Three defeats, but three pretty close matches for Marin Cilic at the ATP Finals in London. The Croatian takes what's positive after his three-setter loss to Roger Federer, who prevailed 6-7 6-4 6-1. 'Yeah, I think today was solid match', Cilic said in press conference.
'That's what I went to go out to play, try to play another good match. Obviously, it's a little bit more difficult mentally knowing that I had two losses, that I'm not going to be able to go through. But still, it was a very solid match for me.
I played, I'd say, those first two sets a really good level. Even had a breakpoint there early in the second. I think overall with my game I was, you know, quite satisfied, played good tennis. Just in the third set, I felt like I dropped a little bit with my serving percentage.
Once Roger got the break, he was playing a little bit looser, obviously played well. But, you know, even though it's three losses, I felt that you know, my tennis wasn't too far off from playing really, really well.
You know, it's good positives at least in that. Hopefully, I'm going to, you know, recover good and start a new season on a good level.' At the end of the last season, Cilic had said that cracking top 5 was his goal.
After Shanghai, he achieved a career-high ranking at No. 4. What about 2018 goals? 'Yeah, I think looking ahead, obviously, I'm going to try to set goals little bit in front. 3 would be nice. I'm definitely going to talk with my team.
We did a lot of improvements in this year. It was extremely positive. I think I played extremely consistent throughout the season, especially starting from the clay court season. Overall I felt that my level has come to a new level.
So hopefully even more next year, I can aim a little bit higher. Where is that going to be? You know, I'm not sure. But hopefully, I'm going to be in a position to challenge the top guys and to be in contention for Grand Slams.' What were his ups and lows? 'I would say that clay court season was extremely successful for me.
I had the best clay court season ever. Played quite consistently there. I think that helped me to play well on the grass courts. With my form during the grass court season, I was really, really satisfied. I think at that stage of the year I came to the point where I just got to the new level of consistency, playing week after week on a great level.
Then after that, I just had a little bit of a difficulty with the groin injury, so just pushed me back for US Open. I was not ready. But obviously, after that, I found my form again and played well. Just in these last three weeks - Basel, Paris and here - with my form, I didn't keep it up.
I think just going to have to find a reason with my team why it happened, especially at this crucial stage of the year where a lot of points could have been won. A little bit unfortunate to just drop the form at the end.' ALSO READ: Roger Federer reveals the only regret he has for 2017 season .