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January 16, 2017

Alex De Minaur

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

A. DE MINAUR/G. Melzer

5-7, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You must be on top of the world right now.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah. I mean, words can't describe how I'm feeling right now. Definitely the happiest moment of my life.

Q. (No microphone.)
ALEX DE MINAUR: I was struggling a fair bit. At the start of the fifth, I was also feeling it. But I thought it was really important to just push through and finally get the win.

Q. Was there a time where you ever did think it was all gone?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, in the fourth set, 5-2 down, match point down, I thought of trying to get a first serve in, hopefully get a cheap point there.

But I knew there was one break in that match, so I thought that I was getting on top of his serve, so I was going to get some opportunities. I'm glad I could take it.

Q. How tough was it to keep your cool under that extreme pressure in that match point situation?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, I mean, I really just wanted to get it done. My legs were starting to really feel it. I had to take a deep breath and, you know, try to make sure to focus on my serve, then go from there.

Q. Can you talk about the crowd response, particularly the one section where after the match you went to them.
ALEX DE MINAUR: The Fanatics were unbelievable. I never felt such an unbelievable experience with a crowd. They were loud the whole match. I'm pretty sure they got me through that match.

Q. Who have you spoken to since? Any messages of congratulations?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, my phone is just constantly running now. So many messages from friends and family and everybody. But I haven't really checked my phone yet.

Q. Lleyton was out there watching you. What has he meant to you?
ALEX DE MINAUR: It's unbelievable to have him in my corner there. Unbelievable support. He's been really helping me out a lot.

Q. Showed a bit of Lleyton Hewitt-type fight there.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, well, I just wanted to put on a good show, I guess, fight for every point. At the end of the day it went my way. I couldn't be happier.

Q. Does that inspire you, watching him, the way he came through?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah. Obviously I watched a lot of his matches. That's something I admire from him. I was really happy that I could do that today. Coming with my first five-set win. I wouldn't have rather done it anywhere else.

Q. You're often named at Australia's brightest teenage prospect. Feeling the pressure yet?
ALEX DE MINAUR: No. I'm just happy playing tennis. Don't even want to put a lot of pressure on myself. Happy playing match by match, point by point. We'll see where the journey takes me.

Q. What was going through your mind this morning? Did you think you'd be sitting here talking to us the way that you are?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, I was a little bit nervous before the match. I just wanted to go out there and pretty much just have a good match. Coming out with a win is a surreal experience.

Q. How about the abdominal strain you had last week?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, that was 100%. I did a lot of work with the physios to get it ready for pretty much this match right now. It felt 100%. Should be good for the next one, as well.

Q. When you imagined what your first Australian Open experience would be like, I don't know if you've been here as a fan, how did it actually stack up, living the dream?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, I really didn't expect to come out with a win today. But the fans, everybody, it was just an unbelievable experience. I wouldn't change it at all. As I said before, definitely the happiest moment of my life.

Q. Had you been here and sat in the stands before?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, I have. I played quallies last year. I played juniors here. But this is just nothing compared to that.

Q. Having spent quite a bit of time in Europe as well, which players did you look up to?
ALEX DE MINAUR: The players I used to always look up to is Roger. Roger is just unbelievable how he plays, how he goes on about his stuff. And definitely Lleyton. Those two were definitely sort of my idols, the guys I looked up for when I was starting to play tennis.

Q. Have you met Roger here?
ALEX DE MINAUR: No, I haven't.

Q. What is your mindset moving forward?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, recover first. I have to get a massage later, ice bath. Just looking forward to my next match. I can't wait to get back on court, and hopefully good things will come.

Q. How did you find the surface?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I always loved hard court. I think at the end of the day it's about adapting your game to whatever surface you got to play on. I've been training on a lot of hard getting ready for this Australian summer. I think it's paid dividends.

Q. If you could choose, would you prefer to play on Laver your next match or a more intimate court?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I mean, I'm happy either way. I really love Show Court 3. I haven't lost a match there yet (smiling). I probably would take Show Court 3, if I could. Either way, on Wednesday, I'm just going to come out there and just give it my best.

Q. Is there a particular facet of your game that has been pivotal in helping you to this point?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I think just being able to compete until the last ball. That's really helped me out, really got me a lot of good wins. I think that's something that's really important, important aspect of my game.

Q. Sam Querrey your next opponent. Tough challenge.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, everybody here is a tough match. Obviously great serve, great forehand. Probably just try to get the return back and then we'll see what happens.

But, as I said, I'm going to try and focus and play my game. We'll see where that takes me.

Q. You mentioned Roger as one of your idols. His game is something that you are consciously developing your game on?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah. I mean, I try to replicate a bit his game style, try to come in a fair bit. But then again, you've got these tough matches where you have to do something else to get the win.

I think today I had to be really solid and just make a lot of balls and compete hard.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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