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November 10, 2014

Marin Cilic


6‑1, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Can you try to explain to us what happens when a champion of the US Open comes, plays, loses 6‑1, 6‑1 in 56 minutes?テつ Today, another player, Berdych, the same thing.テつ It's difficult for us to explain it to the readers.テつ Can you give us a clue?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Well, I mean, from my own side, it's also first time being here.テつ Also I felt that Novak played really, really solid today.テつ In some matches, the score just keeps running.テつ You are sinking a lot.テつ You are, you know, always trying to find something.テつ But whatever you try, it's not working.
That's what I felt today.テつ I felt a little bit uncomfortable on the court, rusty.テつ In some situations where I felt I was, you know, having a chance to get in the score.テつ Also in the beginning of the second set where I broke back to come back to level the score, you know, played pretty sloppy service game.
In some situations, you know, the score just goes, and it's difficult to stop it.

Q.テつ You mentioned rust.テつ How did you find the conditions on the court?テつ Are they conditions that you like?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Yeah, I felt conditions are‑‑ you know, it's medium‑paced court.テつ It's difficult to get the ball past the opponent.テつ I mean, especially Novak.テつ I didn't have too many winners today.
Also he was able to, you know, dictate the rallies.テつ He was also able to return very well.テつ That was a difficult part for my game to get some advantages at the beginning of the points.
You know, when we are at the rallies, Novak starts to dictate, he's always in a much better position.テつ So that was, you know, a difficult part for me to get out of.
Considering the court, it's, I mean, a solid court, but you have to be able to, you know, keep the ball away from the opponent.テつ If you are hitting the ball well, it's going to pay off.
But today I felt that I was not hitting it clean.テつ That's always difficult, especially against Novak, to get away with a win when you're not playing so good.

Q.テつ When you're in a situation like that and you're trying and trying to get back into a match, what is actually going through your mind?テつ Are you looking for a big hole just to crawl into?テつ How are you reacting mentally during a match like that?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Well, even though the game wasn't working, I tried to play, let's say, the right way, to try to go for the shots.テつ When I had the ball, to go for it.テつ Even though I was not making it, I knew if I was going to be too passive, it's going to be difficult to win rallies with him.
That's a difficult part, you know, that you are not succeeding in that situations, and you don't have too many options.テつ I could have, of course, changed it up a little bit more, to come in with the serve a little bit more.
But we had a long game in 2‑1 when I lost my serve.テつ You know, after that everything was pretty much late.

Q.テつ A lot of players have talked about the difficulty of coming in and playing a top player in the first match at an event like this.テつ What about the feeling of going on the court, your first time here?テつ Did you feel nerves?テつ Was it overwhelming?テつ You played Novak pretty close this year.テつ Today wasn't so close.
MARIN CILIC:テつ Yeah, I felt pretty relaxed, not too nervous, coming into the court.テつ I felt at the beginning I wasn't playing so well.テつ Novak got that lead at the beginning, I felt I want to get myself going.テつ But, you know, the game was not pushing me to do it.テつ So I had to make something up.テつ But just wasn't coming.
That's difficult.テつ You are, you know, trying to find some openings which is not happening.テつ It was difficult also for me to, you know, be more pumped up or to win few more points with that kind of sensation.
Most of the time I was a lot behind in the score.

Q.テつ You said you used to think too much on the court, and now you want to be a simple man.テつ How difficult is it to keep it simple here because every experience is a new experience to you, and you have too much new information to process?
MARIN CILIC:テつ I mean, you have to adapt to any kind of situation.テつ Still the game stays the same.テつ You play cross‑court, you play down the line.テつ You always try to keep it simple.
But, you know, these other things to adjust to, you are playing top guys, and you have to start from the first point.テつ Like today, you know, playing Novak, from which I'm not used to already in the first match.テつ To put up my game already on a high level, that was difficult for me to adjust on.
As the match went that way, I wasn't able to turn it around, which is a not good point, that I wasn't able to turn it around differently.

Q.テつ In your pretournament conference, you talked about the rise of the ex‑Yugoslavian players and Balkan players.テつ What do you think is the secret ingredient?テつ Is it the hunger to succeed or opportunities?
MARIN CILIC:テつ I would say that kind of generation.テつ From our country, there's always big talent in sport.テつ Why do players succeed?テつ I don't know.テつ It's an ongoing question.テつ We still don't know.
But probably hunger to win, no other options than to go straightforward.

Q.テつ For your next opponent, Tomas Berdych, are you friends?テつ How do you see him as a player or a person?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Yeah, we are I would say friends.テつ We get along pretty well.テつ Tomas is that kind of guy that he's getting along well with everybody on the tour.
And, yeah, as a person, I think he's a very nice guy, of course.テつ We played, you know, few times this year.テつ Most of those matches were pretty important.テつ It was the finals at Rotterdam, twice at the Grand Slams, now again here.テつ For both of us, is definitely the most important match now in the group.テつ Whoever wins is going to have a chance to go through.
Yeah, I think it's going to be both have to play better than today.

Q.テつ How do you handle coming from this sort of match?テつ What adjustment do you have to make to this format?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Just have to stay positive with your body, not to let those things get into you.
You know, there are two more matches.テつ Luckily this is the first one where I played bad.テつ I mean, still there is opportunity to go through.テつ That's a positive part of it.

Q.テつ Obviously you're introduced as a Grand Slam champion everywhere you go now.テつ What has really changed in your daily life in these last two months?
MARIN CILIC:テつ I'm getting more busy.テつ That's one of the things.テつ But nothing much.テつ I'm still practicing, doing the things I need to do.
Of course, you know, it's not easy.テつ Like also today with this loss, I know that I under‑performed.テつ I want to, you know, keep my level of the game on the top, to compete with these guys, to beat the top guys.テつ That's the goals now.
But, you know, still I have to sometimes live with those days, not as good or bad days.テつ You know, tomorrow is a new day.テつ I have to keep going, not put too much weight on my shoulders.

Q.テつ A great server like you who doesn't win one serve in the second set, are you more angry, more sad, or more embarrassed?
MARIN CILIC:テつ No, none of those (smiling).
I didn't have the rhythm on my serve that I wanted.テつ Novak was covering the court really well.テつ Even in some situations where I was getting my serve in, he was able to return it well.テつ That was, you know, another difficult task for me to bring up my game.
But serve is going to work probably hopefully from tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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