Q. Incredible result today taking out one of the hottest players from the summer season. You must feel tremendous about your accomplishment today.
MARIN CILIC: Yes, I mean, I’m feeling tremendously happy. Of course it’s biggest result for me so far. And after reaching this four times last 16, was a little bit relief after I won it.
Now that I don’t have this blockade in my head, I can look forward, and, of course, focus on the next matches.
Q. This is your first Grand Slam quarterfinal?
MARIN CILIC: Yes. Yes, it is.
Q. That’s quite an accomplishment.
MARIN CILIC: Uh huh.
Q. You’re facing now a player who I think you’ve played him in Australia, if I’m not mistaken.
MARIN CILIC: Yeah.
Q. He’s been playing tremendous tennis. Your thoughts on a quarterfinal match coming up?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I mean, definitely he’s a player to watch. I played him there in Australia, and I would say that he’s — maybe he’s even here playing a little bit better on the US Open courts.
But definitely I think I have my chance. If I take positive things from today, I can put it in the next match, and, of course, take advantage like that.
I think he can play really well, but I think I have also some game that can hurt him.
Q. By blockade, do you mean the blockade in your head? Did that service break at the end of the first set to go to 6 5 get you over that?
MARIN CILIC: I mean, blockade was just in my head losing four times in last 16. So by getting into this match, wasn’t also easy to prepare.
But I would say I was mentally really, really good out there on the court and mostly thinking about what I’m going to do next, so that was really positive.
What was the other question you asked?
Q. That service break to go to 6 5 in the first set, what did that mean to you there?
MARIN CILIC: Well, first set was up and down from both of us. He also had a breakpoint on 3 4, and I had breakpoint when he served an ace, so it was the game was I think we were both of us searching a little bit for the game to set up everything there.
When I hold my serve for 5 All, I think I relaxed a little more. I had little more confidence after that. He made few unforced errors, and played really bad game from that side with the wind.
So it was much easier for me to finish it off with the wind a little bit in my back.
Q. What happened the last two sets? What happened with your game? How did it click?
MARIN CILIC: I mean, I stay really focused on what I have to do, and I think the break in each of the last two sets helped a lot, as I was also putting a lot of I was putting him a lot of under pressure and serving good, I would say.
He was a little bit struggling to get on my serve to win few points in a row, so that was key thing for me. And of course definitely that I was playing from inside the court really good and moved him around and didn’t rush too much.
When I had my chance, I was going for him. When I was in the tougher position I would stay in the rally pretty good. Physically wise I was feeling okay and moving pretty nice.
Q. Were you surprised that he wasn’t more consistent? Because you’ve played him a bunch of times. You just hit steady. He made a lot of unforced errors.
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, well, it was a little bit windy from one side to another. It’s tough to say, but definitely he made a lot of unforced errors, and that helped me a lot to be confident in my game and the tactics that I put out there. That was also very helpful.
Q. You beat him when he was a junior, and then you lost three times in a row as a pro. Does having a result as a junior mean something after many years?
MARIN CILIC: I’d say juniors were a very long time ago, and it’s tough to judge for that result. I don’t even think about it at all.
For the other one, for the other question, I think he won those first three matches that we played. Even though they were pretty close, I think I was also playing pretty good with him all the time.
Here I think I made this breakthrough, and now of course gives me more confidence when I’m going to play other guys, and that on Grand Slams I can go very far.
Q. Where were you when Goran won Wimbledon in ’01?
MARIN CILIC: I was at home, of course, watching as every other Croatian on the TV. I mean, that was his fourth final, so it was history moment for everybody.
Q. You were not by chance at that wild parade when he came back and they were ripping off his clothes and trying to get souvenirs?
MARIN CILIC: No, I wasn’t there. It was a little bit away from my home. I mean, didn’t want to go there too much.
So I stayed at home and, of course, celebrated with everybody else.
Q. Can you describe what it was like being a Croatian tennis player, still pretty young, but you were a player at that point.
MARIN CILIC: Yeah.
Q. Thinking maybe it would be your turn one day?
MARIN CILIC: I mean, he is the one who brought tennis on a high level in Croatia, and everybody looked at him as a hero. Even from all the other athletes he was one guy who was most likeable with his personality and everything.
So for us I think younger ones was also big help money wise, and there was much more sponsors coming into the tennis, and also federation. So it was a big help for the young ones to come up.
And definitely, I mean, he also played with me when he was finishing his career. He helped me a lot, so he’s a really nice guy.
Q. How did he help you?
MARIN CILIC: I mean, he was in 2002/2003 he was staying in Zagreb and practicing all the time with me when he was there. He connected me with his ex coach, Bob Brett, which I am here with. He was also a great help, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get in a connection with Bob.
Q. What makes Bob a great coach, do you think?
MARIN CILIC: I mean, he coached great players. He has a lot of experience, and he brought me this knowledge that helps me to understand much easier some things.
If I would be with somebody else who is not that experienced on Grand Slams level and top level, it would take me maybe a year or two more to get some things out of it. So I think I’m learning quickly.
And as my results show on the Grand Slams, it works pretty good. He knows a lot about tennis, and other things, too, so…
Q. Were you in Zagreb when Croatia beat the United States?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah. In 2003?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I was there.
Q. And then you became part of beating the United States?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah. That’s true, yeah.
Q. Those are highlights, I imagine, for your career.
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I mean, definitely this victory over U.S. now in July at home, it’s one of the greatest moments in my career. Playing for a nation, that brings much more than playing for yourself.
Of course, by that, I have much more knowledge in Croatia and much more people know me now. Of course, they’re expecting like this next tie to also be good for us.
Q. Going to win the Cup?
MARIN CILIC: We’ll see.
Q. Were you affected at all by the war when you were young?
MARIN CILIC: No.
Q. What were your feelings coming into the tournament? Your results were somewhat a bit up and down. How were you feeling confidence wise coming into the US Open?
MARIN CILIC: I was trying to get more matches on these three tournaments that I played in Washington and these two Masters Series.
First two I didn’t play too well, but I would say in Cincinnati I played some good tennis. I lost there to David Ferrer. Coming here was maybe not easy, but maybe not the best preparation. I had a week of practice and got my thoughts a little bit back and worked pretty good, so I think that was good thing to do.
Q. But you also came back from two sets down against Levine. How did you turn that around?
MARIN CILIC: Me, I was feeling that physically I was able to sustain it for long period of time. First two sets, I didn’t play too good. I was missing a lot. He’s kind of player that he’s pretty consistent from the back, but he doesn’t have any big weapons. So he was more a matter of me putting my things together than something else.
Q. Are you working in San Remo or some other place?
MARIN CILIC: San Remo when I’m free, and sometimes in Zagreb.
Q. How much time would you say you’re in Croatia?
MARIN CILIC: Sorry?
Q. How much time are you in Croatia every year? Few weeks, or more than that?
MARIN CILIC: Tough to say, because when I’m finishing the tournaments I go back there, and then depending. But I don’t know, two months maybe.
Q. How would you describe the tennis in Croatia right now this year?
MARIN CILIC: Which part of tennis?
Q. When you were here four years ago, there was a whole bunch of boys with you from Croatia. What happened to them?
MARIN CILIC: I don’t know. I mean, they got a little bit lost. It’s never easy to — you mean for young ones and juniors and everything from my generation?
Q. Yes. Your generation.
MARIN CILIC: I mean, it’s tough, because this breakthrough from futures to challengers, this part takes a lot of energy and also takes a lot of work.
So I would say that in Croatia we don’t have maybe some guys don’t have a place where to practice and get some best advises. So it’s tough to say, but it’s more on every person how he deals with it.
Q. Did you call your family already?
MARIN CILIC: No.
Q. Do you speak fluent Italian?
MARIN CILIC: No.