Croatia’s Marin Cilic returned to competitive tennis on Monday for the first time since being hit with a doping ban four months ago. Cilic, who is playing in the Paris Masters, was originally slated to be suspended for nine months, but the punishment was reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
After beating Igor Sijsling to the tune of 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, Cilic spoke with reporters about the joy of returning to the court:
I felt like a kid playing for the first time. The feeling was amazing just to be back on the court, to be competing and I enjoyed every moment. My thoughts were just on how much I am enjoying it and how I am happy to be back on the court (Reuters).
Rafael Nadal was also happy to see Cilic return:
The only thing that I can say is that I am happy to see Marin back on tour. He’s a good guy and a great player. I don’t know what happened, but if he’s back, it’s because it’s fair that he’s back. That’s all. Happy for that.