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January 16, 2018

Alex De Minaur

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

T. BERDYCH/A. De Minaur

6-3, 3-6, 6-0, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Must be pleased you were able to get a set off one of the best players in the world.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Very tough match. He's a very high-level player with lots of experience. I knew it was going to be a very tough match coming in.

But I'm happy with the effort I put in and the fight. I managed to get that set. But then he was just too good for me. He blew me off the court.

I left it all out there, but it wasn't enough.

Q. How did you feel after the effort of the last couple weeks?
ALEX DE MINAUR: It's just been crazy. Extremely proud of what I've been able to do the last couple of weeks. Even today, I try to base myself on leaving it out on court every time I step on it. That's what I did.

It was crazy to have all the support I've had, as well. I mean, playing on Hisense Arena in front of a packed crowd, they're all behind you pretty much every single point, it's just something special. I'm just so thankful for that.

Q. You say he blew you away in the last two sets. Did fatigue come into it at all, or was it just experience?
ALEX DE MINAUR: There's always going to be a little bit of fatigue coming in. But the crowd just lifted me up. They made me realize that I had energy when I didn't think there was none left. They just lifted me up.

Look, I gave it all out there. He was just too good.

Q. The first two sets, were you enjoying it out there? The level was so high, must give you a huge amount of confidence.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Look, I'm very happy with the match today, even though the result didn't go my way. I'm happy with the effort I put in, the Australian summer I've had. I never thought it was going to be this good.

Just happy of where I'm at at the moment. Now it's just all about keep going throughout the whole year, try not to make this a one-time thing. I'll keep backing myself, keep this level going throughout the whole year.

Q. When the season started, would you have imagined this point three weeks into the season you would have beaten Raonic, Verdasco?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Look, probably not. It was something that I've just taken day by day. Those wins and these couple of weeks now have made me realize that I've got the level, and now I've just got to maintain it day after day. That's something I've been really proud of myself throughout the whole Australian summer. I've been able to back up good matches. I don't think I've had a bad match this summer.

I'm happy with that.

Q. How important has Lleyton been for you? What specifically has he done?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Just a lot of self-belief. He's taught me to believe in myself, believe in my game, just show what I can do out on court. He's obviously helped me with different types of scenarios, tactics. Just being there on your corner. He's been an incredible help. I couldn't be more thankful.

Q. Was he a particular hero of yours growing up?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, for sure. I grew up watching him play. Something that always stood out was just his competitive spirit, his willingness not to give up, to fight every ball until the last. That's what I want to apply to my game. That's what I'm trying to do every day.

Q. Must be a bit surreal being around him.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, it's crazy. It was even crazy hitting with him. It's something you would never think of when you're a little kid. Now all these things are happening. It's just sort of surreal really.

But I've got to say I'm enjoying every second of it. I just want it to keep on going. I'm looking forward to what's coming.

Q. What are your goals for the rest of the year?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I put my goal to be top 100 by the end of the year. I'm going to do everything in my power to reach that goal.

But now, this has just given me confidence in my level. I now believe I can do it. This is what I want to do. I want to be playing these high-level opponents week in, week out, hopefully have some more good results. That's what I'm looking forward to for the rest of the year.

Q. What do your next few months look like?
ALEX DE MINAUR: That's something that's changed because of my results. That's something I'm going to have to sit with my team and go through my schedule, see what's the best tournaments for me, what looks right.

Q. That's exciting in itself.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, it's crazy. Honestly can't wait. It was a tough one today, but can't wait to get back out there on court, just get better, improve on what I need to improve, keep on going.

Q. I imagine Davis Cup is something you're keen to be involved in this year.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, can't wait for that. It's going to be fun. Those are just incredible weeks, to be a part of just the squad. Being around all those guys, it's just crazy. I try to learn everything I can when I'm with these guys, with these legends even. Just hanging around Nick, Thanasi, Jordan, all these guys. Even you have Lleyton, Stolz, Rochey. There's so much to learn in these weeks. I just try to soak it all in.

Q. All seven Aussies that played singles today lost. Any theory on that?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Not a good day at the office (smiling).

But that's tennis. One day can you wake up and you cannot miss a ball. Another day you don't feel great. It's tennis. You have your highest highs and your lowest lows. That's what I enjoy about it.

Q. How excited are you about the clay of Europe and Roland Garros?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, it's going to be fun. I can't wait to get out there and show what I can do. It's going to be fun. It's going to be different type of tennis, lots of long rallies. There's still a while to go there, but already looking forward to it.

Q. People have called you different nicknames. Which one are you going to go with?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I'm going to go with Demon. That's probably the first one I've had. I'm going to stick with it. It's got a good, nice little ring to it.

Q. Australia loves having sporting heroes. It can create a lot of pressure. They are desperate for you to win. How will you try to cope with that?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Look, I'm just going to take it day by day. I'm going to focus on what I need to do on court. I'm going to do everything in my power to be able to play at a high level. I'm going to do all the things right, leave it all out there on court. If that's not enough, then I'm just happy with what I leave out on court. That's it.

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