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July 3, 2017

Aljaz Bedene

Wimbledon, London, England

A. BEDENE/I. Karlovic

6-7, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 8-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Where does that rank in your career?
ALJAZ BEDENE: I mean, any win's a good win. But, you know, every five-set win probably feels the best. I know when you lose either in four or five sets, although I never lost in five, you come down and you feel bad. Sometimes it's easier to lose in three.

But, yeah, I mean, five-set win, only one break of serve, feels good.

Q. Four tiebreaks in a row, then 6-All in the fifth, did you think you were in for a very long match, that you wouldn't finish today, Isner-Mahut type of situation?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Yeah, I mean, it wasn't easy to see because he was getting actually tired. Basically the only thing he can do at the end was serve. I was still okay. I wouldn't say I was fresh, but I felt good on the court. I was hoping we're going to finish today, end the match.

Yeah, we did. I mean, the feeling at the end was really good.

Q. How did you deal with the disappointment of losing the third set?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Yeah, wasn't easy because I was 5-2 up in the tiebreak, served for it. Yeah, it was tough.

But to be honest, the match in Paris, the second-round match, when I played Vesely, I know the big guys are getting tired quicker. Although I lost the third set, I said, Okay, just have to stick with it, be focused on my service games, maybe you'll get a chance. Yeah, another tiebreak went well, then I broke at the end.

I think that match against Vesely where I was actually way, way fresher in the fourth set than he was, although I lost it, yeah, that was a good experience.

Q. A lot of emotion at the end. Was this the kind of moment you dreamed of when you first came to Britain?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Well, I don't think I was dreaming about winning 8-6 in the fifth set. But any win's a good win. It's a good win.

I was getting goosebumps even before that when everyone was clapping. I think it was maybe 5-4 in the fifth set. I mean, I was enjoying the match. Probably I wouldn't say that if I would lose, but I was enjoying it that moment as well.

Q. For all the nonsense that's gone on in the last two years, that must have felt like a home win?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Yes, definitely.

Q. After the game when you exited the court, hundreds of fans mobbed you, autographs. What did that feel like? What does that mean to you to have all those fans chanting your name, giving you so much love?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Obviously I didn't want to leave because it did feel -- I did feel good. I wanted to give something back, as well, because they were supporting me. I don't mind giving a few selfies and autographs. That was my contribution to them because I just wanted to say thank you to all of them who came out and supported me today. It was quite a long match, sometimes a bit boring probably, serve, serve, serve.

But, yeah, it felt really good.

Q. You talked about the physical side of it, you felt fresher. Might have been quite grueling mentally. How did you maintain your concentration? You made only 15 unforced errors in that match.
ALJAZ BEDENE: Yeah, I honestly felt good. We all know how Ivo is serving. You don't get many chances.

Yeah, I mean, mentally I was focused. I think that was the biggest part of the win. If I would slip a little bit away, yeah, probably I would lose in four today. So I'm happy with that.

Q. Huge support for you on the court. Do you think the change in your nationality was a part of that? There was talk sometime ago about whether you would continue to play for Britain. Has today changed your mind?
ALJAZ BEDENE: I'm a British citizen and I love playing here. I mean, it was fantastic being out there. At the end it was full, Court No. 3. I mean, you know, partially was because I'm a British citizen and I get to play on courts like that now.

But, yeah, I wouldn't say it changed anything because I love Britain. Yeah, I was really enjoying it today. I can't say much more than that. I mean, it was a good experience.

Q. There was news a couple weeks ago about Dan Evans testing positive. What was your reaction to that?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Yeah, I mean, can't say much about it because I don't know what was the thing. But I only hope the best will come out of it for Dan because if you take drugs, you obviously are either in a bad environment or you got some not issues.

But, I mean, you know, I've never taken any drugs. I don't know how bad you have to feel to take it. I hope he finds help, and hopefully he comes back.

Q. Next match you'll be the favorite. Does that make a difference?
ALJAZ BEDENE: I know Damir for a long time. I actually lent him two match shirts and two shorts for today's match. He's a really nice guy. We hang out a lot.

But, yeah, matches are a different story. Yeah, I wouldn't say it's any different because I will have to stay focused on myself, try to be ready, try to be 100% on Wednesday.

Q. Will you get the shirts and shorts back in time for Wednesday?
ALJAZ BEDENE: He has to, right?

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