Publié par : marincilic | septembre 11, 2009

INTER

Q. Can you tell us what happened at 3‑1 in the second set? Just seemed to fall apart. Was it him raising his game or your game falling down, or a little of both?

MARIN CILIC: Well, I mean, definitely he started to play much better and not giving me so many chances to dictate the game. He was not missing and also putting a lot of pressure on me, and then it was tough for me to hold that level of game all the time.

Then on the beginning of the match I was playing really good and moving him a lot around, and I found after the first set that it got a lot cooler and the court was a little bit hard to play on. The ball wasn’t going through the court as much as it was in the beginning.

And then he was like all the time on top of me and not letting me to find any other solution to get back.

Q. I know it’s very short after the match, and I’m sure you’re feeling disappointment, but are you able to at least appreciate how far you got in this tournament?

MARIN CILIC: Yeah.

Q. It’s only your second time here and you’ve accomplished what you’ve accomplished. Can you feel pretty good about the tournament in general?

MARIN CILIC: Of course. I mean, I’m feeling unbelievably happy that I got to this stage. I mean, before the tournament I wasn’t in great situation with losing two first rounds and one second round in Cincinnati.

I mean, had good experience here, some great matches, one comeback after being two sets to love down, and beating Murray also. I think putting my game on another level now. Of course I have little more self‑belief that I can do well and that I’m also playing good tennis.

Q. Is there something that was working for you against Andy? I mean, different players, obviously. Do you feel you had something working for you when you played Andy that maybe wasn’t there today?

MARIN CILIC: Yeah. I would say it was definitely different match, because with Andy he doesn’t have as much power as Del Potro has, and it was a little bit hotter day that day and the ball was going through the court more and jumping much more.

So you didn’t need ‑‑ I didn’t need to force so much. Just to place the ball, and it would be enough. Weather today, you really needed to hit the ball to be able to get in some good position.

Q. What was the weather like that out there? It was windy. Was it affecting play today?

MARIN CILIC: Yeah, it was definitely, because I was struggling to find my rhythm with the serve and to hit my spots pretty good. From one side was blowing in the chest, from the other was going in the back.

It wasn’t easy to find good rhythm, and definitely I was a little bit behind with that, than him.

Q. You played against Del Potro in Australia and play again today. What can you say about his game?

MARIN CILIC: Well, I mean, what I think he is good at is that over there and over here I was one set up and also playing I think first set and a half really good today. But he was able to stay with me and to play really consistent, and he started to play much better than on the beginning. So that’s the good thing that he did today.

Q. So you did break through to best eight this time. To go to the next level, what do you think you need?

MARIN CILIC: Well, definitely more matches like this and to play against them much more, against these top guys. I think I need to also play ‑‑ from my perspective, I need to play also a lot of tennis on this high level to be able to sustain it for a longer period of time.

I mean, today I played first set and a half really good tennis, and then after I dropped it. So I have, I mean, a lot of work also to do on that.

Q. You said that you spend one week before in New York, and that you were talking to somebody or talking yourself into improving the game. Could you tell us more about it? Were you here by yourself practicing one week before the tournament, or was your coach here with you?

MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I was here with the coach.

Q. With your coach?

MARIN CILIC: Yeah. I mean, just is my usual routine before Grand Slams, having a little bit time off before the tournament, getting my mind ready for the start of the tournament, and that’s it. Nothing special.

I had some good practices and prepared pretty good.

Q. I thought you said that the two of you had long talks, you know, where your game is at and how to improve it.

MARIN CILIC: Not necessarily. I didn’t change anything in one week, so that was just getting myself into the rhythm and hitting a lot of balls and practicing good. So nothing in particular.

Q. Well, you played terrific game, not today because the weather was so awful.

MARIN CILIC: I was what?

Q. You played terrific tennis here, so I’m wondering what has changed.

MARIN CILIC: Nothing has changed. I mean, I played also good tennis before; just over here I put some things together better, and it was working good.

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Publié par : marincilic | septembre 11, 2009

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Cilic, just five days younger than del Potro, had stunned World No. 2 Andy Murray in the fourth round to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final and carried his blistering form into the first set of his clash with del Potro – breaking the Argentine in the fifth game before going on to close out a 6-4 one-set lead.

A poor service game from del Potro, including two double faults, handed Cilic an early break of serve in the second set and the Argentine’s hopes in the match appeared to hang in the balance as Cilic moved to within two points of a double break lead at 1-3, 0/30 on del Potro’s serve.

It proved to be the turning point in the match as del Potro rose to the occasion and went on to win 11 of the next 13 games and take a two-set-to-one lead. Where Cilic’s forehand had been potent in the first set and a half, it proved unreliable as del Potro mounted his comeback and fell down against the Argentine’s improved aggression from the back of the court as he turned the match around.

‘Definitely he started to play much better and not giving me so many chances to dictate the game,” Cilic said about the turnaround. “He was not missing and also putting a lot of pressure on me, and then it was tough for me to hold that level of game all the time.”

Del Potro raced to a 5-0 lead in the fourth set against an increasingly despondent Cilic, who had no answer to the Argentine’s dazzling play. The Croatian restored some pride and avoided a whitewash as he broke del Potro in the sixth game as he served for the match. But his reprieve was short lived and another forehand error brought up match point for the Argentine on Cilic’s serve at 1-5, 30/40. As another Cilic forehand found the net – one of 53 unforced errors he committed in the match – del Potro clinched victory after two hours and 33 minutes of play in extremely blustery conditions on Arthur Ashe stadium.

World No. 17 Cilic also lost in four sets to del Potro in the Australian Open fourth round, having won the first set on that occasion too. He was bidding to become the first Croatian man to reach the US Open semi-finals since Goran Ivanisevic in 1996, and the fourth overall to reach the semi-finals at a major.

The Zagreb resident is expected to return to the Top 15 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings following his result at the US Open. He reached a career-high No. 13 on 18 May this year following two ATP World Tour titles at the start of the season in Chennai (d Devvarman) and Zagreb (d. Ancic).

“I’m feeling unbelievably happy that I got to this stage,” he said. “Before the tournament I wasn’t in great situation with losing two first rounds and one second round in Cincinnati.

“I had good experience here, some great matches, one comeback after being two sets to love down, and beating Murray also. I think putting my game on another level now. Of course I have little more self belief that I can do well and that I’m also playing good tennis.”

Publié par : marincilic | septembre 9, 2009

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No. 16 seed Marin Cilic, just hours removed from his straight-set mastery of hard court virtuoso Andy Murray, felt relieved more so than excited after pulling off one incredibly formidable upset at this 2009 US Open.

“I’m feeling tremendously happy,” said Cilic, who won 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. “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.”

The Croatian sensation broke brackets and English hearts at Arthur Ashe Stadium this afternoon in a tidy, 2 hour and 8 minute affair that was one-sided after the opening set. From there, Cilic established his serve—Murray would go 0-for-7 in break point opportunities—and scarcely allowed Murray to get comfortable and counterpunch from the baseline, charging the net with authority and volleying more frequently and with far better accuracy.

“(Murray) was a little bit struggling to get on my serve to win few points in a row, so that was key thing for me,” said Cilic. “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.”

Murray, a 2008 US Open finalist and a trendy a pick to overthrow Roger Federer’s five-year reign at Flushing Meadows, was 37-3 in matches on hard courts in 2009, including his first three victories at this year’s Open. Only once in the past eight tournaments had the hard court match win leader going into tournament play failed to advance past the round of 16 (James Blake – 2007).

Afterwards, Murray fielded questions from reporters who cited color commentator Patrick McEnroe’s analysis that the Brit lost focus in the latter sets. He shrugged it off and blamed the poor result on a mix of fatigue and a balky left wrist.

“No, I mean, I think one of the things about me that I’ve been very good at the last couple of years, I’ve been saying that I find ways to get back into the matches mentally, and I think very strong… I don’t know what it was. Like I said, you know, against (Paul) Capdeville I felt a little bit low on energy. And it’s not an excuse, but it’s not good in a Grand Slam to feel that way.”

The 20-year-old Cilic, who was 0-3 in his career versus the current No. 2 seed coming into today’s match, also fired 35 winners to Murray’s 13. He will play in his first Grand Slam quarterfinal and also is the first Croat to reach the final eight at the US Open since countryman and idol Goran Ivanisevic did so in 1996.

Cilic, like many Croatians, idolized Ivanisevic and remembers celebrating with friends and family when the former world No. 2 captured Wimbledon in 2001.

“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. 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.”

Sixth-ranked Juan Martin del Potro, who ousted No. 24 Juan Carlos Ferrero, will meet Cilic in a matchup of two of the youngest and brightest stars on the ATP Tour. The Argentinean del Potro and Cilic, who will both turn 21 before the end of September, are the youngest players left in the men’s draw.

“He has the potential,” said del Potro in his own post-match press conference of Cilic. “He’s a very good player, because, has a very good future. For sure if he beat Murray he’s confident. It will be very tough for me.”

In January, Cilic suffered a four-set setback to del Potro at the 2009 Australian Open 5–7, 6–4, 6–4, 6–2. To avenge the Melbourne loss and reach the semifinals, Cilic will pull from the Murray triumph, the biggest win of his career.

“Maybe (del Potro is) even here playing a little bit better on the US Open courts,” said Cilic. “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.”

Publié par : marincilic | septembre 9, 2009

inter

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?

Q. Yeah.
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.

Publié par : marincilic | septembre 8, 2009

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Cilic def. Murray (2) : 7/5 6/2 6/2 !!!

Marin Cilic did not let it worry him that he had lost to Andy Murray in all three of their previous meetings. He was unperturbed by the Scot’s blistering form in 2009, that has seen him win five ATP World Tour titles already. Marin Cilic simply rose to the occasion in front of a packed Arthur Ashe stadium Tuesday afternoon and produced one of the finest performances of his young career to send the World No. 2, and last year’s runner-up, crashing out of the US Open 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 and reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final.

“I’m feeling tremendously happy. Of course it’s biggest result for me so far. And after reaching the last 16 four times, 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.”

After saving four break points in the first set, including two that were set points when he trailed 4-5 15/40, Cilic hit back to earn the first service break of the match at 5-5 as a Murray forehand clipped the net and landed wide. More uncharacteristic loose errors for Murray proved costly as Cilic closed out the one-set lead when the Scot sliced a backhand into the net.

While it can be said Murray was below par, Cilic was quick to take advantage and his brave, aggressive hitting from the back of the court paid dividends in the second and third sets as Murray had no answer to the Croatian’s dominance on the baseline. Cilic broke serve four more times to set himself up with the chance to serve out victory, and did so in style – with three blistering service deliveries propelling him to match point, which he converted after two hours and eight minutes.

In explaining his devastating performance in the final two sets, Cilic said: “I stayed 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 I was putting him under a lot of 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.”

In defeating a Top 3 player for the first time in his career, Cilic became the first Croatian to reach the US Open quarter-finals since Goran Ivanisevic went on to reach the semi-finals in 1996.

The Zagreb resident is contesting just his second US Open main draw and joins a group of five players in the Open Era to have reached the quarter-finals in so few attempts. On debut last year he fell to World No. 3 Novak Djokovic in the third round.

For a place in the semi-finals Cilic will face World No. 6 Juan Martin del PotroJuan Carlos Ferrero in straight sets. Cilic lost to del Potro in their first tour-level meeting in the fourth round of the Australian Open at the start of the year. – just five days his senior – who cruised past 2003 finalist

“Definitely he’s a player to watch,” praised Cilic. “I played him there in Australia, and I would say that 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.”

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