After the latest defeat to Radu Albot in the first round of Cincinnati, a former Grand Slam and Masters 1000 champion Marin Cilic will drop out from the top-20 for the first time since July 2014. The Croat has won only 15 out of 28 encounters so far in 2019, struggling with a knee injury and not reaching the final since Queen's in 2018 when he saved a match point against Novak Djokovic.
Competing in only six tournaments before May, Marin scored only four wins and dropped out from the top-10, never finding the form again and reaching only two quarter-finals in Rome when he gave a walkover to Novak Djokovic and Washington where Daniil Medvedev prevailed in two sets.
Despite being a former finalist at both Australian Open and Wimbledon, Marin managed to win only 270 points in the first three Majors in 2019, losing ground in comparison with the players from the top and having to bow out from the top-20 after spending half a decade in that group.
Cracking the mentioned group in January 2009, Cilic had been working on his game to become one of the most consistent players on the Tour, entering the top-10 in February 2010 and finding the strength to overcome a tough period at the end of 2013 to join the elite club again.
After reaching the final at the Australian Open last year, Marin became world no. 3 for the first time and spending the entire season in the top-7 despite a slow finish and only one win at the ATP Finals. In November, Cilic carried his country towards the Davis Cup crown against France and that was his last big moment so far, unable to find his best tennis in the first eight months of 2019 or to challenge the rivals ranked above him.
After that loss to Radu Albot in Cincinnati, Marin will try to regain the form and composure ahead of the US Open where he lost to Kei Nishikori in the quarter-final last year following a grueling battle that lasted for over four hours.