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January 1, 2019

Alex De Minaur

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

A. DE MINAUR/A. Popyrin

6-2, 6-2

Q. Alex, do you have any idea what's in your makeup that allows you to play so well in Australia where the past different Australian youngsters have always struggled with the expectations of it?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I think it's still early stages, and I just love being out here and being able to play in front of Australian crowd, in front of my home crowd, I think there's nothing better. You can just thrive up there, just use their energy and get fired up. There's nothing better than playing at home.

Q. Obviously last year you were able to slip under the radar a bit. Do you feel a bit more added pressure this summer?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, well, it's definitely a different situation for me, but it's the same old me. I'm doing the same old things, and I just need to prepare every match like it's another day. I'm a strong believer that it's just about what happens on court each day, so you just gotta put yourself in the best possible position to perform, and then anything can happen on the day. Just have a good attitude and keep pushing yourself until the end.

Q. You looked like you move extremely well out there. You must have had a pretty good preseason.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah. It was great to have a big preseason, and my first proper preseason where I was able to really work hard and get the body right, get a little bit fitter, stronger, and just I'm moving well. I'm feeling good out there, and I just can't wait to get back out there.

Q. That kind of match to start the summer, is that something you'd prefer to sort of ease into it or would you prefer more of a challenge?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, it was a tough match, and I found this match extremely difficult, because it was definitely a sort of nervous aspect to it playing Alexei, which I know well and my age as well, and it's a big opportunity for both of us. So coming in, it was a very tough match. I just had to be on top and play very good tennis, very solid tennis, and I was able to use sort of the court and the atmosphere to my advantage.

Q. Are you taking any lessons from last year to go sort of hopefully deeper this time around?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I've definitely learned a lot of things this past year. But I'm taking things day by day. I mean you just can't live in the past, can't look ahead in the future. You gotta live in the present. So that's what I do. I just think about every day, and now I've got my second round, so we'll see what happens there.

Q. What will you think about the prospect of facing Nadal here?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, as I just said, I'm in second round, so I haven't thought about that yet. Still got a very tough match to go up against tomorrow, another Aussie, and either way it's just going to be really tough. So I've just gotta put all my mind and my effort into that match, and then we'll see what happens.

Q. Have you set any specific goals for the Australian summer?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Not really. I don't really believe in numbers and as finishing in any sort of ranking spot. I just want to go out there, enjoy myself, play some good tennis, hopefully get fired up and get the crowd involved.

Q. It's great to see so many Aussies still alive in the tournament so far?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, it's great. It's a pity that obviously there were so many Aussies playing each other and all that, especially in a tournament here at home, but it's great to see where Aussie tennis is at the moment, and I think it's all got to do with the great camaraderie we have between all of us players. And I think that's the way for everyone to just get better. We keep improving, we keep pushing each other, and we want the best for the fellow to our left and to our right, and so I think that's how our nation can grow and we can all improve as both tennis players and Aussies.

Q. You mentioned Popyrin being the same age, you know him well, and obviously everyone wants to see Australian tennis. Is there any sort of advice that you would offer to him, that that could possibly prompt him having a breakout season or shooting up the rankings himself?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I think it's mainly just what happened to me. As soon as you start believing that you belong on tour and you belong with the best of these guys, Alexei has got a hell of a game and he's extremely dangerous, and once he starts believing, and that's pretty much just having years and just playing matches and tournaments and playing at the ATP level. He's just going to get that confidence, and he's just going to be able to play guys off the court. I mean we've already seen he's volleyed for a couple of 250s at the end of the year and a 500. He's just playing great tennis. It's just a matter of time really.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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