovery and treatment. I am sorry that I am unable to participate in the tournament in front of my home crowd. I always played well here, but I hope to be back soon,” a disappointed four-time winner of the tournament told on Friday. Cilic lifted the trophy in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014. It has only been the second time that the world number nine had to withdraw from the event in Zagreb after he had cancelled his appearance in 2012 due to a knee injury.
Nonetheless, Cilic attended the draw ceremony for the 10th edition, which was conducted in the press room of the Domu Sportova on Saturday at noon. The tournament’s top four seeds – Ivo Karlovic, Adrian Mannarino, Guillermo Garcia-López and Gilles Muller – received a bye in the first round.
In top half of the draw, the tournament’s number one, Ivo Karlovic, can face his only 18-year-old compatriot Borna Coric in the quarterfinal. The teenager from Zagreb will face Sergiy Stakhovsky in the opening round.
Second-seeded Adrian Mannarino is on target for a possible first meeting since 2009 with Zagreb’s number eight Marcel Granollers. The world number 36 from France and the Spaniard only met on ATP Challenger and ITF Future level before (H2H: 1-1).
Gilles Muller and Andreas Seppi, who both made it into the second week of the Australian Open are another possible quarterfinals pair in Zagreb. Guillermo Garcia-López could face Viktor Troicki in the stage of the final eight for the fifth time on the ATP World Tour. The world number 37 from Spain, who also reached the fourth round in Melbourne, is still looking to gain his first victory over the Serb.
The tournament’s organizers granted all three wild cards to local players. Mate Delic will face fellow Croat Ivan Dodig in the first round. Antonio Veic takes on James Ward and Toni Androic will meet Marcos Baghdatis in his very first ATP World Tour main draw match.
“Too bad that there are so many good players in the upper quarter, which is very strong. But if you want to take the title you need to win your matches sooner or later,” tournament director Branimir Horvat said. “There will be a couple of interesting matches in the first round already. We are looking for a good tournament with a lot of people attending the encounters,” Goran Ivanisevic added.
Qualifying has started on Saturday and the first matches of the main draw will be played on Monday.