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March 12, 2017

Nick Kyrgios

Indian Wells, California

N. KYRGIOS/H. Zeballos

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It seemed like a really clean start for you, and you were hitting the ball great. A lot of players were talking about the conditions being tough here, but I'm not sure if you're having that experience.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, the conditions here are very tough. Ball is very bouncy, conditions are bouncy. It makes it naturally tough to return. I think the court helps him a lot with his serve. It's a tricky serve to return on his forehand. Naturally gets a pretty shaggy ball on a bit.

I think serving is the key here. You've got to make a lot of first serves and try and play aggressive. And obviously I have been serving pretty well so I kept that up today, which was good.

Q. The rest of your game, what are your thoughts on that?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I'm trying to play more doubles, and I think that's already helped me with my volleys and my transitioning game. But definitely on returns, it's helping me return a lot better. And, yeah, I like to hit and come in a lot, so that's helped me there a lot.

I think the doubles, you know, my energy in doubles and the way I have been playing doubles is carrying over to my singles and that's been helping me a lot.

Q. How much did you enjoy the doubles the other night with Nenad and to score that big win?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it felt good. But, yeah, I was nervous at the start of the match to be on court with the Bryan brothers, and then, you know, his image as being No. 1 in the world with doubles. So I felt like the odd one out out there.

But Zimonjic was telling me a lot what to do, so I felt comfortable early on, but it was probably one of the best feelings I have had on the tennis court beating those guys. They are probably still the best doubles game out there and greatest of all time. So it was a pretty good win.

Q. Acapulco, you got a big one there over Djokovic. How much did that victory mean to you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I got a lot of confidence from that. I knew everyone was waiting for us to match up. I knew I had to have a great serving day. I think he's the most complete player of everyone I have ever played.

So yeah, I played really well today, but obviously that felt good. I wanted to win that match. But, yeah, I mean, I knew I could win. I definitely had the belief in the start I could match up with him. I have drawn a lot of confidence from that.

Q. Is there anything in that match you can take and kind of replicate?
NICK KYRGIOS: Serving. I hit 25 aces in two sets probably against the best returner in the world. I knew I could serve at a high level, and I can always try and -- serve is one thing you can control every match. It's in your control. I think that's just what -- it gives me a lot of confidence.

Q. Unique now you have beaten Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer all on your first meeting with them. What makes you able to get up for those guys you have never seen in person like that? It's not something you'd expect from a player coming up.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, that's why I play the game, I guess. Play the best people in the world at some of the best venues in the world. I never had a problem getting up for those matches. I think it's more the matches in the back courts against the guys that are really trying to grind it out, they're the matches that are dangerous to me.

For instance, today, I think last year or year before, that match then, it's not as easy as it is now. I'm just trying to bring the same sort of big-match mentality to these smaller tournaments and small matches, as well.

Q. What would you say about the people who say you should have a full-time coach? Do you think you need it? Are you happy where you're at? Are you getting consultations from certain guys or just where are you at with that?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, I'm obviously looking, but it's not easy. I want to try and find somebody who cares about me first as a person rather than just my tennis.

But, yeah, it's hard. Like, I'm struggling in the start of the year, and then I finally get in a good space and I beat Djokovic. And then it's, like, that's not what I'm thinking about at the moment. I'm just trying to stay happy and in a good place mentally. I think it's carrying over to my tennis at the moment. That's the main thing I'm doing right now is trying to stay happy on the court and try to enjoy myself.

Q. Is it tough to find a coach? How difficult is it to find the right guy?
NICK KYRGIOS: It's not easy. Everyone puts their hand up. And anyone who says they're not is a liar, because I know they are.

You know, I'm just trying to stay happy. I think it all starts in practice. I'm trying to really just put my head down and practice and train hard. That's where it starts, I think. Just try and have fun on the practice court.

I think the last couple of weeks that's what I have been doing. It's been going well.

Q. Why do you think everyone wants to coach you?
NICK KYRGIOS: I'm not saying everyone wants to coach me. But if you ask someone and they're like, Oh, I'm not interested, they probably are.

Q. What do you think attracts them to you?
NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, I don't know. You know, I guess they see a lot of potential in me to, you know, to improve and they are excited to come with me on my journey. They know there is going to be a lot of ups and downs. That's what makes it interesting.

Q. One thing I have been seeing is a lot of aggression on return games. I saw you step today pretty far in the court and take a nice crack at it. I heard a lot of people in the crowd whispering SABR. Is that something you have been working on in your game?
NICK KYRGIOS: I haven't been really working on it, but I think it's good to keep mixing up on returns, hitting a couple behind the baseline, hitting a couple inside the baseline.

It throws their rhythm off a bit. Obviously, you know, Zeballos doesn't have the biggest serve. But against great servers you can throw that rhythm off a little bit and you can get a look at those service games.

I think I'm returning at a higher level than I was right at the start of the year.

Q. What are your thoughts on Zverev? It's a matchup that all of us on this side are keen for and looking forward to. But what about yourself? What are your thoughts going into that one?
NICK KYRGIOS: I'm looking forward to it. We have been obviously close mates for a long time. I played juniors with him. I played him once in juniors, and I thought, you know, he had a big game then. He's obviously put it together. He's had some great results, beaten some big names.

I know it's going to be tough, especially on this surface. If he plays his aggressive game, it's not going to be easy to get looks on his serve, and it's the same for me. If I go out there and play my style of tennis and I lose, I won't be surprised. But if I win, I won't be surprised, as well.

Q. How much does it help your happiness on tour having Ajla back out?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think ultimately that's what's helped me the last couple weeks, especially in Acapulco, seeing her back on the court and having her first win in her first match back after a year, however months of it was.

It kind of took the pressure off me a little bit. I just played freely and I was enjoying myself. And seeing her happy was key for me. That's been pretty important for me seeing her back out there.

Q. Back on coaching briefly, you talked about wanting someone who cares for you. What else do you need? Would you consider someone with a doubles specialty given the talent you have and the skills you want to build on?
NICK KYRGIOS: Possibly. Yeah, as I said, there is a lot of great coaches out there. Yeah, I don't really care who they are. Doesn't have to be a big name for me. I don't know. It's hard to sort of get -- I have been to a career high 13 without a coach. It's not so easy for me to let my walls down and pick someone to join my team.

You know, it's tough. It's not as easy as just picking a great coach and joining the team. I want to pick someone I'm comfortable with that I have to travel with. They are in my personal space. I'm not the best person to let my walls down and let someone in, as you guys know.

It's not an easy process.

Q. You said you were a big fan of Federer. (Indiscernible.)
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I like Murray, as well. But Roger is just so good to watch. I like the tennis he plays, and I think he plays a low-percentage-type tennis. He changes directions, takes balls early, comes in a lot. He serves to a lot of spots.

It's just fun, entertaining type of tennis to watch. He's a great role model on and off the court, I think. But, I mean, he's the greatest tennis player of all time. Growing up as a little kid with my friends, we always thought he was the man. He's my favorite.

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