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August 31, 2018

Kevin Anderson

New York, NY, USA

K. ANDERSON/D. Shapovalov

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you take a measure of someone like that you haven't played before?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Definitely tricky playing somebody who you haven't played before. Obviously I watched him playing a lot. Actually practiced with him a few weeks ago in Toronto. Obviously match is always different, but you have a sense of what's going on.

Also played him in doubles. Sort of what I expected, he definitely did. Served really well. Sort of lively from the back. A bunch of times I felt like I had pretty decent returns. He really punishes you on anything that he has time on, sometimes even when he doesn't have time.

It was really important for me to obviously get that break in the second and turn things around a little bit. I think that sort of put the match a little bit with me in control. But, of course, it ended up being really close at the end with him coming back in the fourth.

I thought it was great tennis throughout. It was an incredible atmosphere. Really had to dig deep to get through that one.

Q. Obvious to say you're the more experienced player, that's what made the difference in the end. How do you deal with a guy who is so unpredictable?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Definitely have more experience than him. Maybe that helped me in certain moments. But I had to definitely use all of it to get through today. He definitely didn't make it very easy for me out there.

I think so far in his pretty young career has played great tennis, especially in the big stadiums in front of thousands of people. That bodes very well for him moving forward. He's a really exciting player. Obviously he's going to continue to mature and get more experience.

You're definitely going to be seeing a lot of him in the future.

Q. Dominic Thiem is your next opponent. Talk about that matchup.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, obviously played Dom a few times. Had a lot of really close matches. He's had another really great year. Has had another year where he's one of the best players in the world.

Going to have my work cut out for me. It's not getting any easier, round of 16 now, second week. Really going to have to focus on my game, continue doing what I'm doing.

Obviously there's a few adjustments playing him. For the most part it's me really focusing on what I need to do. I feel if I do that, I'm going to give myself the best opportunity to go one step further.

Q. Rafa had a battle on his hands today. He said from that there are things he wants to fix going forward. Do you come out of this match feeling like you need to work on things? Does it give you a roadmap of what you need to do going forward?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I'm really pleased with the way I played and competed in really tough conditions out there. There were one or two things I would have liked to do a little bit better. I have an opportunity tomorrow, having a day off, to maybe work on a couple things.

At the same time, you're balancing working on something and your recovery time. I played five sets. Not going to spend too much time out there. I wouldn't really call it working on things, maybe just a few adjustments here and there.

I think what's really important from a player is to understand what you did well in that match and see maybe if there's a few areas that you could have done a little bit better, identify them, try to implement it and keep getting better as the tournament goes on.

Q. A general question about tiebreaks.

Q. You've won as many tiebreaks I think as anyone this year. What do you think is the key to playing a good tiebreak?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Of course, the first thing is just trying to be as mentally prepared for every single point. I think that's a big factor. If you're serving, you still have to be prepared in a regular game, but especially when it comes to the tiebreaks. They can change on one or two points. That's definitely the first key.

Second key is just trying to stay in it as much as possible. Even if you down a mini break, things can turn around quite quickly.

Lastly, it's really the time where you want to step up and play however many points as you can however you play your best tennis. I think that's key. You can't always control the outcome, but if you're doing those three things, I think you're going to have your best chance of having successful tiebreaks.

Q. Do you play any more aggressively or more carefully in a tiebreak?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I don't feel like I'm necessarily playing more aggressively. I'm just trying to really focus on doing what I do best: taking care of my serve points, capitalizing on any balls that are sitting there where I'm in position.

Naturally you are a little bit more focused because you know there's a lot more on the line. That sort of works in your favor. But for the most part I feel like my biggest focus is really going back to what I do best, trying to implement that on every single point.

Q. If you would have to compare the game you just played, the player you just played, with Dominic, what is the biggest difference?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Well, I actually kind of feel they're similar in some ways, but very at the same time. Obviously, left-handed/right-handed is the big difference. In terms of their ball striking, both single-handed backhands, they really go after the ball. Both can hit winners from any point in the court. Both have really big serves.

In some senses it is similar, but it's very funny saying they are very different because I think the biggest thing is they're left-handed and right-handed.

Most of the time I'm playing right-handed players, so it's a little easier to adjust going back to a righty. But you really have to step up and try to control as many points as possible because if you have him setting up, you're giving him a lot of time, I mean, he's really deadly.

Against both players, at least for me, it's trying to take time away from them a little bit, obviously keep them off balance.

Q. In the last year you played some pretty significant matches on big courts: Ashe, Centre Court Wimbledon. How was it playing today on a closed Armstrong court?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Very different atmosphere, very different feeling. I must tell you it was incredibly exciting. Felt like in a coliseum almost. Constant noise going on the whole time, which obviously as tennis players it's nice to have quiet. What's more distracting is when there is quiet and you can identify bits and pieces, pockets of noise. When it's constant, it's actually easier to deal with.

From the beginning, right till the end, it was that way. The crowd was really into it, especially as the match went on. It was really exciting playing in those sort of conditions. Definitely a treat being out there today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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