Goran Ivanišević had his one in his native Split after returning home from winning Wimbledon in 2001, and on Tuesday it was the turn of Marin Čilić to party with over 30,000 fans in his home town of Međugorje….
The US Open started the day by being driven around the streets of Međugorje in an ‘open-top’ old-timer as fans lined the streets with flags and flares to catch a glimpse of their hero. From the parade it was straight to a mass for the devoted Catholic, where Priest Marinko Šakota gifted Marin a photo of himself holding the US Open trophy with the Virgin Mary and the Church of St. Jakov in the background.
A number of guests, including Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Vjekoslav Bevanda were present as celebrations continued well into the night with concerts from singers Marko Perković Thomspon, Jole, and Mate Bulić. Čilić got on stage with the singers to belt out a few numbers, much to his fans and parents delight.
“It was emotional, I was in tears. I think a lot of people were crying tonight here. Marin bought everyone a little happiness which is needed,” Čilić’s father Zdenko said.
“Thanks for coming. It is so nice to be here. These three weeks have been a dream. With Goran I have achieved something I hoped for a long time. From tomorrow I will continue to live my dream. It has been amazing, nowhere in the world is like this,” said Marin referring to the celebrations.