Marin Cilic is no stranger to Grand Slam finals, and neither is his girlfriend Kristina Milkovic. The big-serving Cilic is the 2014 US Open champion and has been a regular at the top of the world rankings for a while now. (You can be forgiven for having Cilic slightly off your tennis radar, since the talk tends to focus on the so-called Big Four: Nadal, Federer, Murray, and Djokovic.) Plus Cilic, currently ranked World No. 6, hit a roadblock on his way to entering the elite group in a more permanent way with his 2013 suspension for banned substance. Through it all — Cilic’s rise, his wins, his challenges and his surge at Wimbledon to face Roger Federer for the 2017 Wimbledon crown — Cilic has enjoyed the unswerving backing of his girlfriend Kristina Milkovic (see photo below).
[related: Cilic started Wimbledon as a 20-1 shot]
Milkovic was there when Cilic beat none other than Roger Federer in the semifinals of that 2014 US Open, his lone Grand Slam title so far. And she was presumably with Cilic as he sat out the 2013 US Open during his doping suspension. (Cilic said he “ingested the substance unintentionally via a glucose tablet bought at a pharmacy” and his suspension was reduced to just four months.) Milkovic herself doesn’t leave much of a footprint on social media, where the best chance of catching her is on Cilic’s feed — where the couple always looks happy and healthy, beautiful and young. (Cilic is 28; Milkovic is near his age.) The UK’s Sun credits Milkovic with two Master’s Degrees from the University of Zagreb, one in business and the other in psychology (good subjects for her role as Cilic’s partner, since pro athletes require acumen in both.) The degrees were earned in 2014, obviously a good year for both halves of this dynamic couple. The Sun also credits Milkovic with speaking four languages fluently — Spanish, English, Italian, and Croat. Not surprising as international tennis is largely populated by multilingual speakers. At Wimbledon, Milkovic will be going through the same thing — or just the opposite — as Mirka Federer.