“I know Ramanathan from the Tour. He’s a quality player” – Marin Cilic, after surviving a scare against the India #3

India #3 Ramkumar Ramanathan ran the 2014 US Open Champion Marin Cilic very close in the 2nd rubber of the India-Croatia Davis Cup tie, losing 6-7(8) 6-7(8). Ramkumar was up a mini break in the both the tiebreakers, but failed to hold on to the advantage. Thoughts from Marin Cilic, Borna Gojo, and Croatian captain Vedran Martic on the Day 1 proceedings below –

Thoughts from Marin Cilic

When Borna(Gojo) got the first point, it must have been a relief for everyone. That point is perhaps the most defining moment for us in the whole match

I played Ramkumar two years ago at the ATP event in Pune. I know him from the tour and I know he’s a quality player. Today he played a great match. He had a really high percentage on his first serve. Came in really well. He was volleying great throughout the match and did a lot of great things on his own side.

Of course, I was playing well too. I was serving well. When you have a match without any breaks, it shows there was some high quality serving. That was it, for me. It was extremely important to do things well from my own part of the court and obviously do as much as I could on the return.

On the other side, Ramkumar was serving well, also on the second serve taking risks sometimes. I felt he went into the match without anything to lose. He was playing really risky. Today everything was going in the court and you know he pushed the match really hard.

Ramkumar and Cilic after the match

Thoughts from Borna Gojo –

This is my biggest win. I played disaster the first set. I thought it couldn’t be this bad. I thought, ‘Give something up, try to make something, start turning it’. Good luck, that it worked today.

My captain Vedran Martic gave me some great tips yesterday. We put together a good tactic. He is the exact opposite of me. I am crazy, he is completely calm, so he helped me not to fly into another universe completely.

Prajnesh and Gojo ahead of the match

Thoughts from Croatian captain Vedran Martic –

I thought that (Prajnesh) Gunneswaran is the best out of the Indian tennis players and I was thinking that it would be a difficult point to make for us.

At first I thought Borna(Gojo) was going hard against Gunneswaran, to show him that he was ready to beat him, because Gunneswaran was the favorite. At 3:3 in the first set an unlucky game happened, he lost his service and that disrupted him. After the first set he was motivated and then I tried to be as calm as possible so as not to show my emotions. In the beginning, I might have encouraged him too much, maybe I should have been a little more calm.

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