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January 16, 2015

Mikhail Kukushkin


6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Congrats.テつ First final since 2013; first time outside of Russia.テつ How does it feel?
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ Thank you for the congratulations.テつ Yeah, it's my third final, I believe.テつ The first one outside of Russia.テつ Feels good to start the season with the final with so many wins in a row.
Of course it's important for me.テつ I'm enjoy to be here in Sydney, to play in a good level, you know, in a good tournament, and to be in the final.テつ Of course I didn't expect that, you know, on the second tournament on the year to play final already.
But pretty happy with my game, with my results, and I'm looking forward for tomorrow's final.

Q.テつ Seven wins; seven straight sets.テつ That must be a boost for your confidence as well.
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ Yeah, for sure.テつ You know, when you play seven days in a row and you won all seven matches in straight sets, it's a lot.テつ It means a lot for me.テつ It's a lot of confidence I got right now.
I play tomorrow Troicki.テつ He did the same, you know.テつ He got through qualifying and he won seven many matches already here.
So, you know, same situation.テつ Same opponent, same situation, so I will just try to play my best if I can tomorrow.

Q.テつ Two hours against Del Potro in the heat.テつ What did you do between last night and today?テつ Ice bath?テつ Sleep?
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ Nothing special, just try to do same thing that I do always:テつ just try to go to physio, to do some treatments.テつ Of course try to cool down a little bit, because I played yesterday and today in the heat.テつ 3:30 start and it was pretty warm.テつ Yesterday and today it was tough to play with the sun.
Just try to rest, recover.テつ Nothing special.テつ Drink a lot of water, you know.テつ Nothing special.テつ Just try to concentrate for my next match.

Q.テつ Final will be late in the afternoon.テつ Will the cooler conditions affect your game at all?
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ Yeah, for sure it will help me if we play final in the evening.テつ All seven matches I played I played either in the morning or 3:30.テつ I play seven matches with the sun.テつ It's really tough.
So it's good news for me that I will play tomorrow in the evening.テつ It will help me a little bit.テつ Anyway it's last match of the tournament, so I will try to play for 100% until the very end.

Q.テつ You remember going on a run before where you haven't dropped a set for seven matches?
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ Not really.テつ One time I played a final in Moscow starting also from qualifying, but I believe I drop one set in the semifinal.テつ It was more or less same situation.
But of course I got a lot of confidence that I won seven matches in a row without dropping a set.テつ It means a lot to me.テつ But I expect very tough battle tomorrow.

Q.テつ Coming off a very good season and now another good week, what are some of the improvements that you've been making?

Q.テつ Some of the improvements you've been making?
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ I had very good last month or two from 2014, and I tried to improve from that.テつ I try to keep on the same attitude.テつ I had very good off‑season, and I just try to believe in myself more, that I can play that level.
I was a little bit surprised that I can do well here already in Sydney.テつ But as I said, I am just very happy that work out that I did in the off‑season, it's work out here.

Q.テつ Have you had a look at the Australian Open draw and the way you're sitting in it?テつ Were you thinking about that at all today?
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ Yes, I did.テつ I follow it, of course, always.テつ When you're still in the other tournament, on my mind inside is here in the Sydney in tomorrow's final.テつ I just try to win here, and after the tournament finished I will fly to Melbourne and think about my next opponent.
Right now in Sydney I believe everyone just try to concentrate for your next match, and don't think too much about next tournament.

Q.テつ I read some of the interviews at Wimbledon when you were asked about your wife, who's your coach.テつ Explain that to people who might think that's a bit strange.テつ Because then if you have an argument you have to go home.テつ You can't go in separate hotel rooms.テつ You're in the same room.テつ How do you do the husband wife and player coach thing?
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ It's tough.テつ I believe almost everyone in the world don't understand that like professional tennis player can have a woman, and especially a wife, as a coach.
So I hear a lot of question like this from everyone, as well from the players.テつ But it's good for me.テつ We are together for seven years almost, and she's coaching me for I believe five or six years already.
So of course it's tough.テつ I believe every player and coach have tough moments on the court, like arguments and some tough moments, but we try to separate the life on the court and outside of the court.
It's working good for me.テつ I improve a lot with her help, so this kind of relationship is really help me.テつ I really enjoy to be with her as my wife and my coach.テつ I'm looking forward for next season.

Q.テつ Why has she been such a good coach for you?
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ First of all, because she knows me for seven years.テつ For my game, you need to know my game to try help me.テつ Of course she work with me not for money or for something.テつ She try to help me for the results.
For me it's also important.テつ And of course when you have a lot of good result together, I believe we got because of that a good relationship.

Q.テつ Did she have a background in coaching before she was working with you?
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ She did.テつ She was junior player, but then after that she stopped and she study to be the tennis coach in Moscow.テつ After that, she was a coach in one of the famous club in Moscow, Spartak.
But mostly like kids, juniors.テつ After that, it was I believe 2009 we tried for the first time to prepare for the ATP tournament.テつ It was a Moscow.テつ I did from the qualifying semifinal and so far it was my best result, so I said, Okay, let's try to continue to work together.テつ Since that, it's really working out for both of us.

Q.テつ Have you played Viktor much?
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ Yeah.テつ We, we played few times.テつ I lost once, and very last meeting was in Melbourne 2012.テつ I won, but it was very tough five sets.
As I said, I expect tough battle tomorrow.

Q.テつ Win or lose tomorrow, it's ATP world history.テつ Never been a final on the world tour with two qualifiers.

Q.テつ No, the whole tour.テつ Obviously in Sydney, but the whole tour.テつ Does it mean something to you to have your name in the record books?
MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN:テつ Sure it means a lot to me.テつ I didn't expect that two qualifiers never play each other in the final.テつ I believe it means a lot for me and Viktor who had tough year last year and he's coming back.
Of course the qualifier will win the tournament.テつ I believe for me and for Viktor is means a lot.

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