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November 4, 2016

Marin Cilic

Paris, France

M. CILIC/N. Djokovic

6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. What does that victory mean to you?
MARIN CILIC: What does it mean? It means my best ranking in the career for Monday, for sure. And just another sign that I'm in a really good form and produced some great tennis today.

Came into that match a bit, obviously a little bit of a different plan than before, and obviously these last several matches that I played against Novak have helped me to find the best game to play him. I was really happy.

And also, about my mental battle on the court, mental toughness, that I stayed throughout the match quite good mentally in the match, even that second set when he broke me.

Obviously I felt on the court really, really good, and it's a great time for me. As I was mentioning these last few days, the end of the season is just getting better and better.

Q. Obviously a statistical hurdle, because it's the first time you've beaten him in 15 matches, but is it also a mental hurdle for you to know that you belong at the very top?
MARIN CILIC: I mean, I was mentioning that yesterday. Every match is a new match. You approach it in different way.

You know, the score stats are starting from zero, and it's a new day. I came into the match with that, and definitely that was -- it was big key, obviously, to start the match. I made a break in the beginning. He came back. Obviously he was showing that he's into it, as well.

You know, overall, I felt that the quality of the tennis and the battle was quite high.

Q. You say every day is a new day. How does today feel?
MARIN CILIC: It feels good. (Smiling.) It feels really good. I hope obviously to continue my good tennis for these few more weeks of the season.

Q. Yesterday I asked you about No. 1 race between Novak and Andy. Now, since you have won against Novak, what do you think about this race?
MARIN CILIC: Still a long way to go, obviously. I guess Andy is now in a little bit better position than he was yesterday. He just saved, as well, five set points or even more, six set points in a tiebreak.

So for both players now they're playing, for Tomas and Andy, quite big matches. For Tomas, I guess, to qualify for the Masters, and for Andy to step over that big hurdle. So it's quite interesting.

Q. Your confidence level was pretty high already before this match, but finally finding a way to beat Novak. Could it be the biggest boost possible for you here and London, as well, and with Davis Cup coming?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah. Novak is the only player -- actually, Monfils, Gaƫl, I haven't beaten, as well, for the top guys, okay, that I haven't beaten so far.

Definitely it means a lot. It means a lot for me, for my confidence at the moment, for London, for Davis Cup, and still here. I'm still here in tournament.

You know, producing great tennis today is great, but still, I want to do it tomorrow and day after and continue to play well.

Q. What's the influence on this victory? Your collaboration with Bjorkman?
MARIN CILIC: Not big influence, obviously. And also I have to point out Ivan, the coach, is with me here. He also made a huge impact for today and for last few months that I have been playing well. Both of them gave me some good tactics, good plans, and also, you know, points to think about during the match. It was really, really good, really good today, and just can't be happier about that.

Q. In 1979, after beating Jimmy Connors for first time, Vitas Gerulaitis says nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 16 times in a row. Was there a moment, after you won, that you thought, like, nobody meets Marin Cilic 15 times in a row?
MARIN CILIC: No, not at all. It's not the time or place to say something like that. It's quite a serious part of the year for everybody. For Novak, as well. For me, too.

We are both, you know, great tennis players, especially him. Obviously big respect to him, as well, for what he's doing for the game, as well. You know, not easy to be in that position that he's in.

Q. You have John Isner tomorrow. Your thoughts about that?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, playing John, obviously I have a good record against him. A little bit of a different matchup than today. It's going to be different game. I played Ivo, for example, in the beginning of the week. That could help me. They have, let's say, quite similar game. Not too many rallies. I have to be mentally fresh for tomorrow.

Today is, for sure, a little bit mentally draining, you know, to have this kind of a battle, this kind of a match, and to win it tomorrow I need to get ready again.

John is playing well, especially in indoors. He's got a powerful game. So just hoping that I'm going to be doing well in my service games, as well, and obviously finding opportunities on his.

Q. The Davis Cup final, I heard that Ivo Karlovic could get back on the team. Could you confirm that?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, yeah, he's in the team, yeah.

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