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Players must manage their own schedules, says Cilic

23 Januar 2018 16:51

Marin Cilic believes the onus is on the players, not the ATP World Tour, to manage their calendars after Rafael Nadal retired from the pair's Australian Open quarter-final.

Nadal was forced to bow out of Tuesday's last-eight meeting due to an upper leg injury, with Cilic 2-0 up in the deciding set.

In his post-match media conference, the world number one said the amount of injuries suffered by the sport's top stars should prompt the ATP to reconsider its scheduling, particularly regarding the hard-court tournaments.

But Cilic, who will face grand slam semi-final debutant Kyle Edmund on Thursday, stopped short of agreeing with his stricken opponent.

"The calendar is there for so many years," said the 2014 US Open champion. "Just in this last year, obviously beginning of this one, we see a lot of top guys that are injured.

"In the end it's on all of us to try to take care of our bodies, to try to pick the right schedule, to listen to our body, how it feels. I completely understand there are a lot of tournaments that we play, mandatory tournaments.

"In my own perspective, we are all picking our own schedule. It's tough to say, 'okay, we are going to take out two months of the season, cut that many tournaments', because tennis is such a global sport.

"Everywhere we play people enjoy it. I think tennis is getting more and more popular, which we really want also."

Cilic will start as favourite against world number 49 Edmund, but the sixth seed is taking nothing for granted as he heads into a fifth major semi-final.

"For me, I'm going to prepare for that match like for any other one," Cilic said.

"Kyle had an amazing run here. A lot of tough matches, played great tennis. He's also very entertaining to watch. Big hitter, great serve, great forehand. Plays great on the hard courts.

"For me, it's another good opportunity. Obviously on the paper it's probably easier to play him than Rafa. But still he deserved a lot to be here at the spot where he is."

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