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June 27, 2008

Mario Ancic


M. ANCIC/D. Ferrer
6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 7-6

Q. When you knew you had won the match, what was your first reaction?
MARIO ANCIC: My first reaction is -- you know, I was so pleased. Like I said, straight after the match in the interview, last year at this time I missed it. I was going through a rough time for a year. Always when I was -- many times I tried to come back, and always in my mind was to play Centre Court at Wimbledon.
That was what was always motivating me, to play big matches like this in a big stadiums. That's what I work for, and that was what was pushing me in this tough year, to come -- to be able to go through all that. So that was going through my mind.
I remember, I mean, last year I was at this time running intervals, spending time in gym, doing everything I could to be fit again. You know, I realized how much I missed it last year, Wimbledon.
Of course it was not easy for me. But to come out today and play this great match, I think, with a top five player and to win on Centre Court, you know, it was a big moment for me.
I mean, I had great memories here in Wimbledon, and this is going to be one of them for sure.

Q. At the end, you kneeled down and kissed the grass. Why?
MARIO ANCIC: Just because of that. It was a flashback from everything what was going on in my head, what was going on in -- like I said, in this year that I was not able to play.
It just, you know, was almost like saying, Here I am back again. Thanks. I love this court at Wimbledon. It means so much to me.

Q. What were your expectations at the start of this year?
MARIO ANCIC: At the start?

Q. Of this year.
MARIO ANCIC: Well, it wasn't too much, because I missed Australian Open, and that was number four Grand Slam in a row that I missed. Actually I didn't know what to think anymore because I was always trying to do the best things, and it was not coming true at all.
I mean, I was not being able to play. I was not being able to practice. Whatever I did was -- looked like it was not going anywhere.
I couldn't ask for a better start to the season to finally play Marseille. Then from there on the goal was just to be healthy in the beginning. The only, if you can say goal, was to try to compete at the Olympics, and that means to be in top 60. That was the goal.

Q. So what does it mean to reach the second week now for you?
MARIO ANCIC: It means unbelievably much. I think whoever is in the second week is a potential danger, and many guys show great tennis. And for me personally, like I said, this victory and coming to second week means a lot.
Of course I'm satisfied with an unbelievable win and I will enjoy it today and tomorrow and then think about the next round. Sunday's preparation for a match on Monday, and full focus for that, completely new match.
You know, I came through second round, which was very hard, five sets, playing so and so. Being able to come and play such a great match, it just shows that every match is a new match, and every match you have to try to do the best.
But like I said, today and tomorrow is completely -- I enjoy this moment, big moment for me to come to second week again, like I said, after everything that was going on, to be again in this position.

Q. You're the last person to beat Federer on grass. What do you make of that?
MARIO ANCIC: Well, it's been six years ago. I mean, he was obviously not the same player as he is now, and I think me personally, for me it was much better result is playing quarters, playing semis at Wimbledon, because you have to play back to back.
At that time he was struggling with his Grand Slam record and I played an unbelievable match. But it's history. Then we play after that a couple times and I lost, so it just shows it has nothing to do with that anymore. That's it.

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