London—US Open champion Marin Cilic has claimed the fifth spot at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The Croat will make his debut at the year-end event as he joins Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka in the elite eight-man field at the prestigious tournament, to be held at The O2 in London from 9-16 November.
The 26-year-old Cilic will be the first Croatian to play at the season finale since Ivan Ljubicic qualified for the 2006 Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. The right-hander, who is through to the semi-finals in Moscow, has compiled a career-best campaign in 2014. Coached by 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic (who qualified for the year-end event five times in his career), Cilic won his maiden Grand Slam championship at the US Open, toppling Federer in the semi-finals before beating Kei Nishikori in the final. He also lifted the trophies at ATP World Tour events in Zagreb and Delray Beach and finished runner-up in Rotterdam.
“This was one of my childhood dreams,” said Cilic. “It happened this year and I’m extremely happy about this success. It’s another achievement in my career. The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is for sure one of the most interesting tournaments of the year. It is watched all over the world and brings a big attendance to all the matches. It will be a big honour for me to participate there.”
Following the release of the Valencia Open 500 draw, Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who has already qualified for London, cannot fall below 7th in the Emirates ATP Race London. Consequently, Cilic is now guaranteed to qualify one of two ways: First, he may finish in the Top 7 of the Race. Or, he will be the highest-ranked 2014 Grand Slam champion to finish between 8th and 20th in the Race, and therefore would claim the eighth and final spot.
Just over two weeks remain in the regular ATP World Tour season, with valuable points to be earned at next week’s ATP World Tour 500s in Basel and Valencia before the final event of the regular season, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Paris.
Andy Murray (9th in the Race) and David Ferrer (10th) are both looking to make up ground in the Emirates ATP Race To London as they compete at the ATP World Tour 250 in Vienna this week, while Grigor Dimitrov (11th) is the defending champion at the 250 in Stockholm, where Tomas Berdych (7th) is the top seed.
Tickets to the tournament can be purchased at: www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com.