Marin Cilic makes Roger Federer retirement joke at Hungarian Open

Cilic, 30, accepted a late wild card to compete at the Hungarian Open this week to try and find some form ahead of Roland Garros.

The Croatian crashed out of the Monte Carlo Masters with a second-round defeat to Guido Pella last week.

The world No 11 still thinks he can improve his game despite approaching the latter stage of his career.

He was asked about Federer competing at such a high level, despite being 37 years old.

And Cilic joked: “I have 10 more years” in response to the Federer question.

He added: “I’ve been around. I’ve seen a lot of guys come and go.

“It’s been a great journey. I’m feeling that as a player I evolved quite nicely.

“As a player I improved in a lot of different areas… I feel that I still have a lot of time but that I don’t.

“Trying to also use every day the best you can because you’re always in a fight against time.

“Time is ticking away and you need to do the best you can.”

Marin Cilic gets his campaign underway in Budapest against the winner of Yannick Maden vs Pablo Cuevas.

And he has a clear plan to pick up form ahead of the French Open.

“It comes back to a simple thing: why you play the game? I love the game,” he added.

“I want to do the best I can. It’s as simple as that. Coming every day to practice, it’s not easy. It’s not easy to push yourself because you have big competition on the other side.

“You know that the guys are also hungry, youngsters are hungry, also top guys are hungry to do well.

“But at the end of the day you have to be clear with yourself why you do this and what you want to achieve.

“For me, I want to be the best I can be and I know the process for that is a long-term process and I have to be every day dedicated and very persistent with my own goals and with my training.”

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