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January 2, 2020

Luka Kutanjac

Viktor Galovic

Nikola Mektic

Ivan Dodig

Marin Cilic

Borna Coric

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us. Thank you to Team Croatia for your time today in the press conference. I'm going to hand over to Team Captain Luka, and you are going to introduce the team by name down the line.

LUKA KUTANJAC: First is Viktor Galovic, Nikola Mektic, Borna Coric, Marin Cilic, and Ivan Dodig.

THE MODERATOR: We will be using the Catch Box microphone to answer questions in the room, and I will be taking first questions, please.

Q. We just saw how much fun you guys are having. Ivan walks in and you're singing Happy Birthday. Is that one of the special things about this event and the time you get to spend together and the fun you get to have with each other?
LUKA KUTANJAC: Well, I'm first time with this group of guys officially. I know them for a very long time, but I think they are always having fun together. I think they are a great group, and they get along really well. They have been successful in the past playing together, so there is enjoyment, for sure.

Q. Marin, you guys, you, Borna, everyone really knows each other and you see each other all the time, but you learn even more about each other when you are together as much as you are at an event like this?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, yeah, I think so. Also for us it's a part to get together couple times a year, train together, and also I think we push each other just a little bit more.

I think the desire to win is a little bit bigger when you're part of the team. We all get along really well, so, you know, we are even pushing sometimes even more on the court, and we know that all the team is behind you when you're playing, so it's always a lot of fun.

Usually in the past, I think I can speak for all of us, that everyone really played well even above their current form in the team atmosphere, and then the weeks later they were always playing better. So it's just enjoyment to be here.

Q. Borna, one of the innovations at this event, there are a bunch of them, is that in the box on the court, you or the players, the coaches, could look at different stats and all of that. How interested are you in that sort of innovation? Is that something you want to know on the court right away? What do you think about it?
BORNA CORIC: Yeah, I actually just heard about it about half an hour ago, and I thought it's also very cool. But I don't think it's going to be too cool for me. I'm not sure if I want to know everything. I just think then you can start to overthink some things.

Just from my perspective for myself, I'm not going to use it too much. For sure I'm going to use it if things are not going well or if I don't feel well, but if I start playing good and if I see that I'm doing pretty good, I don't think I'm going to use it too much.

I'm going to say to the coach, as well, that I expect from him to tell me most important things, but, yeah, I'm not going to use it too much personally.

Q. Marin, the temperature on Saturday is expecting 39 degrees out here. Do you worry about the heat? How do you handle it?
MARIN CILIC: Well, yeah, we always worry, because it's conditions that we are not used to during the year. Only in Australia we get this extreme heat. We don't practice in it that often.

It's always difficult to know how the body is going to handle those kind of extreme conditions. Luckily we have a roof here, and, you know, it's a little bit milder. We are going to be playing also in the afternoon. Hopefully it's going to be cooling down towards the end of the afternoon.

So we just try to deal the best we can, and hopefully, you know, when you are playing against your opponent, it's just against him. So you have to deal with the conditions a little bit better than your opponent.

Q. Who do you think will handle it better, Croatia or Australia?
MARIN CILIC: For everyone it's difficult. So we just try to do everything we can in the preparations in the off-season, to work hard to get yourself physically stronger and better, and then you hope that it's going to be good enough.

Usually I always played well in the heat. In the warm conditions, I always enjoyed that. I didn't have too many difficulties with those kind of conditions. Hopefully it's going to stay like that, and hopefully we can be the better ones on Saturday.

Q. Marin, you played the Australian Open final two years ago here. Do you feel you could use this tournament to launch your Australian Open campaign this time around?
MARIN CILIC: Well, it's definitely great thing to start the year like this with the team, just, you know, in a team atmosphere, having a little bit of enjoyment training together and playing this kind of an event.

You have a minimum three matches that you can play against great players in the group, possibly even up to six here, so that gives you just a great preparation for Australian Open. And I always enjoy this part of the year, the start of the year playing here in Australia for the summer. As I mentioned, I love the conditions, I love the heat, the dry heat. That's always been very beneficial for my game, as well. You know, hopefully it's going to turn out well in the Australian Open, too.

Q. We have sort of talked about the heat. On Saturday obviously temperatures will be quite high. At the moment when high temperatures come, bush fires come. Is that a concern, the air quality and having to play through that?
LUKA KUTANJAC: Well, first of all, we are really sorry to hear that Australia has been suffering with these bush fires. There has been a lot of sad news for you guys.

I mean, tennis is irrelevant, you know, compared to the things like that when they happen. Hopefully you can get result very fast, but I'm sure that tournament organizers, they are watching the air quality and they will make a right decision for everyone. I have no doubt about that.

Q. There has been a push for a few of the players to sort of bring in some sort of a fundraising effort for the ATP Cup, the organizers. Is that something you guys also back?
LUKA KUTANJAC: Honestly, no. We didn't know, they didn't approach us, but we will be happy to do it if everybody agrees on it and they put (indiscernible) for that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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