New Delhi: Marin Cilic challenged the supremacy of the 'Big Four' by cruising to the 2014 US Open title and the big serving Croat feels that the trend will only continue next season, giving more first-time Grand Slam champions to the game.
Another first-time Major winner in 2014 was Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, who won the Australian Open.
"This is going to be the new way I think. We are surely going to see more new champions next year," said world No 9 Cilic, who is here for the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).
He said Wawrinka's triumph at Melbourne gave players knocking on the 'Big Four''s door, belief and motivation to break the barrier.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray are seen as the cream of men's tennis but their domination is surely being challenged strongly.
"This year Wawrinka opened the small door for me. Then you all saw what Kei Nishikori did. Likewise, Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov played well this season, so we are closing the gap. Next year there will be another new Grand Slam champion for sure," said Cilic, referring to his US opponent final Nishikori, who became the first Asian male player to reach a Grand Slam singles final.
Cilic gave his piece of mind as compatriot and coach Goran Ivanisevic sat next to him. Both the Croats are playing for UAE Royals in the IPTL.
Ivanisevic was expectedly asked about the secret behind their successful partnership, which began just over a year ago.
"He (Cilic) didn't start the season very well but after that he played and better, trying to play the game we spoke a lot about, the aggressive game he should play. So French Open was good, Wimbledon was better and US Open I think he played something out of tennis.
"To win like that is great. Then he had the best ranking of eight. What more can you ask for," said Ivanisevic, talking about Cilic's dream run in New York where did not lose a set in quarters, semis and final.
"Next season, Cilic can win more Grand Slams, do even
better. We head to Australia next month. I think it should be interesting," felt Ivanisevic.
Cilic too spoke about what worked in their favour.
"Goran, almost all my career was around me, to play with me or to show me the way. Last year, when I stopped working with longtime coach, I spoke with Goran and he also expressed his desire to help, work with me more. I think the relationship gave me that extra push.
"We know each other for many years. Speaking in the same language also helps, I don't have to speak in my second language which is English. Last six months I got better and better. The US Open I played the best ever tennis of my career, especially at that stage, against the top guys. Next year for sure is very promising for us," said Cilic, who outplayed Federer in the semi-finals.
Talking about his time in Delhi, the 43-year-old Ivanisevic said:"I think the crowd is great. It has been good so far, even in Singapore and Manila. Probably here it is the loudest. They are really having fun. Tomorrow, it should be even more."
Asked about his sightseeing plans, Invanisevic said: "Well traffic here is far from ideal. Plus, we hardly have anytime besides preparing, eating and sleeping."