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Old 01-28-2010, 01:51 PM   #118
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Post-match interview

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...682309609.html


Q. Your first Grand Slam semifinal didn't turn out like you would want, but what were your thoughts on the game generally?


MARIN CILIC: Well, I mean, in the end I'm, of course, a little bit sad because of the final result. But overall I played beginning of the match very good, and with that part I was really pleased.

I think I played some great points. I was standing on the court really good. I was playing some unbelievable points there. I think later when he got back into the game in the second set when he broke me, I think he got a little bit of the momentum going and wasn't easy after to get back into it.

I would say my first‑serve percentage was low, and I had to play a lot of rallies, which I didn't turn out playing as well as in the beginning where I was a little more fresher and a little closer to the ball. I was pushing him a little more and putting more pressure. Instead, he was doing that on me. It wasn't easy to get out of those kind of situations.

But I think he played well and he deserved to win.

Q. You played three five‑set matches. Did that make you a little tired?

MARIN CILIC: Well, I mean, I wouldn't put my tiredness an excuse for losing this match. I think he deserved to win. Any player who comes to the semis has its own way. And today I wouldn't say that I was a hundred percent, but I gave my best, and that's most important that I can say.

Q. What makes him such a tough opponent?

MARIN CILIC: Because he's adapting on each kind of game pretty good. He can read the game easy. He can serve well. Very good overall player and not easy to play, especially on the hard courts.

Definitely he came up with some great shots, especially when he broke me in the second set for 3‑2. He passed me when I lobbed him. I mean, his physical ability's really on top of the game.

Q. How do you rate his chances in the final?

MARIN CILIC: Well, it's tough to say from this perspective. But I think he has a pretty good chance. He's playing well, hitting the ball good. And I think he has a solid chance to make it.

Q. When he played that shot to break you in the second set, was that quite demoralizing, the way the crowd seemed to get into the match more after that?

MARIN CILIC: I mean, it wasn't demoralizing. He made it. I was just a little bit angry on myself because I had an easier shot when I played the backhand short cross‑court there. I had an open court. Just today on some shots I was making other decisions than I was making in the other matches when I was a little bit fresher.

In some points, especially in the fourth set where I lost my serve twice with 40‑15 up, those just kind of situations are critical in these kind of matches where it comes to one or two points which are just making big decisions.

Q. Did you surprise yourself making it to the semifinals here? Have you regarded yourself as someone capable of making the last four at Grand Slams?


MARIN CILIC: I wasn't thinking that I'm going to get this far. But I knew I played well in the beginning of the year. I was going through the draw very tough. Also in my second round I had tough five‑setter. Since that point to look at now where I made the semis, it's amazing experience and amazing result.

Just I think it's one big step forward for myself.

Q. By making the semifinal, you're in the top 10 now. What does that mean for the rest of the season?


MARIN CILIC: Well, I mean, my last year I was all the time around 14, 15 ranking. I was all the time circling around that numbers. This, of course, is in one perspective relief, but also in the other perspective gives me something more.

I know that I'm physically feeling good and I think this is a good base for my next Grand Slams in this year.

Q. This week everyone has been impressed by the way you played the big points. You never seem to look too worried out there. How have you learnt to be so composed at a young age?


MARIN CILIC: I'm like that naturally. I'm always pretty calm. But when you're on the court, you got to be able to think what you got to do, not to be angry about yourself. That's gonna always put you in a disadvantage.

I was doing that very good. That gave me, of course, some important points when I needed them.

Q. I know it's so soon straight after the match, but looking ahead at other majors now, looking back at the journeys you've had here, do you think you'll become a little bit more aggressive more often, hit the ball harder earlier in the points, if you can?


MARIN CILIC: Well, it was working good. I mean, it was working good for me here to play those five‑setters. I mean, it's a tough balance to find 'cause you got to ‑‑ I mean, you have your own game, and it's tough to change something, especially when you come to biggest tournaments there are. You always gonna stick to something that you are feeling good with.

It's not easy to change some things. But, of course, by playing more on this level that I played here, it's gonna help me to play against lower‑ranked players easier, and I'm gonna be able to get easier through the draw.

Q. Did you have somebody come up to you out of the stands and shake your hand?

MARIN CILIC: I think the fan got excited and he wanted to shake my hand, so... I gave him a present.

Q. What did you give him?

MARIN CILIC: Nothing. I shook his hand.

Q. He had a Croatian jumper on.

MARIN CILIC: Right, he was happy.
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