In a three-hour encounter, Cilic defeated Pablo Carreno Busta 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(5) to give Croatia their first Davis Cup victory over Spain and lead them into the semifinals.
When asked for his thoughts on Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz's absence in the Spanish squad at the post-match press conference, Cilic stated that the result would have been "much different" as the 22-time Grand Slam champion was "one of the best" Davis Cup players ever.
“Yeah, you know, it would be much different, because I would say, you know, both of them are -- you know, Rafa, you know, has been during all his career, you know, a leader of the team and, you know, with his own results and always enjoyed this, like, team atmosphere,” Cilic said.
“And, you know, playing singles, doubles, he's one of the, if not the best, Davis Cup players ever, you know, in that sense,” he added.
The 34-year-old expressed sympathy for Carlos Alcaraz, who missed the Davis Cup quarterfinals due to an injury.
“And then with Carlos, fantastic season for him. Such a pity for him to get injury at Paris-Bercy, not to be able to play also the Masters in Torino, and then also this one at home. So it's very difficult for both of them. Yeah, but a lot to look ahead for Team Spain in the following years, for sure,” he said.
"I like another type of sport more" - Rafael Nadal explains why he doesn't prefer today's style of tennis
Rafael Nadal, in a press conference before his exhibition tour in Argentina, reflected on his early tennis career and discussed how the game has changed since then.
"Before, the points were prepared waiting for the right ball to attack, not all the balls were attacked, the right ball was expected. Today there are no transition balls or point preparation. Each ball that is hit is with the objective of winning the period," Nadal said, as per Marca.
He went on to say that he prefers other sports over tennis because they offer more tactical variety.
"It has gone well for me, nothing should be changed for me, but emotionally speaking I like another type of sport more, which allows you more options and implement a tactic," he said.
"I would like to see tennis that offers more opportunities, more diverse styles of games. Today, because of the way it is played, the way the courts are made, the balls, most people play a very similar style because the the speed at which you play and the conditions give you very little room to put a different tactic into practice. On the clay court there is a little more time, it gives you the opportunity to think," he added.