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January 24, 2010

Marin Cilic


M. CILIC/J. Del Potro
5-7, 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was a hard way to make your first Australian Open quarterfinal. Tell us how did you do it in the end.
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, it was hard. But with lot of joy in the end. I mean, it was really tough match, especially first two, three sets where he played some great tennis, and I didn't even get a chance on his serve to break him till the end of the second set.
It wasn't easy to play him. I had to stay all the time really focused. I think the good thing that kept me in there was my serve. I wasn't going up and down so much. I think that was one key thing that I did well.
For the later parts of the match, I think in the fourth set I had some chances to break him earlier, but I think he also played there well. And I saw him that he was a little bit tired in those moments, so I just kept my focus till the end of the match, as I knew that I'm going to at least get one shot to break him.

Q. Did losing last year's U.S. quarterfinal to him have any influence in the way you approached today's game?
MARIN CILIC: Well, of course I took some experience from that match, and also from the match over here last year. It was different occasion. I played well since the beginning of the year. I knew what I could expect from him. The things he did in New York was easier for me to adjust here because I knew what could be coming and these things.
So I think I played some great points today. In my view to the game I think I approached very good.

Q. Did seeing him win the Open provide you with any extra motivation or self-belief because you are so close in age?
MARIN CILIC: I mean, not really. I mean, he did that on his own. And for me, well, it's tough sometimes to judge myself with other guys or the other guys with me. Everybody has its own way.
But I think since that tournament, since US Open, I think I started to play much better. To win against better guys more often. Of course, here I had some tough matches in the first few rounds, and also that gave me a little more in one way that I was hitting a lot of balls. But also physically-wise I was maybe a little bit skeptic what it was going to be. But today I felt really good physically, and that in the end was the main difference.

Q. How much has your game changed since you started working with Bob Brett? What kind of changes has he made to your game?
MARIN CILIC: I mean, we are working already three, four, five years, I'm not sure even. We've been always working on some things to improve. I think now I'm in a good position where I can look at myself, how I'm supposed to play. Definitely physical part is one thing that I improved a bit in this off-season.
So that helps to play these long matches in a more consistent way. And also from the first few rounds, I had tough opponents, tough matches. So it just shows me how well I can play also, how well I'm prepared.

Q. Compared to the win over the Murray in New York, how is...
MARIN CILIC: It's different. With Murray, is completely different match. Obviously, I mean, he didn't play great there. But I did some good tactical things against him. It just opened like that.
But here, I mean, Del Potro knew I could play good, and we also -- I mean, we had also good match in US Open last year. It was different. Today I think he played well, really good, and maybe he was struggling physically. But, I mean, when he had the ball on his racquet, he was dangerous.

Q. To win it in five sets, more of a struggle versus New York, is that more satisfying?
MARIN CILIC: Doesn't matter. It's the same. Five sets or four sets, it doesn't make a difference for me.

Q. Can you talk about either Roddick or González as your next opponent?
MARIN CILIC: I mean, not much to say about them. They're both great players for guys who are playing at Grand Slams their best tennis. With González, I played here in 2008, where I won. So I think, anyway, I mean, whoever I'm going to play, it's not going to be easy definitely. I just have to I think recover good tomorrow and to try to be a hundred percent again.

Q. Do you feel ready to win three more matches?
MARIN CILIC: Well, I mean, I was thinking what could happen today if it went to four sets, five sets. But I survived pretty good. I was moving great I think in the fourth and fifth set. So I'm positive about that.
I think day off tomorrow -- always day off brings me some refreshment. And I think playing now these more important matches is also a little more adrenaline, so you don't feel so much if you are tired or not. But I believe I'm going to be ready.

Q. Do you feel nothing to lose before the match?
MARIN CILIC: I mean, I'm coming also with good background. I played great matches, winning against Del Potro also shows that I didn't go in that match, not to lose anything. I mean, I'm coming here, came to quarters. Now I'm not going to let it go easy.

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