this is my first title19 Dec 2014
A steely-eyed Marin Cilic blasted his way past Jeremy Chardy and into the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the first time on Monday, a year after failing a drugs test and pulling out of the tournament. Despite the Croatian’s initial claims that a knee injury was hampering his progress, it was later revealed that Cilic had tested positive for banned stimulant nikethamide in April 2013 and the International Tennis Federation handed him a nine-month ban in September. The ban was reduced to four months after he appealed on the grounds that he had inadvertently taken the substance in glucose tablets and Cilic is now drawing on the experience of that unfortunate chapter in his career. “For me, the most important part was that I found some mental toughness out of all of that,” Cilic said of the ban after beating Chardy 7-6(8) 6-4 6-4 in the fourth round. “When I came back it sort of gave me more motivation to work and use every opportunity I had to be prepared for every tournament. I used that time as well for physical preparation, I was doing a lot … Overall, I am feeling very well and I think my game is at a high level.” Cilic, who became the fourth Croatian man to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals, fired 33 aces past Frenchman Chardy and is delighted with his serve’s increasing dependability. “The serve has become a big weapon and I can rely on it during the matches,” he told reporters. “I felt in some points that Jeremy was guessing where the serve was going to go and he was making some mistakes.” Cilic, the 26th seed, is coached by compatriot Goran Ivanisevic and says that he is also benefiting from the guidance of the charismatic former Wimbledon champion. “All the things we are working on, they’re working for me on the court,” Cilic said. “Having him over here beside me is definitely another big plus. He’s been in the second week of Wimbledon many times, so of course I’m leaving all the small details up to him.” He will need all the help he can get in the next round, where top seed Novak Djokovic stands in his path after the Serbian despatched Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-4 7-6(5) in his fourth-round tie. (Editing by David Goodman). Statbox after Rory McIlroy won the 143rd British Open at Royal Liverpool by two shots on Sunday: * Seventh European Tour victory at 138th attempt * Goes to the top of the Race to Dubai money list * Climbs from eighth to second in world rankings * Becomes third Northern Irishman to win British Open after Fred Daly (1947) and Darren Clarke (2011) * Third youngest player, aged 25, to win three of the four majors after Jack Nicklaus (23) and Tiger Woods (24) * Sixth European Tour member to win three or more majors after Nick Faldo (six), Seve Ballesteros (five), Ernie Els (four), Vijay Singh (three) and Padraig Harrington (three) * Beats Ballesteros (26) record as youngest European Tour member to win three majors * Becomes second successive European winner of a major after Martin Kaymer’s victory at last month’s U.S. Open * Second time he has been wire-to-wire winner of a major after success at 2011 U.S. Open * Tenth wire-to-wire winner of British Open * First player to win British Open and BMW PGA Championship in same year * Thirteenth victory as a professional (Compiled by Tony Jimenez, editing by xxx). The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks were given a welcome boost on Thursday when running back Marshawn Lynch ended a one-week holdout by reporting for camp at the team’s practice facility. timberland Lynch, Seattle’s leading rusher for the past three seasons, arrived after the team’s morning practice and television cameras showed him wearing a hooded “Beast Mode” sweatshirt and a woollen cap. The 28-year-old, a Pro Bowl selection in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013, was seen in the lobby of the practice facility and the Seahawks later tweeted: “#BeastMode is in the building.” Lynch signed a four-year, $30 million contract with the Seahawks in 2012 and is scheduled to earn $5.5 million in 2014. He has incurred a $30,000 fine for every day missed at training camp, though that can be waived by the team, according to the NFL Media Insider. Before Lynch can be added to Seattle’s active roster, he will need to pass a physical. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury).