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April 17, 2017

Kyle Edmund

Monte Carlo, Monaco

K. EDMUND/D. Evans

7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Dan Evans said he was probably saved the embarrassment of playing Rafa. I presume you will go into it in a different state of mind.
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I mean, it's a good opportunity for me. I've never played Rafa. I mean, this tournament, as well, is such a successful tournament for him, winning nine times. He obviously loves playing here. Very comfortable conditions. So for me it will be a great opportunity.

I played Novak three times, Andy twice, Wawrinka, Raonic. It's another, you know, top 10 opportunity for me.

I mean, I like the clay. Been getting better on it over the few days. So, yeah, it will be just a great experience for me. See what I can do.

Q. Where does playing Rafa on clay in Monte-Carlo sit in terms of the hardest challenges?
KYLE EDMUND: Extremely hard. It will be tough. Yeah, it will be a tough match. I mean, I think whatever the court, against the top guys, it's going to be tough, so...

Yeah, I've got to go and give it my best. The flipside, he's not played me. Different game styles. But, yeah, just got to go out there and give it my best.

Q. Last year there was a bit of an upset with Novak here. I suppose that shows.
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I mean, the first clay court match of the year is definitely, you know, maybe something where, like today for instance, I didn't really get off to a great start. You know, that may be the best time to play him.

But at the end of the day, like, it's 0-0 on paper. Start the match, no one gets a head start just because of ranking or past wins. It's 0-0, you know, game on. That's how I've got to approach it really.

Q. Kyle, you were probably at primary school I think when Rafa started winning big titles. When you were much younger, 10 years ago, was he someone you very much admired, someone you wanted to emulate?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I mean, I watched him when I was very young. That was actually the case when I started sort of coming onto the tour, that I was watching all these guys. Then suddenly, like, I'm around them, playing them.

So I've gotten used to it a little bit just because you get familiar with your surroundings. And there's also a point where you can't just keep, like, looking who they are, you've got to actually beat them. They're players on the other side of the net.

I remember the first time, don't know, when I was getting wild cards into tournaments, now I'm suddenly playing against these guys. First time I played against Andy was very strange.

But, yeah, no, for Rafa, first time I'm playing him. You have that respect level, for sure. But there comes a point where you actually need to think about yourself, and actually do what you can to win.

Q. Have you ever chatted with him or hit with him?
KYLE EDMUND: No. Just said hello, hola. That's all. That's what Uncle Toni says. He always says hole.

Q. Did you say hello back?
KYLE EDMUND: No. I mean, he said hello. That's it really. You know, I've always known him, but he's probably not known me. Obviously recently I've done better, had some wins. You know, people start to watch you a bit more.

But, no, not really had any contact with him.

Q. What did you feel about the match today? It's a first-round match, but the fact you played a British opponent, does it change the dynamic?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, a little bit. I mean, I wasn't too nervous going on. I was very comfortable with my surroundings. Clear about the matchup, just because we practiced so much. He knows my game. I know his game. Obviously at the start, didn't necessarily mean I was comfortable. I didn't get going properly till nearly the end of the set.

Yeah, I mean, it was a little bit different just because you know him. It was very strange playing Andy at Queen's. That was sort of the first time I really felt, Oh, this is a bit strange. I'm normally talking to him. Now I've got to go and, like, play him, try and beat him. I played Andy again, Evans now. I think you just learn to sort of separate the two.

But yeah, I mean, from my side, it was good that I got going in the end, started playing better tennis, how I wanted to.

Q. I presume one area you might be working on is overheads before you play Rafa. Was that your worst day of overheads?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, definitely would have been my worst, for sure. Missed so many. Yeah, don't really know why. I mean, not really smashed that badly before. But it just happens. It's good that I finished on two positive ones, which is nice, not coming off just missing them all.

Hit the last two, were okay. But, yeah, just one of those things. Don't really know what happened, but it did.

Q. When you first came on tour, were there any players you played against that you felt intimidated against?
KYLE EDMUND: Not intimidated. It's again the tennis. It's not a boxing match where you feel you're going to get hit or something like that. It's just the game of tennis.

You know, players have big games. But I've gotten better at neutralizing that, actually putting my stamp on the match. I feel like I've gotten better and better, closer and closer.

I've had two good matches against Andy, actually. The first two against Novak were not -- well, were one-sided. He was always in control. I was sort of battling.

But the last match, I really found I was in control for a little bit of the match. Well, quite a big part of the match, but didn't take my chances. I came off the court thinking I was pleased with what I put out there.

I've had some close ones with Wawrinka, 4 in the third. Raonic, 4 in the third. Yeah, I definitely feel I'm getting closer against the top guys.

Q. Are you tempted in games against these players to go for lines more, to take more risks?
KYLE EDMUND: I mean, my game is an aggressive game anyway. So sometimes, if against a top guy I miss a ball, 'cause it might come across, oh, he's gone for more. I'm very honest with my game style. That's just the way I play anyway. Whoever it is, I may miss a few lines.

But, of course, playing the top guys, maybe subconsciously they do force you, especially the better movers, not necessarily the top guys, but the better movers, because they get to loads of balls and make you play loads. You do realize that, and it makes you go for more.

Q. Were you aware of Andy out there watching you today?
KYLE EDMUND: No, I wasn't.

Q. He was up top.
KYLE EDMUND: It doesn't surprise me he wants to watch, but I wasn't aware of it, yeah.

Q. You're a bit of a Formula One fan. When you're staying here, do you find yourself, when you're driving around, kind of imagining where the turns are? Have you ever sort of walked down to look at the paddocks being built at the moment?
KYLE EDMUND: Well, I know the track's a bit more down that way. We're on the edge of France and Monaco. When we were driving in, I saw glimpses of the track. I saw the apexes. I was looking for them actually.

But when I was playing a junior tournament, Beaulieu-sur-Mer down the road, I came in one day on the train with my mum. We actually walked around the track. That was actually about five years ago, now.

But, yeah, I did look. I saw the first turn off the home straight. Then there's a right turn. Then I saw, as you're coming over, before you come under the casino, under the tunnel, if anyone knows, I saw that. But that's it.

Q. You didn't ask the driver to put his foot down?

Q. What sort of car have you got yourself?
KYLE EDMUND: I've got a Golf. No, it's okay. I was watching the Formula One yesterday, in Bahrain, after the Liverpool match. It was a good back-to-back, yeah.

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