Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — Marin Cilic smiles for the cameras as he holds his first-ever U.S. Open trophy. It symbolizes his career’s biggest achievement: a Major title, his first. Cilic also became one of three men who has loosened the grip held on slam titles by the so-called big four — Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray. They have won all Grand Slams since the Australian Open in 2005, with the exception of the U.S. Open’s new champion, Marin Cilic; the 2014 Australian Open champion, Stan Wawrinka; and the 2009 U.S. Open champion, Juan Martin del Potro. With two of the four biggest awards of the year ending up in the hands of players outside the sacred quartet, Cilic’s words inspire, “If you’re working hard, things are going to pay off.” Cilic climbed 7 spots to number 5 in the world, a career high, on the ATP Rankings Tuesday. Down The Tee congratulates Cilic on his historic run at The 2014 U. S. Open.