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January 19, 2015

Marinko Matosevic


M. MATOSEVIC/A. Kudryavtsev
4-6, 6-7, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was the overriding emotion when you won today?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Yeah, elation. Very happy. It was like a tough day at the office. I felt like I was playing like some of my worst tennis. Somehow I found a way to win.

Q. Was there one moment that you thought it swung on, able to take the momentum back?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: I don't know. In the fourth set, I guess, when I was 4-1 up. But then I got broken serving into the sun. Yeah, during the fourth I felt like, I'm going to win this.

Q. Can you elaborate? You said it was the worst tennis you played in a while. Was it your opponent or the conditions?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Well, yeah, like Alexander, he's one of the hardest hitters out there. He just goes for everything. He's always changing direction. Yeah, I mean, the conditions were tough, windy. But, yeah, no, just more me, how I felt out there. I wasn't feeling it. It was more to do with me.

Q. Why has it been so hard to win here in the past for you? Is there one thing?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Well, tough draws. Played Nishikori, Cilic, then Monfils. I guess my chances were the first two years, but I guess I wasn't good enough.

Q. There was a point in the match where your opponent was complaining about the crowd. At one point he referred to them as being animals. Do you think the crowd were animals?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: No, I don't think so. I thought it was a very fair crowd. They didn't really do that but once or twice during the match. The crowd was unbelievable, I thought, like very respectful. You know, he's a funny guy, Alex. Yeah, I don't know. No, the crowd was great today. They were very respectful. Maybe one or two times they were calling out between serves. But it's a Grand Slam, so, yeah.

Q. You got Andy Murray next. He was in here saying you and he are quite good mates. What does that go back to? Tell us a bit about the friendship.
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Yeah, me and Andy, I don't know, I've played him twice. We've practiced a bunch of times. I guess maybe I got to know him when Lendl was coaching him, Tony Roche, practice. Yeah, we had some fun times.

Q. Andy said he thinks since you won that game in the French Open last year, you probably relaxed as a player in Grand Slams. Is that a fair call?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Very fair. Very astute observation. Yeah, for sure it was a huge gorilla off my back. Yeah, happy to get some good results after that quickly. And, yes, spot on.

Q. How do you approach that match? Obviously Andy is a fantastic player. How do you go into that match?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Yeah, I played him twice on tour, and then I played him once in Hopman Cup. He beat me pretty easily, although I had 3-All, Love-40. I've seen him play a million times on TV. I've played him three times. I know what I'm going to get. I just have to focus on myself.

Q. You mentioned how important the crowd were. Will it be a factor on Wednesday night? Might be the night match on Rod Laver. Do you look forward to that?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Yeah, if it was, I look forward to it. I'm sure the crowd wouldn't be so one-sided if it's against Murray. He's done a couple finals in Australia. Wherever they put us, I'm hoping we have a ripper. But we'll see.

Q. Could you tell us what you like about Murray both as a player and person, his game?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Well, he's one of the best players in the world. He's unbelievable physically. His skill level is probably second only to Roger. He's one of the most skillful players. Yeah, he's just a good guy. He treats everyone the same. He's just a good guy. Yeah, that's all I can say.

Q. Is it a good draw or nightmare draw?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Yeah, I would rather, yeah, not play him second round. I'd love to play him later on. I would have loved a lower seed, guys that I've beaten, but, yeah.

Q. How testing has the five-set match be? Will it be hard to recover?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: No, it's all right. Last year I lost to Nishikori after four and a half hours. Physically I'm fine. It wasn't too hot out there. Beside the wind, it was really nice conditions out there.

Q. What sort of role do you think the Australian Open plays as a sporting whole? For us to understand it as Americans, it takes on a whole different meaning in this country, doesn't it?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Yeah, tennis is a really big sport in Australia. Come January time, it's pretty crazy. And, yeah, it means a lot obviously to win at home and stuff. Yeah, but Australia has such a great tradition in tennis. It's been barren, I guess. Haven't been doing so well the last couple of years. So, yeah, it means a lot.

Q. Do you think that's starting to change? So many Aussies in the draw this year.
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Yeah, Lleyton flew the flag for so long, then Bernard came up; now Nick. I think maybe a golden era is coming. Who knows.

Q. Have you mellowed over the years? Is it a different Matosevic now?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Yeah, I guess I'm maturing in my old age (smiling). Yeah, I'm definitely a late-bloomer. I guess mentally-wise as well, late-bloomer in that department as well.

Q. Are you more chilled on court?
MARINKO MATOSEVIC: Yeah, definitely. You know, it would have hurt to lose today. But, like, yeah, it's not the be all end all I've come to realize, tennis, in the last couple years.
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