Marin Cilic tells DNA about his targets for the upcoming season . Excerpts...
Chennai has been a good hunting ground for you. How does it feel to play here?
Yes, I have won here twice. I have good memories here. The humidity and warm climate of Chennai, you don’t get to experience that much the rest of the year. It’s good tournament to play.
The Australian Open is not far away. What are your expectations?
I came to the Chennai Open knowing that I have a good record here and it is the best preparation for the Australian Open. I have to be ready from the very first match.
You’ve performed better on hardcourt. How do you feel about playing on other surfaces?
I’ve played quite well on clay too. We get to play just five-six weeks on clay in a year. Last year, I won my first title on clay in Croatia. With that victory, I had registered a win on all surfaces. It showed that I’m an all-round player and can play on all surfaces.
You’ve beaten Andy Murray, Janko Tipsarevic and had a close match with Roger Federer. What does it take to beat the top players?
It takes a lot. You have to be playing extremely well and you know that they are not going to give it to you in a platter. You have to be in a good shape and form for five to six months, build up your game and then try to challenge them. I did that well in the latter half of 2012. Now, I am getting ready to play more matches, gain confidence.
Your best world ranking has been nine. Do you have any specific target for the 2013 season?
I would like to take it as it comes. As I have said before, I would also like to get 50 wins in one season and that would be a good goal. I’m close to the top 10. It would be great to have some good results in the beginning of the year. I would like to improve my serve and work on my defence as well.