Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Marin Cilic Wimbledon First round press conference

Marin Cilic Wimbledon First round press conference

Marin Cilic talks to the media after his 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win against Yoshihito Nishioka

Q. It was hot out there.

Q. How did you find dealing with the heat? Is this the hottest you've played certainly in London at Wimbledon?
MARIN CILIC: I'm dealing all right with the heat because it's quite dry. Usually the points are not too long, so it doesn't bother us much. I usually like to play on heat. I'm not sure if it's one of the hottest but last week was also quite hot. Week before, as well.

It's been really great summer, so enjoying it, and I hope it stays like this.

Q. Do you think, just on the heat, do you think the women get a break as part of their heat rule when it gets above a certain temperature and humidity? Do you think that's something that should be available to the guys in their game?
MARIN CILIC: Maybe in some cases where humidity is big. Usually with the heat, we are dealing with the heat quite all right. Just if the humidity gets really, really high, sometimes at US Open it's temperature can be around 29, 30, and unbearable on the court because it's cement. Everything gets so hot.

So it's much more difficult than here. I feel here is quite comfortable, even though it's hot and it's not so easy, but I feel it's not too bad. So I think it's better that it stays like this.

Q. You didn't play on Centre today, but when you have played on Centre, as recently as the end of last Wimbledon, what is the feeling like walking out to Centre Court both emotionally and mentally as you prepare to play on that court?
MARIN CILIC: It's one of the best courts that we have in the game and also it makes it special as you walk through the corridors you're seeing the history of past Wimbledon champions, as well. I was fortunate to play a few matches last year there, and I always felt amazingly well.

It sort of falls through with the atmosphere, you know, the public, they are giving you always the warmth and feel that you are special on the court. You know, I think it's really beautiful to play inside, yeah.

Q. Not just on Centre Court but playing on grass in general, how does it affect your thinking about your serve and your confidence in it?
MARIN CILIC: It's just slightly different than all the other surfaces, as the ball skids through the court a bit quicker and you can slide the ball around a little bit easier than on hard courts, for example.

Here, you also tend to play the opponent on the other side so you have to play the mind game, as well, where to serve, what kind of a serve to serve. Also, you know, at certain points, you know, what do you feel with your serve.

So it's not just hitting only your spots and your patterns. It's more also playing the opponent and playing the mind game what is gonna work at that particular point.

Q. Wimbledon women's final is always on Saturday, men's final on Sunday. For equality, should they mix that up? Sometimes the women have highlight, final day final?
MARIN CILIC: I'm not sure, because, you know, it's also part of the scheduling. Men play Monday, Wednesday, Friday the matches and the ladies play Tuesday -- or maybe even four matches up to Saturday, not exactly sure.

You know, I think it's on the tournament to decide about those things. I still think, you know, that ladies matches are followed extremely well. I'm also watching a lot of the matches (smiling).

So I think the atmosphere any kind of the day it's amazing and I think the tournament prepares it extremely nice for, you know, both men and women, as well.

Q. Unfortunate in your final last year to get the blisters. Is that a regular problem or not too often?
MARIN CILIC: It happened to me just one time, another time in the past, but it was just unfortunate because it happened at that moment. I played throughout the tournament, everything was fine and just after the semifinals felt it. So it was very unfortunate. You know, still some things that you have to also take care of on a great level.

Q. In terms of your history playing here at Wimbledon, what is your favorite memory? What do you remember about it most?
MARIN CILIC: Favorite memory would be last year reaching the final. That moment of celebration and realizing that I'm going to be the first in my final and playing for the trophy.

Special thing about it, I grew up watching Goran on TV so many times and following him through all his matches and losses, in first couple losses that he had in his final, and then afterward he won it. It was just such a joy to see him lifting the trophy and then also for the nation, as well.

So, you know, growing up like that, you're always dreaming that you're going to be one day playing at Wimbledon and then now, of course, playing for the trophy.

Q. Andy Murray won Queen's in 2013 and 2016 before then going on to win the title here at Wimbledon. How has Queen's victory prepared you for Wimbledon? Is it kind of motivating you more for kind of getting to the final and taking the title this year?
MARIN CILIC: I think it prepared me extremely well just in terms of my confidence. It's very high. I played five quality matches over there. I was aware that most of the guys who were playing great at Queen's were also continuing to play again over here.

Even for me last year even though I lost in the final of Queen's, I felt that I was playing great tennis and that helped me to continue the form here as the season is so short on grass and you have to peak at extremely well. In terms of matches over here, if you are not completely focused one or two points can cost you a set.

So I think that kind of a tournament like Queen's always prepares you mentally well. But, you know, still at the end of the day, you have to do things really well during Wimbledon. That's what I'm going to focus on, just to try to be as best as I can on my part of the court and worry about that only.

Q. Your next opponent is Pella or Kubler. What do you know about them and what are you hoping to achieve in the next match?
MARIN CILIC: I played Pella couple times. He's very solid player, and he had great success on clay and hard courts, grass not really that much. We haven't played on grass. But I have seen that in Stuttgart he played also, he won couple of matches, and obviously he's getting better on grass.

So I'm, you know, feeling that I have to be ready for that match for my own part of the court to continue to play my own game, serve well like I did today, just to try to control most of the rallies.

For Kubler, I don't know him much, I never played him much and didn't see how he plays.

Q. Your preparation before a match, is there anything you do specifically, superstitions? Also, whether you watched the football last night.

Q. Thoughts on a potential clash with England in semifinal.
MARIN CILIC: Regarding routines, I'm quite straightforward. I am always having the same routine no matter the match. I think that helps me prepare for every single match on the same level and respecting the opponents and also preparing, preparing mentally makes it easier for me even when I'm going to later stages of the tournament, as nothing is changing, feeling that it's just another match that I'm going to be playing.

Yeah, Croatia's match was a big drama last night. We were on our edge of the seats with and was not easy to follow the penalties. In the end, luckily that we won. What a victory, I guess, seeing with a result to get into the quarters. And still three more matches to go, but we have to take it match by match.

Q. Does your experience in the final last year make coming back here in any way bittersweet, or are you more determined than you were 12 months ago?
MARIN CILIC: I'm looking at last year's experience as a positive one and the one that I can learn from especially in my psychological approach to the match. Fortunately I was not able to be 100% level so I was not able to also test myself how would I play in the match.

But psychologically I felt the atmosphere, I felt the pressure, as well. I felt like I was dealing with it really, really nicely, and it gave me great confidence for this year coming back on grass, and I feel it can give me slight edge and experience if I'm going to be coming in later stage to the tournament.

I feel this year it's more looking at it as another opportunity to play well. I'm in great form, playing great tennis. Hopefully I can deliver here again. I'm not looking at last year that I would have some kind of a revenge. I'm feeling that it's another opportunity and that I have another chance to go really, really far.

Q. I suppose you made a great start. Can you just assess your performance today? And also football, which made you more nervous, your match today or against Denmark last night?
MARIN CILIC: Both were not easy definitely (smiling). And especially coming into the Grand Slam, you are always feeling the nerves and especially playing the first match. Luckily I opened really nicely and got double break in the first set and Yoshihito later in the second and third showed good tennis. He was very solid and was not definitely easy as it looked in that first set, so he made me work.

But I felt quite confident in my serving. I served really well. Didn't have too much trouble during the match, and, you know, definitely extremely happy with that.

Photo and press conference transcript from Wimbledon Website