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January 10, 2018

Alex De Minaur

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

A. DE MINAUR/D. Dzumhur

6-2, 3-0 [Ret.]

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So the run continues. You must be having a really good time out there.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, I mean, I'm enjoying every second of it. It's great. I'm playing some unbelievable tennis, and, you know, I just want to keep it going, really.

Q. Did you have any hint that he was having a physical problem before he retired?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, I know that at 4-1 in the first set he called for the physio at the change of ends. That was the first I heard of it.

Q. Did he say at the end what the issue was?
ALEX DE MINAUR: No. He just retired.

Q. It looked like you were able to show more of your offense game as opposed to yesterday.
ALEX DE MINAUR: A bit more of your offensive game? Yeah, it was definitely -- it's all about matchups. Every day is a different day, different opponent, different type of game you have to play to win. I felt like today I had to dictate more and take it on and be aggressive, and that's what my game plan was. I was glad I was able to execute.

Q. You hadn't played him before. So how did you prepare for the match?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, you know, just watching tape on him. A very great team. They gave me great tactics before the match and what to expect. Just went out there with a clear mind on what I wanted to achieve. I got the job done.

Q. You've now beaten four, I think, top 50 players in the last couple of weeks. Would you have thought that was possible?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, I always knew I had the level, but I didn't think I had the belief, you know, when I stepped out on court. But now I've got that belief in me that I can go toe to toe with lots of guys out there.

So I'm going into every match, you know, believing in myself and believing in my ability. I think that's probably the biggest change.

Q. When do you think that belief came?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I think I always had a little bit of belief, but I think just Brisbane was a huge step for me, you know, because I backed up a great level. Actually probably before that. The Australian wildcard playoff, that's when I first thought that my level was in really good nick.

Even my mental level, I did not drop concentration at all during that whole tournament. I have just been able to keep that level going throughout the whole Australian summer.

Q. As a junior player were you generally smaller than whoever you were playing even then? Does that kind of help you to deal with bigger, more powerful opponents now?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah. Well, I was always little. I still am (smiling). But, you know, I think that helps. It helped me in the long run.

You know, I learned how to adapt earlier, how to find a way to win matches using different types of game plans, lots of variety, and using my movement and skill to do that. I think that really helped me to be able to play against these bigger guys.

Q. You said your concentration, it hasn't dropped. Is that something you have actively worked on, your focus, or is that something that just comes naturally?
ALEX DE MINAUR: No, that's lots of hours of hard work. I felt like that's something I lacked last year. I really put in lots of hours focusing, just not dropping mentally. I think that's probably the biggest thing for me.

Q. How do you that? Is that working with a mental coach?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, it's lots of different things. You know, breathing helps a lot. I think it's more about just trying to win every point, you know, not letting go, not letting go because of the scoreline or anything. You have to play every point and try to win every point.

That's what I'm trying to do when I'm out there on court, and it's really helped me to stay on my opponents both physically and mentally.

Q. Is that what you're doing in the game breaks? You often sit there with your eyes closed.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, I've got a couple of games, especially important games where I want to really concentrate. I take a couple of deep breaths. I'll focus on what I want to do in that game, go through every single point. You know, it's been working for me.

Q. When did you start the breathing techniques?
ALEX DE MINAUR: That's some work I have been doing with a psychologist back in Spain. You know, he's always told me to do it, and now I'm finally doing it (smiling).

So now I realize how much better my game is, thanks to those simple techniques.

Q. Your nickname, Demon, is that a tennis nickname?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, I think that's just my mentality on court. I like to think that I never back down. I leave it all out there. I like to think that's where "Demon" comes from.

Q. It's a critical nickname for an athlete.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah. You know, I love it (smiling). I'm not gonna lie.

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