The final time Marin Cilic performed in Singapore, his UAE Royals staff misplaced each their 2015 Worldwide Premier Tennis League ties.
The Croat returns to the Republic for the Feb 22-28 Singapore Tennis Open on the OCBC Area with far more at stake, as he seeks to win his first ATP title in over two years. A lot has modified for the 32-year-old since he was right here for the exhibition occasion.
The 2014 US Open Champion added to his resume by profitable the 2016 Cincinnati Masters and 2018 Davis Cup. However the world No. 43 has but to carry silverware because the Queen’s Membership Championships in London in June 2018.
Cilic is 2 titles away from changing into simply the sixth lively participant to carry 20 Tour-level titles, after Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro.
He’s the third seed on the ATP 250 match – behind French world No. 36 Adrian Mannarino and Australian world No. 39 John Millman – and can within the final 16 meet both Japan’s Taro Daniel or India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan, who play the opening match at present.
His essential competitors might be high seed Mannarino and Millman, who received his first ATP singles title final November on the Astana Open after beating Mannarino within the ultimate.
The US$300,000 (S$397,370) Singapore Open was a late addition to the lads’s circuit’s calendar and can function a 28-strong singles subject and 16-pair doubles subject.
The highest 4 seeds, together with Alexander Bublik, obtained a bye within the first spherical. Millman, who’s in the identical half of the draw as Cilic, will play both compatriot Matthew Ebden, contemporary off an Australian Open combined doubles ultimate look, or Indian Yuki Bhambri, who has not performed a professional match since October 2018 due to a torn tendon in his proper knee.
Locals Shaheed Alam and Roy Hobbs might be in motion in doubles at present after receiving a wild card.
The match follows the Australian Open, which ended yesterday in Melbourne, from the place some gamers might be coming.
A minimum of 200 individuals, together with gamers, employees and officers, are anticipated to be coming from abroad for the occasion and must take every day polymerase chain response (PCR) assessments all through their keep right here. They are going to be additional remoted in particular person staff bubbles, amongst different security measures in place.
Japanese No. 2 and fifth seed Yoshihito Nishioka, who faces American Michael Mmoh within the first spherical, instructed The Straits Occasions in a video interview by way of Zoom that he was excited to be in Singapore for the primary time.
He stated: “I wished to exit however it’s not attainable this time. Subsequent time, if I come to go to Singapore, I wish to go sightseeing and see some stunning issues right here…
“I am unable to eat Singaporean meals or see issues however I am very blissful to be right here after the Australian Open.”
Nishioka, 25, was knocked out within the first spherical of the 12 months’s first Main and stated he has taken the two-week break to vary his mindset and he’s now fitter and in higher situation for the Singapore Open.
He added: “We won’t speak to one another on this match and I eat breakfast, lunch, dinner by myself which is a bit unhappy.
“However I perceive that we have now to watch out and that everybody is attempting to be secure for us so I admire it however it’s additionally a bit robust.”
ATP SINGAPORE OPEN
Day 1: StarHub Ch211, midday