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August 31, 2018

Karen Khachanov

New York, NY, USA

R. NADAL/K. Khachanov

5-7, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously a very tight match today. What, if anything, did you learn about yourself today out there?
KAREN KHACHANOV: I mean, I gave everything what I had. I think everybody saw it. I'm proud of myself that I could play a good game today, fight till the end. Yeah, just a few points difference that it could go another way.

Big respect to Rafa. That's why he's No. 1 in the world, such a great fighter. Yeah, just happy about my performance. I hope to keep going that way, yeah.

Q. If you look back, which particular moment of the match do you think, I should have done this instead of that? Is there any?
KAREN KHACHANOV: I think during all match, for example, I had some chances, he had some chances. It was very close match, very close.

I would say maybe if I win second set, you know, I would be leading two sets to love. It's a big advantage. But, yeah, at the end of the day, just a few points that I lost. He turned it around in the second set, then there were two tiebreaks.

Again, maybe not normal in the third set that I did three double-faults in the tiebreak. That's actually sometimes when the guy plays unbelievable, you just say, Okay, Bravo, well done.

But, okay, I did three mistakes from my side, but that's kind of nerves also that you have in these kind of matches. Nothing to do with it.

Q. Do you think it was more nerves the three double-faults, or you were trying to hit a stronger second serve?
KAREN KHACHANOV: Okay, actually, yeah, I missed by long. Three double-faults I did. I don't know. I cannot tell you now. I need to see the rematch.

Q. Will you do it?
KAREN KHACHANOV: I think this match I would like to see, yeah.

Yeah, I think it's both: emotions, and also at one point, you are getting more tired when you serve, you are using your legs more. At one point of course you are getting a little bit tired. Maybe that was the reason also why I didn't push harder.

Q. After a very competitive and long third set, you were able to stay in there fighting in the fourth. Are you surprised at your own endurance, or did you still feel like you were totally in that match even after you got broken early?
KAREN KHACHANOV: No, I mean, I was mentally ready to play this match. Physically, I was ready. That's why at the end I played a match like that.

Of course, I had an early break in the fourth set, but still I was keep pushing, saying to myself, C'mon, I can still break him, try to come back. That's what it happened at the end at 5-4.

Not easy, of course, for him, the same for me, serving for the match. The same like when you're serving for the set, because the other guy tries to come back. That's what I was pushing myself, having good attitude that I can do it.

Q. What was the difference between this match and the four you played before? What made a difference this time?
KAREN KHACHANOV: I think I played better. I'm improving my game. Like I said, I played better. Okay, the other two matches, we had best-of-three. In Grand Slam we played only once, in Wimbledon last year in the third round. Yeah, different surface, this time on hard court. I mean, also I study him, I try to get ready. Of course, he knows me as well, what I like to do, how I like to play.

That's why I think the match was great. I prepared better, let's say, to answer your question. I was expecting more some shots. But still during the match, he changed, then he started to go more for down-the-lines, started to make his winners. So well done.

Q. Other than saying that he had some things to work on, he didn't make excuses. At the end of his press conference paid you a tremendous compliment for the way you played. How does that make you feel?
KAREN KHACHANOV: It feels great. Thanks to him. He's always polite and nice guy. Big respect to him. He's a great champion.

Of course, it feels good. After a match like this when you give everything, okay, you didn't win, but I think it can give me a lot of, like, experience, confidence, what else you can say. Just to keep going this way, and hopefully it will bring me to where I want to be.

So, yeah.

Q. The double-faults in the tiebreak, is that nerves? Talk about the level of the nerves when you're in a tiebreak against Rafael Nadal in a match like this?
KAREN KHACHANOV: I think you are nervous anyway when you play these tight situations. When you are equal in the score or when it's tiebreaks. Like I said, there are some just -- you make some decisions very fast. You have just a few seconds to think what you're going to do, especially when you serve second serve.

I mean, I don't know if it was technical mistake. I just tried to serve second serve like I was doing better. Just did double-fault. I think it's more with emotions.

Q. Which surface seems Nadal is the most vulnerable for you?
KAREN KHACHANOV: This time actually positive. I won set against him. The other matches I didn't.

I mean, he won all Grand Slams at least once. Okay, Roland Garros 11 times. That's why it shows that he adapted his game for all surfaces. I don't know, I would say hard court, yeah. That's why it was the closest match for me. I think the best chance that I could have, it was today, to play on hard court.

Q. The turning point of the second set 5-4, 30-15, when you serve, the ball came to the net from your side?
KAREN KHACHANOV: No, I cannot say that. If I would lose the third and fourth set easy, something like that, I could say, yeah, he turned around, or I did a mistake, I lose the second set.

After that, there were two tiebreaks, two sets 7-6, 7-6. Again, he had the chances, opportunities. I had opportunities. Just a very close match, yeah. Good match. I hope people enjoyed, especially first time for me on Arthur Ashe. The atmosphere was amazing.

Just happy to play these kind of matches on the big courts, Grand Slam. So yeah.

Q. Do you think you're going to be more disappointed in the result or confident in what you were able to do when you reflect on the match?
KAREN KHACHANOV: Like I said, of course, now I'm not the happiest guy in the world. I lost the match. But, like I said, after sometime, maybe one day, two days, I will think back and just watch the match. Of course, it will give me I think more experience, like I said, more confidence. To see which level I can play, which level I played here and the other Grand Slams or the other tournaments. That just shows that I'm really close to this, like, high level against top guys. Hopefully it will be soon on my side.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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