A tour stalwart since the late 2000s, Marin Cilic is one of a small group of men to capture a major title instead of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray during their dominance as the “Big Four.”
He won the 2014 US Open final over Kei Nishikori, joining Stan Wawrinka, Juan Martin del Potro, and Marat Safin as the only major winners outside of the Big 4 since Safin’s 2005 Australian Open win. Marin continued to be a relevant force on tour, reaching grand slam finals at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.
Though he’s struggled with injuries, the lanky Croatian is still a dangerous floater in any draw with his aggressive serve and blistering groundstrokes.
Let’s take a look at the tool of his trade.
Here’s Marin Cilic’s current racquet setup:
- Endorsed Racquet: Head Prestige Auxetic Line
- Actual Racquet: Head TGT 312.2 AKA Graphene Prestige Mid Pro Stock
- Strings: Natural Gut Mains and Luxilon ALU Power Crosses.
Marin has been using Head racquets for his entire career. Early on, he used the Head TGK 231.3 pro stock frame which is the Microgel Radical MP mold with a 16×19 string pattern.
He used this racquet under various paintjobs until 2014 when he was spotted with the new Head Graphene Prestige paint.
- Cilic with Prestige paint at the 2014 US Open
There is some debate as to whether he used his trusty Radical mold or a new Prestige mold when he won his major title, but the general consensus is that it was still his old Radical frame.
The beam shape in the throat and shape of his grommets seem to match the TGT 231.3. Later on, in 2015, he certainly had made the switch to the Graphene Prestige Mid mold which has the pro stock code TGT 312.2. He has used that frame since under Prestige paintjobs.
Marin’s racquets have been available on reputable sites that sell pro stock racquets, and his specs have been included there. Reportedly he uses an L5 grip with the following specs:
- Strung mass: 345g
- Strung balance: 32.5 cm
- Strung swingweight: 371
This is a demanding racquet, especially with Marin’s 4-5/8” grip size. Take the thin beam combined with the 93 inch head size, and It’s not a surprise Cilic adds a significant amount of swingweight to this frame and counterbalances it with silicone in his racquet handle.
Because it’s not extremely heavy given the swingweight, we can assume most of the weight is added at the top of the racquet under the bumper guard.
Most in the tennis industry would refer to this as a polarized racquet which was a major selling point of Head’s Graphene line when it first came to market – the weight was added at the tip and tail of the frame to keep power and stability high (from high swingweight) and mass lower, allowing for aggressive acceleration required for the modern game’s more vertical swings.
It’s a bit surprising to me that Cilic who can hit so flat and hard uses a spec generally that would be more expected (higher mass…the rest is in range) for a player who relies on spin, but hey he’s had some great results with it!
Marin has been using one of the gold standard string setups found on the pro tour for most of his career: Babolat VS Touch 130 Natural Gut mains and Luxilon ALU Power 125 crosses.
This hybrid or a similar version of it has been used by Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Tommy Haas, and many others! Marin requests his racquets be strung at 25kg (55 pounds) without any prestretch on the natural gut.
This is a very controlled setup and amplifies the feel and precision he gets from his thin beamed, mid-sized racquet which makes sense because Marin’s height allows him to generate loads of natural power.
Again, we see another professional player using a racquet that matches their game and gives them what they need. In Cilic’s case, it’s control. The thin beam and small head size allow for superb feel and precision while the high swingweight keeps the racquet from being anemic.
Marin was able to stay healthier in 2022 and played some great matches, including when he pushed Carlos Alcaraz in Cincinnati. It seems like the big man still has some of the level that got him to multiple major finals and a grand slam title left in him!
If you’re interested in other ATP players’ racquets, I listed all the top 100 players’ racquets in this post.