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Friday, 7 July 2017
18:02 PM BST

Marin Cilic: Third round

Marin Cilic talks to the media after the 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4 win against Steve Johnson

Q. How would you say your form was overall today?
MARIN CILIC: I would say it was quite good. I was playing very, very good. And I think overall, Steve was serving really well on the break points and playing really, really good. I had a lot of them before I managed to convert first one in the first set.

Second set, as well, was playing quite solid. Just made couple unforced errors in the game, and when he broke me to come back, but I felt overall quite good on the court.

I was playing tactically well. I was obviously trying to expose his backhand to try to a little bit push him in that corner, and that was working quite good.

I'd say just the court, the playing speed of the court was a little bit slower than what I played on Court 2. So we had a little bit more rallies.

But, you know, just overall felt quite comfortable, and especially with serving I was really good.

Q. You're now on to Monday. How would you describe what that second Monday at Wimbledon is like?
MARIN CILIC: It's just a little bit less people around, less players, and it's obviously now two days' break. So I'm going to try to use it to even work on some things that me and Jonas saw during the week that we can work on.

Considering again second week for me here is obviously a great step forward, great achievement. And, you know, I think it's not a new tournament that starts on Monday, but it's sort of you have to have obviously the mental freshness to be ready for every match as now the matches are getting stronger and tougher. So that's what I think is gonna be critical in a week 2.

Q. You know the men and women here, unlike other tournaments, all play on Monday. How would you describe what you think the fans get on that second Monday?
MARIN CILIC: I think it's just amazing what fans can get. And especially seeing all the matches on Monday, all women and all men, definitely they're going to be great matches to watch.

So maybe even the best day of the tournament.

Q. How do you anticipate spending the middle Sunday? You now have a lot of experience with the middle Sunday. What's your approach to it?
MARIN CILIC: For me, we're gonna keep similar routine like we did on the off days. Obviously having my tennis practice, and I always do some, few things in the gym. Tomorrow it's gonna be a little bit lighter day maybe than on my usual off days. I'm going to just try to refresh myself, maybe try to work on a little bit shorter practice and to be quite intensive with that.

And then on Sunday it's going to be more or less quite similar as the days off that I have usually during the week.

We have a little bit more time now obviously, as well, to go to the city. Maybe do something different. Go to some restaurants and few things to relax. So that's also quite good.

Q. Steve was pretty emotional out there, especially towards the end of the match and especially on the changeovers. Wondering if you noticed that. If so, is it difficult to play somebody that is obviously feeling emotions that we all know why, likely why he was upset?
MARIN CILIC: I actually didn't see before he came to the net to shake my hand, and I saw that he was extremely emotional at that moment.

You know, for me, it's impossible to compare that to anything, because I have never experienced something like that, and to have such a loss. So, you know, for me to see him still playing and still fighting in that way, it's just amazing.

You know, the only thing I wish for him is the best of luck for the rest of the year. I hope that he's obviously going to have really good success.

Q. What are your observations of Victoria Azarenka coming back from having a baby? What are your thoughts about what she's doing?
MARIN CILIC: Well, I think it's great for a player and a person that has been on the top of the game and played amazing tennis in especially last several years, and now to having, you know, a break for a baby, it's just great to see.

You know, I think obviously in that part it's a little bit different than for men. For ladies, is just a little bit more difficult to have a break like that, and then obviously to come back. And we have seen over the years a lot of women doing that.

So just I think it's great for tennis and great for her to be back and playing this well.

Q. You talk about restaurants. Can you really enjoy a restaurant knowing what will happen on Monday?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, we can. Jonas is taking us to a Swedish restaurant, so we're gonna even experience a little bit more of Swedish specialties. That's good.

We are here to play tennis, but you can't stress about, you know, matches and outcome every single day, every single moment you still enjoy, you do your own routines. You know, I like to spend my time quite relaxing, even watching tennis when I'm at home.

So, you know, more or less it's gonna be quite relaxed weekend.

Q. What are your thoughts about the match itself on Monday?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I'm playing Bautista. Obviously great for him to beat Kei today. We played few times already. He's not a classic Spanish player that are known to have extreme grips on the forehands and also to play the classic clay court style.

He's more of a hard court player, more of a player that likes also quicker surfaces. It's not for me surprise to see him, you know, in the second week of here in Wimbledon.

You know, for me, extremely important to continue to play this well, to continue to serve well. And with that I believe I'm building up pressure on the guys to continue with good play.

Q. Either Federer, Nadal, Murray or Wawrinka have won this title since 2003. It's a long time. I'm sure everybody's tired of it. What do you think about winning here, breaking that?
MARIN CILIC: Stan wasn't. Maybe you made a mistake. Novak was.

Q. Excuse me, yes.
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, just definitely amazing those four guys throughout these last 10, 12 years, and even more with Roger they showed how great players they are, and they raised the level of tennis in general. You know, I think the popularity of the sport went really high, so that's just amazing.

You know, for my own sake, I hope this thing is gonna break probably this year, hopefully.

Q. Connected to that, you're one of the few men who has broken through that group to win a slam. I'm just curious, you still are considered like a dark horse. You go under the radar a little bit. I'm curious whether you would prefer if you had sort of more fame or more in the spotlight or do you actually sort of like the fact that you have that element, a little bit of almost surprise? Because you're not necessarily, you know, discussed as these four guys are.
MARIN CILIC: I'm quite happy with position I'm in. Also with my own form. I'm extremely satisfied playing really well in the last couple of months.

Obviously, you know, players like Roger, Rafa, they had great success this year. And Novak and Andy, you cannot ever rule them out of Grand Slams. They are always having that little bit extra pressure or spotlight on them.

So for me, you know, it doesn't give me anything, but it just maybe releases that pressure if I would have that.

But still, in my own self, I know that even under pressure I was still performing really well and playing quite good in those critical moments and situations.

So definitely big focus still for me is to continue to play well. I have to show my abilities on the court and to bring them every single match.

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