THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Does it feel like you had this one, and somehow it slipped away from you?
BORNA CORIC: Well, yeah. I mean, I was very close, definitely. I felt like I had him, you know — I mean, he was coming back into the match in the second set, you know.
But then when I won that game, I think it was on 3-2, Love-40 down, you know, I thought, that’s it. That’s pretty much it. I thought he was going to drop, but he didn’t. He stayed in the match very, very long, and I just couldn’t keep it up anymore.
At 4-3, he played very smart, I think, and I missed couple shots, and that’s it. Then again in the third set, I had two times break, you know. But, you know, that’s why he’s champion.
Q. Roger was really complimentary of you in his presser, saying you created the kind of match he really enjoys because you pushed him to the brink. What do you take from that and how are you feeling about your experience here?
BORNA CORIC: Yeah, you know, it was great match, definitely. I think, you know, I was really surprised how well I played, you know, how much pressure I was putting on him, and I was also enjoying it. You know, we were pushing — I think I was pushing him to the limits. He pushed me to the limits, for sure (smiling).
So, you know, it was very enjoying, but at the same time it was tough. So it’s — for sure, you know, it doesn’t feel great to lose this match, but I know that’s tennis.
And I need to look at it from the positive side, definitely, just the whole tournament, and this match, as well. I mean, I played a great match. You know, I was very close. I just, you know, didn’t took all the chances. I felt, you know, also on 4-3 in the third set, that backhand down the line, it went just a little bit wide.
But again, you know, that’s the tennis, and again that’s why he’s the champion, you know.
Q. I guess it’s just after the match, could you perhaps think about what’s the biggest lesson from an experience like this?
BORNA CORIC: Well, you know, I’m not sure I need to think about the match for little bit. I need to see the match a little bit.
You know, and I cannot say — I don’t think I did anything wrong, you know. You know, I went for my shots. I was not waiting. I think I made the right choices all the time. I was sticking to my tactics very good.
So, you know, it was just — it was not unlucky. I cannot say it was unlucky. He was just better player in those specific moments. And at the end he just got through, you know.
Q. Could you say — what is his package? What are his qualities that make him Roger Federer? What are the elements?
BORNA CORIC: Yeah, I mean, you know, I think he doesn’t have a weak part of his game, obviously. But at the beginning he was missing a lot. He was not playing great. But again, I was playing also good, so it was kind of both.
Well, you know, I mean, just for him, you know, because in my opinion he was not playing great, you know, and many players would lose the match, you know, very quickly. But he stayed in the match and he pushed me. He basically, you know, he said to me, Okay, you need to win the match. I’m not going to give the match to you.
Many other players, especially because I was playing very good and I was not missing, many other players would just give the match away, you know, and he didn’t do it. He pushed it, and that’s — I mean, of course he won also because he’s Roger Federer, and because he plays great. I mean, doesn’t have a weak part. He played, I think, tactically very, very good, very smart in those very important points, you know, which I was a little bit surprised.
So, you know, he’s the whole package. You know, I cannot say that he has a weak spot, you know.
Q. Is it the variety of his shots or his anticipation?
BORNA CORIC: Yeah, everything, everything. You don’t know what to expect. You don’t know what’s he’s going to play next, what spin, which angle, you know, pretty much everything, really. It’s completely different level.
But again, today, I was really, really playing really good, I was aggressive and I was pushing him to the limits, but, you know, at the end he was better player.
Q. Great match today. Just curious, I know you want to think positive, but how do you take this momentum into Miami?
BORNA CORIC: Well, you know, first I need to rest for one day. I need to travel there. You know, Miami is not easy. Obviously it’s very hot. Luckily I think I’m going to be seeded so I’m not going to play on Wednesday. I might play on Saturday, which is going to help me, for sure, a lot.
Because it was a really, really tough tournament for me. I think I never — yeah, I never played six matches — no, how many matches I play? Four or five? Five matches I played? Yeah.
Okay, I played five. But, you know, I don’t play that many matches normally in a period of eight days or nine days. So it was very tough, obviously, but, you know, I can bring a lot of confidence to Miami.
You know, I was playing great for the whole tournament. I made a very good result. But again, it doesn’t mean anything, you know. It’s a completely new tournament. All the new conditions. It’s much hotter. It has more humidity, which changes a lot. So let’s see what it brings.
Q. I know you have had great results in the past, and last year you won a title and beat Andy in Madrid and all that. Does this feel perhaps like a breakout tournament for you? It’s your first semifinal an ATP Masters 1000?
BORNA CORIC: Well, I don’t know. Yeah, it’s felt that way — I felt that way a couple of times already, and then I lost four first rounds in a row (smiling).
I don’t know, to be honest. I hope so. I think I’m playing very good tennis not only in this tournament. I think I was playing very solid in Dubai, in Davis Cup, you know. Only in Australia I was not playing good.
I think the momentum is up, definitely. You know, hopefully I can stay healthy, and I can continue to play like that. You know, how I’m going to play in Miami or Monte-Carlo, I don’t know, but I’m going to give my best, for sure. I’m going to try to do the same things, shall try to focus on myself and just see what’s gonna happen.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2018-03-17 22:00:00 GMT