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June 3, 2022

Marin Cilic

Paris, France

Press Conference

C. RUUD/M. Cilic

3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Tough luck, Marin. Do you think that game at 5-4 in the second set when you had Love-40 on his serve was the turning point of the match? And also, despite your disappointment, you must be very proud of what you have achieved over the last couple of weeks.

MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I have to say that, you know, somewhere there in the second set, you know, just things started to turn around a bit. I played a really solid first set and served really well and mix it up, I think, nicely. Played quite good aggressive off the ground.

When Casper started to get a little bit more on the roll, started to win a little bit more comfortably his service games, he was just a bit more comfortable on the court.

Yeah, end of the second set, start of the third, was just a little bit of a difference. When you look at the whole match, and, you know, just from my own side it was unfortunately a little bit of a drop in the level comparing to these last 10 days. You know, might be due to just a little bit more emotional drainage from the last match. And, you know, just today obviously big task to play Casper, who is in definitely great form.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Tough luck tonight. What do you take out of these two weeks? How much hope does it give you for grass season where your game suits well?

MARIN CILIC: I have to say that my form now last few weeks just went, you know, very steep. I started to feel great on the court, connected now five, six matches that were really, really high level. You know, part of the match was definitely also quite good. You know, I have to be definitely happy with that. You know, it's also challenge now for me to keep that up and to keep going like that, to be on that kind of a level, you know, week after week.

Then I believe good wins are going to come, as well.

Q. I was just wondering, it looked like you said some words to Casper at the net after you finished. Would you be able to share it? What do you think about his level and going up against an opponent like Nadal in the final?

MARIN CILIC: Yeah, at the net, you know, just, I don't know, I congratulated him and said, Great match, great effort. Really played well, and all the best for the finals. You know, definitely he played really great last three sets, and kept his level really, really good. So that was definitely, you know, great from his side, all credit to him.

You said for the finals something...

Q. Does he have a chance meeting Nadal?

MARIN CILIC: I mean, absolutely. It's a final. And Casper is playing well. Another, like a good and a bad thing could be they have never faced each other, if I am correct. So, you know, obviously a little bit psychological advantage on Rafa's side being here, feeling like at home, and for Casper first time.

But I think definitely he's playing really good. He's cool on the court. I think he's going to keep his level.

Q. With this Roland Garros final that was missing in all the Grand Slams, what you have achieved in your career, where do you place yourself like in historical ranking of the players of this era? Of course after the Big 4, but where are you, Wawrinka, Del Potro, where are you there?

MARIN CILIC: I have no idea. Obviously Wawrinka and Delpo, Wawrinka has three slams and obviously had an amazing career. You know, just for me I'm looking at my own achievements and try to do the best I can. Obviously here is fantastic tournament after really long time of not playing as good on this kind of a level. So that's really encouraging.

Just a good motivation to keep going.

Q. Better than Delpo?

MARIN CILIC: Difficult to say, because I would say Delpo has been much more consistent on that high level. I played a little bit longer because of his injuries. But, you know, if you look at his consistency, he's definitely fantastic.

Q. You played both Rafa and Casper a couple of times. Do you think there are ways they are similar?

MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I would say a little bit that Casper is a little bit like a righty Rafa in a way. You know, also stands far back on the return. Hits a lot of these loopy balls, has incredible forehand, and also quite cool on the court, as well.

So I think, yeah, it's going to be interesting match, for sure, in the final.

Q. A question on the interruption. Did that do anything to the game? It was 15 minutes in total from start to finish.

MARIN CILIC: Yeah, no, not really. Just went back in the lockers and waited for that. When we came back, I think the level was quite similar as we stopped. Yeah, nothing to add on that.

Q. Did you feel as though there was anything about the conditions at all or anything else that affected your serve at all today, and/or did he do a particularly good job of returning?

MARIN CILIC: I would say there were two parts of the match. You know, the second part later, it was a little bit cooler and heavier in that sense, so he started to get more returns back in court.

But I would say on the other side, you know, I was just, you know, just missing a touch with my forehands, you know, as comparing to other matches. So, you know, just because of that, you know, it's also due that he broke me several times.

Q. Seemed like Rafa and Sascha would play for hours and hours. How did you follow that moment? Have you met Sascha afterwards somewhere, somehow?

MARIN CILIC: Unfortunately not, because we had to go warm up straightaway. I was just relaxing in the locker room, and then I didn't see when he fell down. On the slo-mo I didn't want to watch, because those things are very terrible to see.

But, you know, what can I say? That's unbelievable to happen in such a moment.

Q. The other night we said it could be the greatest comeback since Elvis Presley, the way that you are playing right now. So I looked up the last song that he sung on his comeback tour in 1968. In the comeback special that song was "If I Can Dream." Can you still dream, and what is the "Promised Land" in the next stage of your career?

MARIN CILIC: Absolutely. I'm playing well, feeling good on the court. Today was obviously unfortunate and a bit, you know, sad and disappointing to finish a tournament at this point. Yeah, for me, you know, the journey keeps going, and hopefully it's going to be another great moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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