Beijing: U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic has predicted another new Grand Slam winner for next year claiming that there is a strong chance of another new winner next year as men's tennis opens up and the 'Big Four' era winds down.
Cilic, speaking at the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in Singapore, said that several players have shown they could challenge for a major, including Japan's Kei Nishikori and big-hitting Canadian Milos Raonic .
With former world number one Rafael Nadal returning from an appendix operation, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer now 33 and Britain number one Andy Murray struggling for form, Cilic expects an even more open season next year, China Daily reported.
World number one Novak Djokovic from Serbia is the last of the ' Big Four'.
Cilic said that he thinks now that things are pretty much open for next season, adding that Nadal is a little bit injured and he's going to be also back hopefully for the start of the new season, so his recovery is going to make it even more competitive.
Cilic said that he believes next year they might see another new Grand Slam winner.
Cilic also said that Stanislas Wawrinka's Australian Open win in January opened the door to a breakthrough year for several players, culminating in his US Open final against Nishikori in September.
He said that this year Nishikori played amazing, Grigor Dimitrov played also a really good season, Raonic was there all the time so he added that it gives openings for those players to be there more often and being used to being at the end of the tournament.
Cilic, also said that he hoped that playing the IPTL, instead of his usual routine of focusing solely on fitness work at this time, would prove good preparation for the Australian Open.
The Croat is on the same IPTL team as his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, enabling him to train while playing in the four-stop event, the report added.