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November 12, 2018

Marin Cilic

London, England, United Kingdom

A. ZVEREV/M. Cilic

7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions please.

Q. Marin, what's your analysis of this game? What has made the difference at the end?
MARIN CILIC: I had a very good start to the match at 3-love, break-point, 4-1 break-point. So I was close to having the double break in the first set. After that, when I lost my serve, I missed a few balls from the - just a couple of unforced errors. Made one double fault and gave him an opportunity to come back and 5-4, also had some chances, love-30 to go 6-4 up and to win that first set.

But, you know, just after that, I felt that he started to play a bit better. He served towards the end of the set quite good. And the tie-break was tight. I think it could have gone both ways and just generally I felt that I was playing well, just I was not capitalizing on my chances.

Second set as well, a break up and lost again my serve. So, it was just a bit up-and-down through the match. And in these kind of matches, if you don't take your chances, that is unfortunately the way it goes.

Q. 5-4 in the first set, there was 30-30, you asked the umpire and he said close and you didn't challenge the replay. It showed on TV that it was in. Why did you choose not to challenge? And did that play on your mind in the following moments?
MARIN CILIC: I asked him if it was out and he showed me that it was out, clearly, so just I didn't - I was not going for a challenge. Even when I hit the shot I felt it was going to be close. 4-1, tie-break, second set, second serve, a few calls like that didn't go my way.

It didn't play on my mind the first one. I didn't know it was in.

Q. There's been a bit of disagreement about court speeds this year. Federer saying it felt a bit slower. Today Zverev saying it felt quite fast and high bouncing today. What do you make of the court speed? Why do you think there is such a discrepancy between players' accounts of the court speed?
MARIN CILIC: I don't know. I felt also quite good when I was practicing on the court. I think this kind of court is also, when you get a few matches on it, when it gets used, it's becoming a bit quicker. So, I think it's just normal.

I don't think it is much different from last year, it is more or less the same. It can vary from the air conditioning inside the stadium. Generally, it plays quite the same.

Q. Marin, I think your record here is 1-8. Does it play on your mind when you have a losing streak at a particular venue?
MARIN CILIC: Well, yes and no. Obviously, I know the score. But still also a little bit of a disappointment for myself. Having another match with chances and not taking them. That's something that I'm not happy about. Also, last year, it happened a couple of times. And the year before that. So, against top guys like this, it hits me back.

It's not the best thing that I'm doing, creating opportunities and having most of the time leads in the match and then I drop them. So, that's what I need to just get better at.

Q. The result is 7-6, 7-6, it sounds very tight. Did it feel to you like that? What was the hardest for you you couldn't crack with Zverev today?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I mean, it was tight. I felt that first part of the match I was much better and he was not into his rhythm. I could have won that set comfortably even with two breaks up, it wouldn't be a surprise. So, just after that, it changed, the momentum changed and I started to miss a bit more. I lost my rhythm a bit and losing the set.

So, completely different turnaround than at the beginning of the set. Yeah, I felt the match was quite tight. I felt just a couple of points could have made a difference in the first set and the second set as well. Serving at 4-3 late in the second set, dropping the serve against, so that is something I need to get better at.

Q. Julien Benneteau has made comments on Roger Federer receiving favorable schedules at the Australian Open over the last two years. He's pointed towards Tennis Australia's partnership with the Laver Cup. This year, you were unhappy with the decision to close the roof before the match. I wondered if you believe that Roger perhaps, with his stature in the game, he receives preferable decisions at times? And was that an example of one?
MARIN CILIC: It is tough to say. Roger is very popular. Night matches are always something the tournament wants him to play. I was just not happy at the end of the tournament in Australia because they changed the rules. They were following one way of the rules during the tournament and they had different rules for the finals with closing the roof. They're reusing two conditions to suit up to be able to close the roof which they didn't have. So, that was the only part that didn't go well by the referee's side. I don't think they were going one way or the other, for me or for Roger. I felt that in that part they need to be consistent.

Q. You mentioned there have been a few matches where it's tight or you've had leads and lost. Do you have any sense of why you have been losing those matches from those positions? And how does it feel when that's happening to you?
MARIN CILIC: Just I feel with my game that I need to be more stubborn, a little bit more consistent when having also a lead, just sometimes not - some areas, not playing every single point. Maybe I drop my focus a bit. That gives an opportunity for the player to come back. It's not easy for just mentally as well, working for it and creating chances and then dropping them, so it's up-and-down with the emotions.

So it's not easy also to come back again and push yourself. But, you know, that's also part of the game. And looking forward to next two matches in the group. Hopefully, I can build up on this match today and that I can play better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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