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November 16, 2016

Marin Cilic

London, England, United Kingdom


7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tell us about today's match, your impression on your side and on Stan's side.
MARIN CILIC: I think overall I was playing quite well from the back when the ball was in play. I obviously had a little bit of trouble on my first serve. On the return, I was missing quite a lot of returns on the second serve. That was not giving me a chance to get in the rallies, especially as I felt that I was playing quite, quite good. In both sets I played pretty good tennis. It was just missing some chances with that.

In the first set, obviously had the set point. Second serve, missed return there. In the tiebreaks, I felt I lost a couple points that I could have win as well. Just few points that went on his side could also go to my side.

Yeah, just tough match today.

Q. How optimistic were you in the second set to come back to maybe beat him? And how are you going to prepare for the next match against Kei? How do you want to play against Kei?
MARIN CILIC: Well, I was quite positive. I felt the first set I played also quite good. It was just a few points that were making a difference. Even though I was not having too good a percentage of first serves, I missed quite a few in the first set, I felt I was winning most of my points on the serve. Just tough to lose the set in that way.

The second set, I had a break. I was playing still quite well. Just gave him a chance to come back. I was trying to be positive, trying to, you know, give myself motivation to stay in the match and to know that I'm present, that I'm still playing well. I think that was quite important. Just missed a few opportunities when I had them.

And for Kei, I mean, we played few weeks ago in Basel. I think the conditions there were a little bit quicker, as it was a little bit of altitude. But I have to prepare for both of these matches so far like these past two matches. Still for me it's great to play him. We will see. Definitely I'm looking forward to play him, as well.

Q. Now that your tournament is almost over in terms of moving on to the semifinals, given that you have another important objective after this tournament, is anything going to change in how you're going to handle yourself in the rest of the week? Looking on to Zagreb, how much of your season relies on the Davis Cup? How important is it in your overall season?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I don't know, just for the mathematical calculations to go to the semis or not. But I'm here. I played well today. I was not also too disappointed after the match with Andy. Just unfortunately having some opportunities, not converted them.

I'm going to definitely enjoy also in the match against Kei. I feel that I want to obviously step up a little bit my game. I'm feeling that my tennis is not far from being on a good level. So that's another good match against a great player to have.

I'm still here in this week. My thoughts are only here. Davis Cup is still ahead. I'm completely focused to stay here in tournament.

Q. I was talking to Mahut and Herbert who have struggled the last few years with this format where you have to be your best right away. Would you say it's also the toughest for you in the approach to be right from the starting blocks being at your very best?
MARIN CILIC: Maybe for the first match was a bit more difficult to start straightaway. But I'm not saying, you know, I was not playing good. I think my level is quite, quite good. Just, you know, in these kind of matches small details are going to make a difference. There is always going to be some things that are not going to work. The best is how you deal with the situation on the court.

Unfortunately today I haven't found really the key on the return to put a little bit more pressure on Stan, to put few more returns in, to make a difference. It's great, great thing for me to have this kind of a tournament for the end of the season. I played really well these last few months. I have to just also keep pushing myself for the next match, as well.

Q. Mentally it doesn't feel at all like a completely new kind of tournament? You don't have to adjust?
MARIN CILIC: It does little bit. It's different. It's also different thing to deal with, you lose a match and you still have another two. When you lose the first match, you still have another two in the group, which we are not so used to. You have to forget about it as quickly as possible to be positive for next match.

Like today, I'm not too happy about the loss. I had some opportunities. My next match is again in two days. I have to stay quite positive and try to get the best out of me.

Q. You were 17 when 11 years ago Croatia played the Davis Cup and won it. Were you there? Did you watch it on TV? How do you think it will reflect on your mind?
MARIN CILIC: I'm not exactly sure where I was. I was at that time playing for No. 1 junior spot in the world. I think I played few tournaments in U.S.

But I remember quite well the match. It was amazing year from Ivan, from Ljubicic, and obviously Mario also put a great part in doubles, as well, plus getting the last point in the final.

So for Croatia was amazing. Again, to be unseeded nation in the final, it's a great achievement. First time Croatia did it ever being unseeded. Could be the second time again. It just shows how big potential we have.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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