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September 1, 2018

John Millman

New York, NY, USA

J. MILLMAN/M. Kushkushkin

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Must be a great feeling to be in the second week of a slam?
JOHN MILLMAN: First of all, if I knew I was in this room, the air conditioning is on, so it's a little bit cold in here, but I haven't been in this one before.

Yeah, it's a great feeling. I'm extremely excited. It was a goal of mine to make, you know, second week of a Grand Slam. I have managed to do so.

Really looking forward to what lies next, and hopefully it's good things.

Q. Did you have any moments of nerves as you were trying to close it out in the fourth set?
JOHN MILLMAN: Not particularly. It was quite a physical match, and the conditions were quite nice out there, luckily, because at the start of the week they were quite brutal.

But I was getting a little bit tired, so I don't think I wanted it to go to five. It was more about trying to get off the court than anything else.

Look, we played for a while, and I'd kind of find -- I'd found my groove and I kind of found my game. Mikhail is one of those players that can kind of go in and out. He has such a high level when he's on, and throughout the game, then, he has these little dips, and then goes back up.

It's always important to take those opportunities when they came. I was really happy that I managed to, you know, close it out when I did on his service game, because you never know. He could go out there and light it up at the very next moment.

Really happy that I took my opportunity. I saw it as an opportunity to make it to the second week, and I'm really happy that I managed to do so.

Q. Where is your level of play at the moment?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, I think it's improved every week now. I really do. I have told a few people I came in feeling slightly underprepared with a bit of a back problem that forced me to withdraw out of Cincinnati and only got me the one match at Winston-Salem. I came in probably with slightly lower expectations.

It's been a great year for me this year, but I'm the type of player that likes to, you know, have a few runs on the board before coming into a big tournament like this.

Every match I feel like I've gotten a little bit better. I feel like my game's now at a place where I'm walking on the court and feeling quite comfortable and confident.

Q. You just said before, 2018 has been your best year so far. What do you attribute that to?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, I think it has to do with just having an extended period of being healthy. I have had three surgeries and another couple of injuries throughout my career. Last year I had groin surgery where I was out for another seven, seven-and-a-half months. That's been tricky. That's been really challenging.

It doesn't come as a surprise to me that, you know, I get 12, 13, 14 months on the trot that my game and my ranking has gotten better. It's about trying to stay fit for me. It hasn't come that easy. I feel like I do all the right things, but sometimes it's not meant to be with my body.

I'm really happy with where it's at right now, and I think that that's showing with where my ranking's at and where my game is at.

Q. There are a lot of players who are very superstitious.

Q. Are you? If so, what sorts of things do you do or try to avoid on the court before a match?
JOHN MILLMAN: Look, I'll be honest with you, when I was, like, 12, I was crazy. It was like I was -- I think I was super, super OCD, and I tried to kind of wipe that away. Still little things, little battles you face.

Q. Like what?
JOHN MILLMAN: Oh, look, now it's more about just routines, you know. I like to, you know, take my drinks in certain orders and all that.

But I'm a lot better now than what I used to be. I wouldn't say I have too many superstitions now. Try to keep a similar routine with my warmups and all that. But now, yeah, I don't want to go back to when I was a little kid, because I was touching things. You know, I thought, yeah, I was really in my head back then.

I wiped that away pretty quickly. I was probably embarrassing my mum and dad and sisters too much, and they kind of stamped that out.

Q. Speaking of your dad, you brought him to Wimbledon and he dubbed himself 'The Wolf,' right?

Q. Is he here this week?
JOHN MILLMAN: No, I thought that if he -- honestly, I felt if I flew him over here -- I mean, if he gets lost in London -- I thought if I flew him over here, I mean, this is a big place, you know. Manhattan is crazy. I've even gotten on the wrong train in Manhattan. I reckon my dad, he'd end up in New Jersey. I don't know. He knows that. I have told him that.

Look, he'd jump on a plane at any opportunity. I won't fly him in right now, though, because it might just be another little stress, and he'll probably get on the wrong flight and wind up on the other side of the world maybe.

Q. You're possibly playing Ashe next and there's the possibility of playing Federer.
JOHN MILLMAN: The good thing is if I do get drawn on Ashe, I managed to have a hit on it first time with Andy before the tournament, so that was actually pretty cool. I didn't necessarily think I'd end up potentially playing on Arthur Ashe, but if I do, I think it's one of the more iconic courts in the world, so I think that's really cool.

I managed to play on some of the biggest courts now, you know, Wimbledon Centre Court and Australian Open, Rod Laver Arena.

If I play against Roger, you know, I think he's the best that's played the game, in my opinion. I've got a lot of respect for Roger. I've got a lot of respect for his team. Have a really good respect for Seve, or I should say Severin Luthi.

I did a little bit of training with them after the French Open. Hit a little bit on the grass. He's got an aura about him. Definitely a player I've looked up to throughout my career. But it's like anything. I have never been a fan of playing anyone's reputation. When you go out on court, I think it's about engaging in a battle. I definitely won't be, you know, thinking about those things if I play against him.

I want to start off at 0-All and not already being behind the 8 Ball and playing someone's reputation. If you do that, I think you can get bogged down and you're in a bit of trouble.

I will relish the opportunity regardless of my opponent, and really looking forward to making the most of a second week at a Grand Slam.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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