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Cilic viewing Murray's absence as a 'great opportunity' to win US Open

Marin Cilic knows Andy Murray's withdrawal from the US Open has presented him with a golden opportunity to win his second grand slam title.

When second seed Murray announced on Saturday that his hip injury would prevent him playing at Flushing Meadows, 2014 champion Cilic was moved into the Scot's slot in the draw.

Marin Cilic is confident of his US Open chances now that Andy Murray is no longer participating. AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are in the other half while Cilic's potential semi-final opponent Alexander Zverev is yet to make his grand slam breakthrough.

The big question surrounded Cilic's fitness given the Croatian had not played a match since the Wimbledon final, where he tearfully succumbed to Federer after his body let him down.

Cilic has been struggling with an adductor problem and was pushed harder than might have been expected by 105th-ranked American Tennys Sandgren in the opening round of the US Open before coming through 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-3.

He insisted the physical problems are now behind him and hopes the same can soon be said about the rust. He said: "Everything feels okay physically. I'm very happy with that. That's the number one thing.

"On the court, obviously I felt that I'm just lacking a little bit of that consistency point after point, to be continuing with my aggression, with my tennis.

"Obviously Andy is not playing. It is a great opportunity, especially for all of us guys in the bottom half of the draw. It's much more open now.

"I'm still feeling a little bit different than I would have felt, for example, if this would have happened in Wimbledon or maybe the French Open, because even though Wimbledon wasn't too long ago, I still didn't have any matches after that.

"I had to take a long break without tennis, without running. So that just pushed me back a bit. I'm still focusing on regaining that form. The opportunities are there. It's just whether I can be ready or not."

Cilic accounts for two of the four grand slam final appearances that the bottom half of the draw can collectively boast.

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/tennis/story/_/id/20493455/cilic-viewing-murray-absence-great-opportunity-win-second-us-open

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