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January 1, 2014

Marin Cilic


M. CILIC/G. Dimitrov
7‑5, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ I think that was only your third match since Wimbledon.テつ How did it feel just to be out there and play?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Felt really good.テつ I think I played great match.テつ I think I can't point out anything that was not working well today, except, I mean, we were both bit struggling on the return games.テつ I think that was because of the great service from both.
I think overall I was bit more lucky in those crucial moments.テつ I made those couple points which madethe first set and second set.テつ So really happy with the performance.
I felt that Grigor played also good match.テつ He was also not giving my too much time as well and too many opportunities actually on the return games.テつ So that wasn't easy.
Overall, I would say it was a great performance from my own side just for the second match in the season.

Q.テつ After what happened last year, just getting out here for a new season, does it almost feel like a second career now?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Feels still the same career, but feels like a new beginning for me.テつ Just with the new team and everything, I'm thinking about everything around myself in a different perspective.
For me, I had a lot time to think about everything and time to work.テつ Probably as you saw, I improved my serve.テつ That was something special from Goran.テつ We worked a lot on the serve during the off‑season.テつ I feel it's in really good place and it could help me to play much better, especially against top players.
So overall, of course I'm excited to be in the season and to play, to be back on the tour after all that misery last year.

Q.テつ Anything else Goran particularly has brought to your game apart from the serve?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Yeah, we worked a lot also on volleys, and of course game at the net where I had the most space to improve.テつ Last few years I was not doing too well at the net and I wasn't playing as offensive as I would want to, especially because of my ‑‑ the way I would need to play, like a taller player, to have shorter points and put more pressure o the other guy.
I think that's what is gonna be my key in the rest of the season, and of course rest of my career, to try to push all the time in that direction.

Q.テつ Physically you're a bit refreshed by the break, by the circumstances?
MARIN CILIC:テつ I am.テつ I am.テつ I'm refreshed.テつ I used that time to work a little bit more physically to try to get my body in a good shape and that I'm protected also for injuries.
I used this time also good to heal my knee.テつ I feel it's good.テつ We'll see how it's going to be when I'm going to play more matches.
Yeah, overall, I feel pretty good.テつ It's nice to be in Australia.テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ Three years ago you reached semifinals of the Australian Open; reached the top 10 after that.テつ Do you feel like you've lost your way a little bit?テつ Because it seemed at that point you were going to go up, up, up, top 5, maybe compete for Grand Slam titles.
MARIN CILIC:テつ Yeah, I felt also that‑‑ I mean, I felt that I lost my way a bit after that.テつ I was struggling couple seasons.テつ 2011, 2012 I was bit better, but still not at the right place with the game.テつ I was all the time searching myself.
Overall looking at the seasons, I the performances I wanted to have.テつ In couple tournaments I had great results, but overall I was not too satisfied with it, especially after that great success in Australia and also four, five months before Australian Open where I played pretty good tennis.
So I think now when I went through it, I felt what I need to do.テつ I think I took that as a lesson.テつ Next time I hope that I'm going to be there I know how to deal in that kind of situation.

Q.テつ Seems like in the men's matches here there haven't been a whole lot of breaks compared to usual.テつ Does it feel like the courts are playing faster than usual in Australia?テつ Is it the ball?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Yeah, very fast courts.テつ I don't know if it's going to be just the case over here, but for me, comparing to other courts during the season, I would say this is the fastest that I played on.

Q.テつ All year?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Yeah.テつ Maybe there was a Bercy, which was quicker because it's, okay, indoor.テつ But not the 2013 one.テつ Maybe 2012.
Yeah, the courts are extremely fast, and it's not easy to break.テつ The points are going really quick.

Q.テつ Too fast?
MARIN CILIC:テつ For me not, but I think just it feels too fast comparing to the one that it's usually, that we are used to.
So I mean, we get used to it quickly.テつ It's a matter of one or two days.テつ I would say just it's a bit surprising or in a way we were not‑‑ actually I was not expecting it's going to be this fast.
We'll see what's going to be next weeks.

Q.テつ You think it's the court and not the ball?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Courts.テつ Courts are really quick, yeah.

Q.テつ Was it you who approached Goran?テつ I know you've worked with him before, but this time around did you go directly to him, I need help.テつ You're the kind of guy that can tell me what reality is and be honest with me and all that?
MARIN CILIC:テつ It always went sort of smoothly.テつ I mean, Goran has been around me all my career.テつ He's been there even when I was working with Bob; he was traveling with me couple times.テつ Each time I would be in Zagreb he's there.
So it's not something that I haven't seen him for a couple years that I call him, I okay I need to work.
Even when I stop with Bob, okay he was there.テつ Ley me know if you need some help.テつ He was there at Wimbledon with me for grass season just as friendly gesture.
So yeah, for me it was sort of obvious to start to work with him.テつ Definitely I feel now very happy that we did start.テつ Goran showed me already a lot of things.テつ I feel my game is improving.テつ I definitely think he's also wanting to travel and he wants to be part of the tour again.

Q.テつ What's the best thing about working with him for your game?テつ What does he bring you?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Definitely experience, and I would say all the things that he went through many more times than I did already in my career he can show me and tell me in front, Okay, be careful of this.テつ He's going to be one step ahead of me in some kind of situations.
I think that's huge help when you have something like that, especially someone like him who was top 10 for many years in his career, played many times in finals of Grand Slams, and stuff like this.
So yeah, I think he knows the game and he knows what I need to improve on.テつ I think he's the right guy to help me.

Q.テつ Your service motion and Goran's are a lot different.テつ Talk about what he told you.テつ Was it not explosive enough?テつ Was it ball toss?テつ You weren't using your legs?テつ What did he tell you to make it so much better?
MARIN CILIC:テつ I mean, to simplify.テつ Throw the ball in the air and hit it.テつ For me before, I was a lot thinking about the serve and stuff like this.
Of course our serves are different, but just couple advices from him, to be more relaxed, nothing unusual.テつ But we worked a lot on it, and it seems that it fit in the right place.
So it's working well.

Q.テつ Do you feel like you're part of this group that has all these former players coming back to coach now?テつ Goran, Lendl, Chang.テつ Do you feel like you're a part of the community of the players and coaches coming together a lot?
MARIN CILIC:テつ Yeah, I mean, I think overall the best coaches would be the players who were great players.テつ On their skin they felt what it means to be in some tight situations to be in the match, how to react, what to do.
Of course every one of them is completely plea different.テつ Every one of them understand the game in different way.
In the end, it comes to the same point.テつ I think just with that experience of them being through the training process, through everything, they know what really to do to be at the top and how you need to be prepared, what you need to do against top players.
I think that's for the player, the biggest point that he can have.

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