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September 1, 2018

Philipp Kohlschreiber

New York, NY, USA


6-7, 6-4, 6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. With the game evolving towards taller players, your first-round match, your opponent was 6'4"; today 6'6", do you prepare differently for a player like that? Is it a relief to know your next opponent won't be 6'6"?
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: No, I don't think it's a relief. I think I do quite well against big guys. I think, of course, I played a really great match today. I had a good tactic.

But overall I think my game, yeah, it's good. I move around the big guys a lot. Obviously that's maybe one of not their strengths, let's put it this way.

Yeah, I think I have variety in my game. Yeah, it was very good today. Was hurting him a lot. Yeah, like I mentioned, the tactic was...

Q. You haven't had that much success in recent meetings with Sascha. What was different tonight?
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: Different was I think I returned his serve quite well, so I was able to manage all the power and force he had to put many balls back. Then I think during the points I played with the right strategy. I played low balls, high balls, lots of angles. I think over the time he got more frustrated.

Also the match was, I think, in my favor going a little bit more physical. We played a lot of long rallies.

Yeah, I'm very happy how everything worked for me.

Q. We've seen this a lot with him, where he has struggled against players at Grand Slams who he normally can beat at tour events. Do you feel like he's a different player at a Grand Slam?
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: No, I think we don't need to start that discussion. I think this year we played in Munich final. We both played a good tennis there. I think it was maybe from the score easy for him. But during the match, I was having chances to go in front, up, leading second set with a break. It was not that easy.

You know, I think maybe the only difference is that it can be very tough in a slam. You play best-of-five. You play a guy like me, I'm fighting with my last T-shirt, grinding. Maybe that could be a little bit in the back of his head, that it's going to be five sets, it's going to be tough to recover. Maybe sometimes he wants to rush.

Overall I think, yeah, I also had a very good first set for me. I think I shouldn't have lost it. I had many opportunities. The games I got broken I had game points, so on and so on. I think I played very, very good tennis today.

Q. Do you think the tactic comes out because you have more experience, you know him, better him than he understands you because he's young? Did you do something very different today?
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: Oh, yeah, normally I play not so much slice in my game. But I think this is something not many players can do any more on the tour, to play a really good slice. Obviously it's a very tall guy. He's not yet the guy who likes to move in the court, go to the net. Of course maybe room to improve.

But, yeah, like today, I played I think perfect with the slice. Take out of the speed, play the slow ball, then try to attack the next one. I would say in the first set I was a little bit too aggressive with the next shot, but then finding the right rhythm to move him around.

I think in second, third and fourth set, he was always a little slower into the corner. I felt I have more energy, need to keep going.

Q. When you call him at the net, he doesn't have the great hands of his brother?
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: No. He has different talents, huge. But I think for his future, it would be great to analyze with the team what he can improve. So far he's No. 4 in the world. It's great that he still has room to improve.

Today I was maybe a little bit more clever. Maybe the experience. But I think it's also good for me that I have a big variety in my game.

Q. What do you consider the key to your being at your toughest when the situation has the most pressure?
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: Well, it's not easy, you know. But I would say that I'm a very solid guy. Of course, I get stressed and nervous in crucial moments, but I always play the big goals, corners. I don't go for close-to-the-line shots. I try to play the first ball through the middle, coming over more and more shots. Then I would say I create a better feeling in these moments.

I'm not a striker, like I only hit one shot and hope that it's a winner. I build up my point. Especially in these crucial moments, I would say it helps me that, yeah, I play more.

Q. What is the pressure like internally and externally on the biggest stages like the US Open?
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: Well, some people like to react very aggressive if they feel pressure. They go for the shot. I am more a guy who is stepping back a little bit more. I'm waiting for the return, playing with a lot of topspin, so try to control the points, or the ball with a lot of spin.

I don't want to say it's the best way or it's the wrong way. It's a character thing, I would say.

Q. Do you feel like knowing Sascha's troubles at Grand Slams, does that give you more confidence?

Q. But you know he hasn't had the same results.
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: Because everybody is expecting him to do easygoing like this, but he's not winning every tournament. He's playing a few great weeks, but also he struggled in Cincinnati. He lost in his first match there. But he started very well in this tournament.

I don't think, for me, I didn't have that in mind. I knew that if I play my game and play at my best, I have a good chance, even on another tournament.

Q. Against Nishikori, in what area do you have to prove to make a better record, 0-2 against Nishikori? You didn't win a set from Nishikori.
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: Kei is a great guy, you know. He doesn't have the huge power on the serve, but he's putting his serve with a lot of quality, clever spots, a lot of body serves. Very good backhand. He's a great mover around the court.

Usually I struggle a little bit more if guys take away my angle game and stuff like this.

So, yeah, I don't want to say I have to play very big against him, but I would say also to get sometimes broken often, but you always have the chance to come back more easy against Kei, I would say.

Sometimes take the risk a little bit more against him. Also I saw the match now, it was tough against Schwartzman. He had to run a lot. I try to do also a very physical match. Hopefully it pays out.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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