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January 7, 2017

Kei Nishikori

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

K. NISHIKORI/S. Wawrinka

7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Well, after three semifinals, you have made it through to the final. How do you feel about that?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, feeling very happy to be in the final tomorrow. It's first time for me to play final. I tried many times, and this is first time to get Sunday, so I'm really happy.

And especially beating Stan today, it was a good start of the year, I think. Yeah, well, tomorrow it's going to be maybe tougher match, but I look forward to play final tomorrow.

Q. What do you think was the key to your success today against Stan?
KEI NISHIKORI: Actually, was really tough first set. I think I was really doing more defense in the first set, and especially my serve, I had many break points. He was attacking a lot with my serve and my service game. So I was feeling a little pressure with my service game.

But really stayed tough until tiebreak, and I got, you know, one or two chance in tiebreak. After that, I think I was playing better play in the second.

Q. What have you liked most about your game this week? Are things that you worked on showing out on the court?
KEI NISHIKORI: Today and yesterday my serve was much better, doing much better. I did work on in offseason a lot, and also, you know, was really steady on the baseline. Especially today I was doing a lot of defense. I think I made a lot of balls back.

Yesterday was different story. I was attacking everything. I think I was doing really well defense and also being aggressive, too.

Q. Is this tournament here, is it, once again, live on television in Japan?
KEI NISHIKORI: I think so.

THE MODERATOR: Depends on the match time. Yes.

Q. Next week, are you going to Melbourne to practice, or are you doing anything else?
KEI NISHIKORI: I'm going to Sydney for just one exhibition on Monday. Well, right after, I will be in Melbourne, just training easy because I had a good week. I hope I can win tomorrow, but I think I have good week. Play four matches, including tomorrow.

I think it's a great start of the year, and hope I can finish strong tomorrow. I just try to stay healthy next week.

Q. You went through a period of having difficulty against top 5 players. You've beaten Stan three of the last four times. Does that give you more confidence coming into the majors this year?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, for sure. This one will give me a lot of confidence, and hope tomorrow too.

But, yeah, my goal is to beat Novak and Andy. I think those two are really dominating right now the tour last year, and especially Novak. I lost him, like, seven times last year, so hope I can get him next time (smiling).

Yeah, the Grand Slam is going to be a big goal for me to play well.

Q. How much did your win back at the US Open against Andy Murray bring to your confidence? It was an amazing match.
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, I think that was my biggest win last year, especially playing five sets in a Grand Slam. And he was playing, you know, good end of the season.

So I think that was the biggest win for me and gave me a lot of confidence. Yeah, like I said, I played a lot of good match against Andy, but against Novak, I haven't done well yet, so that's going to be my next goal.

Q. Are there things in your game that you work on specifically to play Novak? Like, you know, your game seems to match up well against Stan. Are there things you adjust specifically to take on somebody like Novak?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah. Before the match, I always discuss with my team what I have to do or what some changes I have to make. I'm trying to play better each match.

Q. I believe I read your record is really good against Milos. Can you please speak about both of the potential finalists here, how you believe your game matches up to theirs?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah. Well, it's not my favorite player to play, Milos, but I think I have not the best record but good record against him. It's never easy. I think he's playing much better last year. He's more steady on the groundstrokes and serves, like, you know -- I think he's the best server on the tour.

And Dimi, I think he start playing much better last year, especially end of the season. I think he's playing better again. And, well, he's next top-10 player.

So, I mean, either one, it's gonna be tough opponent.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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