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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAĂș


March 31, 2016


Nick Kyrgios


Miami, Florida

N. KYRGIOS/M. Raonic

6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Very tight match. You kept control all the way and served great. Can you just analyze it, give us your take on it?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, he's been playing some great tennis. I think he's improved a lot over the last couple months, especially -- I've been watching him and I feel like he's trying to do more things from the back of the court and really give the ball a big rip.

I knew I had to come out and serve well. Didn't really serve my greatest today at all. Last couple matches I've struggled on serve.

Yeah, really learned how to return this year and I'm returning really good and I'm moving well. I am giving myself more opportunities. I thought I competed very well today.

Q. How sweet did it feel at the end on that match point?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, felt okay, I guess. You know, for me it's just another tennis match. I'm going to go out there tomorrow and try and enjoy myself and try and get the win.

Q. Breaks are always great to get. When you get them at the very beginning, first game of the match, how does that help set the tone? Give you a little momentum? Maybe put the other guy on his heels.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, definitely. I mean, that just gives me more confidence on my return games. That definitely set the tone early in the match. That obviously helped me win the first set obviously with that break in hand.

I feel as if I'm returning a lot better. That's the major thing this year. I am giving myself so many more chances and getting myself into so many more opportunities to take over matches.

Q. Fresh off a win in Marseilles and your first title in 2016. Did that give you more confidence coming into this event?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. You know, I knew that I was capable of making runs in these events before Marseilles, but I've been playing a lot better. I'm consistently backing up.

I feel as if I'm a lot fitter, stronger, and I just got more experience now. Last couple years on tour have been a bit of a rollercoaster, but I've learned a lot.

Q. When you face the Raonic serve now it's a little bit different. He doesn't ace as much as he used to. He seems to be going to the body a little bit more. He talks about that. How do you play his serve differently now, say, to maybe a year ago?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, he's got one of the greatest serves in the world. Even if you know where he's going, he's serving over 200 every single time, so not an easy task. Even if he tells you where he's going before serves it's going to be easy to return it. Doesn't really matter where he's going, it's going to be tough.

I can say he's making major improvements from the back. He's moving better, hitting the ball better. He's just becoming a better player.

Q. Knowing that Milos is from Toronto and that you had some painful memories when you were last in Toronto, you were fined at the Roger's Cup, did that give you an extra motivation to win tonight, saying, I want to definitely win tonight because of the unpleasant memory when you were last in Toronto?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't have any bad memories in Toronto. It was Montréal, but...

Strange. That's okay. Great question. Next.

Q. Next opponent, Nishikori, has a great return. Obvious serve is one of your biggest weapon. What do you think the key of the match is going to be and what do you remember from the previous matchup?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, obviously Kei is one of the greatest players in the world at the moment. He has an unbelievable return of serve, moves unbelievably fast, hits big from the baseline, doesn't have many weaknesses.

When I played him in Shanghai I didn't really do too much wrong. I played a great match the whole time and he just played a really well in the big moments. I definitely had chances.

I know what my game plan is going to be. It's going to be a tough match, but I'm looking forward to it. He's a great guy.

Q. When the match finish you made like a signal. It was directly to anyone?
NICK KYRGIOS: No.

Q. Has anything changed for you recently in the past month or two in terms of your mentality or that it accounts for your level of play now? Do you sense something special starting to happen for you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Not really. I haven't changed ever since I've been on tour, really. Since I was a junior I was showing a lot of emotion. Knew I could do well. I've just put in a lot of hard work and it's paying off.

Q. With Roger struggling a little bit, Rafa also, do you sense an opportunity now to maybe make a move and get the breakthrough and get to that elite level? Couple steps away yet, but there is opportunity it appears.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, definitely. I wouldn't say Roger is struggling. He's going to be great for however long he chooses to play. He's going to be tough no matter if he's -- I think I could play until 40. He's going to be a great player.

Obviously Rafa is still one the greatest competitors. I wouldn't say those guys are struggling. There are opportunities everywhere.

There are guys like Dominic Thiem making runs; Goffin, guys like this. There are so good players out there trying to breakthrough. It's not easy. There are a lot of guys out there doing great things.

Q. Top 20 next week. How big a breakthrough is that for you?
NICK KYRGIOS: It's pretty cool.

Q. Happy with that or planning to move on pretty quickly?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I'm happy with that, but there are nine, ten guys in front of me, so...

Q. The last few months we have seen some new behavior. You're more serious, concentrated. Have you changed the approach of tennis in any way? Are you more about in love with the sport?
NICK KYRGIOS: If anything, I'm not taking it as seriously. I think just at the end of the day it's just tennis. I'm just going out there and trying to play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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