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January 9, 2018

Alex De Minaur

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

A. DE MINAUR/F. Verdasco

6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What can you tell us about yourself, about what you did last week and then this week and playing these kind of big-name guys, having tough situations in matches and getting through them? In your own mind, how do you play with that?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, it's definitely helping me out every day I'm out here on court and, you know, competing. It's a huge boost in confidence, playing against high-level opponents and playing some great tennis, getting out of difficult situations, as well, which is helping me just feel confident out on court.

I love the way I'm playing at the moment, and I really just want to keep it going.

Q. In the late stage of the first set, I think it was 4-1, got back to 4-3 and he was throwing it at you. What do you remember of that little passage and how you kind of worked your way through that?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, he just started playing his big game. I always knew that coming in. I knew he's got a very big game. When he's hot, you know, it's tough to do much about it.

I just tried to weather the storm. You know, there was a couple long games there where, you know, it could have gone either way. I dug deep. Found a way to get through that first set and then was able to take control of that second set early and played some great tennis.

Q. We saw you sitting with Lleyton watching the match on Court 1 before you went out there. Was he talking to you about strategy and playing this match or was it just...
ALEX DE MINAUR: We were just watching Vukic play. He played a great match out on Court 1.

I did have a talk to him before my match as sort of every match, and we sort of talk about the game plan, what I wanted to achieve out there. You know, I went out there and executed. I'm very happy with myself.

Q. You were brought into this Davis Cup program last year. How much has that helped you to develop and grow as a player in the last 12 months?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I think it's been great for me to have that opportunity to be part of, you know, the Davis Cup squad. Every day I feel like it's a new opportunity to learn something, hanging out with those guys, you know, Nick, Jordan, Rusty, Stoltz, Rochey. It's just an unbelievable lineup. I cherish every moment I get with them, and I try to make the most out of it.

Q. Where do you think that that's showing in your game after the last year?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, I think it's more of just believing in myself. I have been bringing out this level but just not sustaining it. Now I have seemed to find my way and sustaining it and, you know, playing a lot of good matches in a row.

So I just want to keep my focus and keep doing what I'm doing.

Q. There is a lot of potential after a run like you had in Brisbane last week to maybe be emotionally exhausted because of all of the excitement and have a letdown. Were you wary of that coming into this tournament? And how pleased were you that you haven't had any letdown?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, yeah, that's always going to happen, but it's tennis. You know, you've got to get back up there. You wake up. It's a new day. You're back on the training court.

The grind never stops. That's what I enjoy about it. Every day is another opportunity to get better. That's how I like to look at it.

Q. So you feel fresh?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah. Well, I feel good. I feel good about myself. I feel like my body is at the right place. I'm enjoying having lots of matches on court. It's definitely helping me out, and, you know, I'm just riding this wave.

Q. Can you describe what it's like playing in front of your home crowd? How much did you really get a kick out of their response to some of those points today?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Oh, it's great. It's great to be home. It's something different playing in front of your home crowd.

You know, in Brisbane I had an incredible support over there, but, you know, playing here in front of your home crowd where you grew up and on the same courts you practice on is just something special.

So I was very proud to be able to get that win in front of the home crowd.

Q. I know you're a passionate Australian and you have chosen to represent Australia, but are there moments now rising up through the rankings that you're thankful for the decision that you have made?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Look, I have always been passionate for Australia. You know, it's what I have always wanted to do. Growing up, that's what I was looking up to, you know. Lleyton playing Davis Cup, that fire, that grit, that never giving up, that's what I want to get to one day, to be able to wear the green and gold and represent my country. I think there is no greater honor than to be able to do that.

Q. How long have you been based in Spain? Is that where you're based?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I have been up and back a fair bit. We move because of my family, my family's business. So, you know, I have been up and back. But I probably end up spending more time in Australia than I do back in Spain.

Q. How different are you from 12 months ago? I think it might have been your debut tournament, wasn't it?
ALEX DE MINAUR: So I think I'm better both mentally and physically. I think that's probably both of the biggest things. I feel like I have found this belief on court. I'm really happy with my level. I feel like I can just go toe to toe with lots of players out there. It's all about maintaining that.

At the end of the day, I'm just going to get out there and on court, give it my all, and that's what I want to do every day. That's what I want to be known for, and that's what I want other players to know about me, that, you know, I'm never going to give up.

Q. Physically you look a bit stronger than you were 12 months ago, and maybe a bit taller?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Oh, thank you (smiling). Thanks. You know, I have been putting in the hours in the gym. You know, I'm glad someone noticed (smiling).

Q. Are you taller, as well?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, a little bit taller. So we have just been doing preseason, working hard. That was always a big thing for me, to be able to get stronger and, you know, slightly I'm getting to where I want to be. There is still a while to go, but, you know, step by step.

Q. At this stage last year, was there one match or one little passage of the year where you started to believe, like, that you belonged out there?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, the whole Australian summer was great for me last year. I found some incredible tennis and some great wins.

I feel like it definitely helped for my self-confidence. But, you know, the thing you don't realize probably the first year on tour is that it's a long season, lots of ups and downs. You've got to maintain that level.

So that's something I have been really working on, to try to maintain focus week in and week out and just keep my level going throughout the whole year.

Q. Can you remind us of the pronunciation of your name? I have heard it seven different ways.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Alex De Minaur.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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