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June 8, 2018

Marco Cecchinato

Paris, France

D. THIEM/M. Cecchinato

7-5, 7-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Great tournament. The people were having memories about Gustavo Kuerten that only he had got a Challenger to come here. I think you were even playing Challengers in Spain. The level is so high or suddenly you feel like home during this Roland Garros?
MARCO CECCHINATO: Yeah, for me was the special tournament for me. I played two set the same level against Dominic Thiem. I think he's the second or third-best player in red clay.

For me, the level is very good in this moment. And after Roland Garros, I am very, very happy.

Q. Can you talk about playing another player who also plays a single-fisted backhand? Is it easier or is it more difficult?
MARCO CECCHINATO: Yeah, is difficult, but I think the backhand of Dominic Thiem, I think he's one of the best backhands in the world.

Q. And also it was in the second set you started running around your backhand. Is that something you do all the time or was that because of the way he was playing and his tactics?
MARCO CECCHINATO: Yeah, I had two set point, and I think he won dropshot on backhand.

So I have so many chance also in the second set against Dominic Thiem, so I played the same level and is good for me today.

Q. I was just going to ask about the second set. Is it very frustrating for you that you didn't win the second set? Because it seemed to be that you might be turning the match around in your favor.
MARCO CECCHINATO: Yeah, if I won the second set, I think is totally different the third set. But after the loss, I go a little bit down with mental, and physically I play so many matches, so I think is normal.

Q. You got to the semifinals of Roland Garros. What do you have to do to maintain these fantastic standards? What is it about your game that you can look at and say, This is what I need to work on, or, These are the things that brought me so much success?
MARCO CECCHINATO: Yeah, for me is special semi Roland Garros. I think for me it is very important today, because I playing against Dominic. So I need more work for go top 10 or top 20, so these matches was very important for me.

And I need to speak with my team, and I want to work more for go top 20.

Q. What is the best memories, best image you will keep from this Roland Garros?
MARCO CECCHINATO: I think today, all day, Philippe Chatrier every points said "Forza, Marco." So I think this is the best moment for me. Against Dominic Thiem, he is top 10, and today all the people was for me.

Q. What do you think Dominic can achieve in the final if he play the way like he played against you?
MARCO CECCHINATO: Yeah, I think it's possible to won the Roland Garros against Rafa or Martin Del Potro. I don't know who won. But have so many shots to beat Rafa or Del Potro.

Q. You have had some incredible performances here at Roland Garros. How proud are you of your performances here over the last two weeks? What does that mean to you? And also, have you learned something about yourself that will help you in the future?
MARCO CECCHINATO: I think I start two month ago, not the last two weeks, because I won also Budapest last month. So I start to play very well in Monte-Carlo, I think.

And so every week I play very, very well, and I think is more different from last year, and I want to continue like this.

Q. What does it feel to play on this special court, Philippe Chatrier, and do you like to play on grass?
MARCO CECCHINATO: Yeah, today was unbelievable for me, all Philippe Chatrier full. So for me was the first time and is special for me.

In grass, I don't know. We will see.

Q. Can you to explain us the secret of your dropshot, please.
MARCO CECCHINATO: No, no, no (smiling). Is my secret.

Q. Will you change your schedule on the next week, or you keep the same tournaments?
MARCO CECCHINATO: Yeah, of course. I need some rest, and maybe I play Eastbourne before Wimbledon, and after I go to play Wimbledon.

With this ranking, is totally different my schedule of tournaments. So after Wimbledon I go to play Umag and Hamburg. And after, I don't know. We will see.

Q. Do you think you will have a special welcome back in Italy?
MARCO CECCHINATO: Yeah, I think, yes (smiling), especially in Palermo.

Q. Do you think over the last few months and here at Roland Garros you have proved to yourself that you can compete against the best players in the world, week in, week out?
MARCO CECCHINATO: Yeah, I think is possible to compete every day, I think, because every match I played very well against top 10, top 20, top 30.

So now I think positive and maybe I can go also top 20.

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