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March 9, 2018

Ernesto Escobedo

Indian Wells, California


7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did it feel out there today?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: Feels pretty good, playing here, Indian Wells, close to home. I mean, like my parents were here, a couple of my friends, and, yeah, I mean, it's a great place to play tennis, I feel like.

Q. Watching you on TV just now talking about your family, you seem to get emotional talking about it, like it really means a lot, these moments.
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: Yeah, I mean, like my family sacrificed so much for me, especially, like, my dad. I mean, he would take off time from work just to be with me on the court. So I'm really grateful for that.

And, I mean, playing here, I mean, I feel like I'm doing him a favor, as well, because he, like, gave me so much. And it's time for me to, like, pay him back.

Q. Was there a point going through, you talk about limited budget and so forth, that you thought maybe this isn't the right thing? Maybe this is too taxing on the family? Or did you just commit to it?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: No. I mean, I never felt like the family was poor. I felt like we had everything. Money doesn't matter for me. If we have one dollar or a million, I'm still going to have a smile on my face, and my dad, as well.

So we didn't care about the money. My dad just wanted just to give me and my sisters, like, a great opportunity for us.

Q. Last couple weeks -- I mean, it's kind of an up-and-down existence, isn't it? Do you see it trending upward now, a little bit more strongly upward for you?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: Yeah, I mean, I finished last year pretty bad. I was in a tough situation. I wasn't winning. I wasn't enjoying it for a little bit. But, I mean, it was my first year on the tour, like, a full schedule on the tour, so then I learned so much.

But I just really committed to myself that in the off-season, that day in, day out, I'm going to give it all my best. Now it's paying off, I guess.

Q. You're emerging from a very strong young generation. Is this a help for you, an inspiration that Frances and all the rest of them are moving along?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: Yeah, I mean, there are so many guys under 21 in the top 100, but I'm not worried about that. I'm just focused on myself. And I feel like -- I mean, if I do it in two years, three years, or tomorrow, I mean, it's just a journey, like, of getting there. I feel like it's the most important part for me.

Q. But seeing him win an ATP event, does that give you encouragement that you could do that?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: Yes, of course. Tiafoe is a great player. He's going to have an amazing career. To see him do that, that's awesome for him. I was really happy for him, as well, his first ATP. And I feel like the way that I'm going now, I feel like I could be there soon.

Q. In 2016, US Open. Today, what advice would you give to that 2016 entry into the US Open? What advice would you give yourself from back then?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: From back then? Just enjoying it more on the court, staying patient, you know. Because tennis, it's a long season. I mean, starts January, finishes at the end of November. So, I mean, I think it's just super important for me just to, like, enjoy every single moment on the tour, because there's going to be ups and downs, but just being positive every week.

Q. Last year you were in kind of a time-share situation with a coach and now you have a full-time coach. Do you think that made it -- actually helped you in this change?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: I mean, I have been -- like, I have had the same coach full time for the past two, three years, Peter Lucassen. I mean, without him, I wouldn't be here. I mean, it's his birthday today. He just turned 30 (smiling). I'm guessing he's, like, pretty happy right now.

Q. What were the keys coming into -- what do you think the keys to the match would be coming into it today?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: I felt like I had to serve good. He's a great returner. He moves well. Every chance that I had, I just had to go for it.

Q. You mentioned that you came here as a kid. Can you talk about what your memories are?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: Yeah. You know, I mean, I have been coming here since I was eight years old, a young kid with so many dreams, you know, with curly hair, with a visor, walking the grounds. I mean, you just dream to play here. I have always dreamed about playing here, a match on center court.

Q. What's one of the first visuals you have? Is there a player or a match that you remember?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: I remember when I was, like -- I was super young, eight years old, one of the first practices I watched were the Bryan brothers. I have a picture with Mike. I was, like -- I was, like, eight years old. Just crazy. Just from that time and now, you know, I have grown so much as a player. I feel like I still have so much to improve.

Q. You come in having beaten a top-10 player the first time coming from Acapulco. Can you reflect on that win?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: That was a great win. It was amazing. I was playing good. Like, my whole family was there, as well. Playing him, he's been playing well. He's like top 10 in the world. I just felt like the best challenge for me to beating him was just going for it and just being super-aggressive.

I mean, I have been working super hard lately, so I guess it's paying off.

Q. But now it's a matter of you enjoy this, but you've got to start looking ahead to the next match, I guess. Consistency is really the thing that you need to develop, I would guess; is that correct?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: Of course. I won today, but I'm coming back on Sunday again to play again. So it's going to be great few days, I guess.

Q. Family staying?
ERNESTO ESCOBEDO: Yeah, yeah. Of course, like, my dad and mom are staying. It's pretty fun out here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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