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July 12, 2016
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for Croatia's team.
Q. Croatia won the Davis Cup in 2005 when most of you were kids. What do you remember about that, and how did it affect you? How important was that in the country, in general?
BORNA CORIC: I'm the youngest, so I'm going to answer first.
Basically I started playing even more serious when that happen. I was very young at that time and I wasn't sure if I'm going to try to go pro or not. This was big thing for the Croatia, as well, and also for me.
It gave me some boost to go forward. It was unbelievable.
MARIN CILIC: Generally it has definitely huge impact on tennis, in general, especially for a country that small like Croatia. It was one of the country's best achievements in the history. So that's definitely huge.
I think it gave also a little bit of financial help for the young ones. Obviously winning it, it's a big thing. It attracted few more sponsors for the Federation and obviously gave a little bit more opportunities for the young ones.
We of course would like that it is still a bit more. But at that time I think for the young ones was pretty good, and they could, you know, just look up to the best guys and follow their lead. That's, for sure, big motivation.
Q. You have the winning record right now against the U.S. What type of confidence does that give you in this matchup?
CAPTAIN KRAJAN: I mean, for sure it gives you confidence when you are playing against somebody that you are already 3-Love ahead, better than if you're 3-Love down.
It's different because it's different players, different times. It's not the same teams. From that side it is different.
Again, probably there is something that suits us playing States. We are pretty positive about this tie also.
Q. Coach, you obviously know your players well. Tell us about the strengths of your players. What make them unique. Tell us why you think they're so good.
CAPTAIN KRAJAN: I mean, simply they're good, they're very good. You all know Marin, and you know what he achieved here in the States. I think you all remember what he did in New York.
You know Borna, what kind of potential. He's one of the youngest, best players at his age in the world.
Ivan, great singles player, winning slam in the doubles.
I think they all top players in the world. As I said, that's why we are strong and we are looking forward for this tie.
Q. Playing an individual sport, what do you like and dislike about the format of having teammates and not just relying on what's within but having to work with one another, pros and cons?
CAPTAIN KRAJAN: I mean, pros for sure, as it's individual sport all the year long, you are by yourself. I mean, you have your team, you have your coaches and everything, but you alone.
Playing Davis Cup, having the good atmosphere as we have in the team, relaxes all the players. They enjoy the week. That's the most important for the weekend and for the Davis Cup, to have good atmosphere between the guys, that everybody's happy to come and to perform and to give as best as they can, not just for themselves but also all the team that is behind, and for the country of course.
Q. One of the advantages that the U.S. Davis Cup team has had for a lot of years now is they've had the best doubles team in the world, the Bryan brothers. As you mentioned, you also have one of the best doubles players on your team. Talk about how you go about approaching a match against the Bryan brothers.
CAPTAIN KRAJAN: I mean, for sure we have players that play them couple of times, and they know them pretty good. I mean, they are the best doubles team in the history.
But it's a big match, you have them in your team. You also had them before when you played us, and we still ended up winning.
Again, as I said, it's not only about them. You have them, you can rely on them, yes.
Q. Marin and Ivan, what does it feel like to be a Grand Slam champion? You're up there with the best of the best of all time. What does it feel like?
IVAN DODIG: Yeah, I think it's really special moment for every athlete. For us is to win Grand Slam. It's obviously like you feel all the work you put into it, it's in the end rewarded. I think every player who start to play tennis, dreaming about big things, is to win Grand Slam.
Me and Marin had this great feeling. I hope I can still continue in doubles, do some great results. Still I'm motivate and hope I can get more Grand Slam. As well for all our guys here, for Marin, Borna, other Marin. I think we have great potential and will still have great moments, as well.
MARIN CILIC: Tennis is a very difficult sport looking mentally. You are all year round going up and down with your emotions. You're wondering if you are going to achieve your best potential, if you're doing the best things possible for yourself.
Obviously winning a Grand Slam is a part for yourself that you achieve for all your career, all your life. Everything you've put into it is suddenly worth it. For me, you have different view on tennis, on your career.
You are obviously more relaxed, but as well on the other side you are more motivated as you know your potential, as you know what you can do, what you can achieve.
To be especially in this time, in this era with great tennis players, the ones that are breaking so many records, it's definitely very challenging. It carries a bigger weight to win a Grand Slam. So it's definitely a huge, huge motivation for me to continue on this path.
It's a sign for all the other guys that are not achieving their best potential yet, you know, that they can see with hard work, with dedication, you can of course believe and achieve these big things.
Q. Portland is known for a lot of things, including their food. Have you had a chance to experience any of the Portland cuisine?
CAPTAIN KRAJAN: Not yet. Actually, we plan today to go for dinner. We'll know more about that tomorrow.
Q. Curious about your thoughts on the Davis Cup environment where it's one country against another. You're obviously in the United States, and you know that most of the people in the stands come this weekend are going to be rooting for the U.S. How does that feel in that type of environment versus in your typical tennis tournaments that you perform in?
CAPTAIN KRAJAN: I mean, it's not easy playing away. We've been, I have to say, quite unlucky last few years. From last 11 ties, 10 times playing away now. It's not the luckiest.
I think all the players that we have in the team, they all experienced enough and they used to have crowd against them. So that's not going to be, I think, the deciding point of this match.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports