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November 9, 2018

Alex De Minaur

Fiera Milano, Italy


3-4, 4-1, 4-1, 3-4, 4-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How was it tonight with going a set down, getting back in, and keeping it all together until the final set where we finally saw some emotion coming through? You seemed to keep a real steeliness and ice cool in the end when you had to.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, it was a roller coaster of a match. Always knew coming in playing against Jaume that he's an incredible fighter and competitor, and I was going to have to win this match.

He played some really good tennis when he needed it in the fourth set. And I was unlucky with a couple of balls, you know, just missing. But the important thing was to sit down, reset, regroup and onto the final set.

So I'm happy I was able to focus on what I needed to do.

Q. How do you manage to get rid of that thought? When you lost those match points, and that last volley in particular and then the tie-break, what goes through your mind between those sets?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, you have to sit down. Had a talk with my coach. Not used to being able to have someone to fume to, so I fumed a bit to him.

Had to just get it all out, sit down, regroup, and just think about the next point. Because it was still one set to go and it was anyone's game.

Q. The young brother of Lleyton Hewitt has won versus the young brother of Rafa Nadal, you think, or your game is more similar to the one of Hewitt than his?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, I mean, it's the third time we've played and actually the first time I've managed to beat him. He's a very tricky opponent. You know, he's got great hands, great feel, serves well, and mixes up the game quite well.

I knew going in that I was going to have to be aggressive and really try to dictate but at the same time had to wait for the right ball.

And I believe there were stages in that match I was being too aggressive early and not waiting for the right ball, and that's when he was playing his best tennis.

Q. It's a pretty good day for you. You get to the finals here and you also get some hardware too as the newcomer of the year award. How did you find out about that and what does it mean to you to get that?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Actually, I saw it earlier today. It's just been a great day. And I'm very honored to be able to receive that award.

And I'm thinking it just shows what a great year I've had, and I've enjoyed every second of it.

Q. They didn't call you or anything? You just happened to find out?
ALEX DE MINAUR: They called me, like, a couple days ago just to let me know, but I saw it on ATP media today.

Q. How proud are you to be in the final?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Extremely proud, especially after a tough match like today where there was stages where it wasn't looking too good for me, especially after that fourth set.

But I'm very happy with my attitude and composure and the way I've been playing this whole week.

Q. We don't know yet if it's Stefanos or Andrey, but can you just talk about those two guys, please.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, both guys have incredible tennis, and they're both going to be incredibly tough opponents. I'm just going to do what I need to do: recover, get a good night's sleep, and tomorrow is a new day. It's going to be my last match of the season, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. Do you think coming into this week you were like, I should be in the final. That was kind of a goal talking with your coach, or what were kind of your goals, benchmarks for the week?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Never. I mean, always -- I never like to think ahead. It's always about day by day. So as soon as the draw came out, first thing we thought about was my first-round opponent. And then on to the next, on to the next, on to the next.

I think that's the most important part, to stay in the present. Don't have to look ahead in the future because that's when you can get into trouble. So I've found that the best way for me to play some good tennis is to just focus on the present, focus day by day, and try to play the best tennis I can.

Q. What is the biggest difference between Tsitsipas and Rublev?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, I would say Tsitsipas is a -- he's got a big serve and definitely likes to dictate with his forehand. He's very aggressive, likes to come to the net as well. So got to really make sure you have good depth and not leave too many balls short.

And then Rublev, his groundstrokes, they're probably up there with the best groundstrokes out there, especially his forehand. His forehand is probably one of the most dangerous weapons out there.

And, you know, they're different players, but I'm just happy to be where I am, and I get to relax a bit and sort of watch what happens.

Q. Did you like the in-game coaching and at critical times did it help you, and what did your coach say to you?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, it's interesting because if I had to say, I would not want it to be implemented in the ATP, because one of the main things that I always loved about the sport is the individual aspect, about it just being you on court and you having to find a way to deal with situations.

That being said, this week there is coaching allowed, and I've made very good use of it and it's actually helped out a lot. My coach has provided some great insight when I needed it and helped me really just focus on the tactic and just playing point by point.

So I sort of see it both ways, but it's been really helpful this week.

Q. Have you spoken to Lleyton this week or at all?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, I've spoken to him every day. I mean, after every match, he sends me a message and we sort of have a little bit of a chat. And it's almost been like that the whole year. So it's pretty crazy.

Q. Back to the coaching thing, would you prefer to see it, if it was brought in on the regular tour, would you prefer to see the headset style or the coaches be able to come down to the court, or would it matter to you?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I don't know. I think at the end of the day it's probably the same thing. Here you get coaching at the end of the set. And being in a headset or if the coach comes down, I just think it would sort of take away what makes tennis special as an individual sport. And that's just my thoughts.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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