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October 7, 2018

Nikoloz Basilashvili

Beijing, China


6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Coming to today's final I'm sure your confidence must be very high. Playing against a Grand Slam champion, when did you realize or start to believe you had a real chance to win this title?
NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: I think, first of all, I was in a really good shape coming up to this tournament. I'm really feeling well on court. Playing against Juan, he was sick today for sure, I could see that. But he put me in really tough situations. I need to really work it, to work hard, win the points.

But, yeah, in general I really enjoyed this match. To win title here in Beijing means a lot. It's one of the best tournaments here, and very tough tournament. So really happy.

Q. Throughout this tournament you beat the fifth, sixth and now the first seed. How do you reflect upon your performance?
NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: Great. As I said, I'm feeling really well. I've been having a really good season this year, especially last four, three months. Yeah, I'm playing very good. Even on the practices and matches when I'm staying on court, I'm feeling really well the court lately.

That's, of course, a lot of respect to my coach Jan, he's helping me a lot. With him, we could see a big difference.

Q. Before you won in Hamburg, you were 74 in the world. Now after winning this you're almost in the top 20. I suppose that makes you the quickest riser in the world. You said you're feeling well on court. Are you surprised with how much you've improved, 50 spots in the last three months? What might be the one thing you can pinpoint that's made that jump possible?
NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: In general, I really believed in myself. I always believed in myself. On practices I could show really high level of tennis, which I could not do it on the matches. Yeah, lately I've been balancing these things really well.

As I said, Jan, my coach... In tennis a good coach is very important. Together we find really good this kind of balance, you know, that I could use my weapons what I have on court.

So far I've been playing good. I really believe in myself. Yeah, just looking forward. I'm going to take step by step now, match by match, so we will see.

Q. We could hear the sound of you gasping for air. How does that work for you?
NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: That's how I just play. When I hit the shot, I make this sound. That's how I generate the big power, so...

Q. Your celebration, it seemed a little bit subdued. Is that your natural personality or whether that was more a case of you knew that Juan Martin was sick?
NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: Yeah, in general I'm keeping -- I can keep my emotions really inside. Yes, no, I'm unbelievably pleased and happy I could win it.

Yeah, this is how I am, so...

Q. Despite him maybe being sick, he played a strong game against you. In some moments it was close. What gave you the edge to ultimately win the match?
NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: I had a really good game plan, first of all. Second, yeah, he was sick, but in some moments he was playing really good. He put me in really tough moments where he had, I don't know, five or six breakpoints. I managed to stay inside the game and managed to save those breakpoints.

In the crucial moments, I think I performed very well today. I think that was the key.

Q. In July you won your first title in Hamburg. Did that experience help you in today's final? Was that a turning point of your career?
NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: Yeah, in tennis I think confidence and experience is very important, like in any other sport. I think in tennis, it's very, very important. So definitely winning Hamburg, here I was experienced to win the finals on the 500. That helped me a lot. I was much more relaxed. Yeah, I was just playing my game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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