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January 7, 2019

Alex De Minaur

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

A. DE MINAUR/D. Lajovic

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Looked like it was hard work out there. How was it for you?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, definitely hard work. First match of the tournament. It's always hard work, especially against a high-level opponent like him. He's had some quality wins and played some exceptional tennis.

It wasn't easy all day, a lot of waiting around, especially coming in so early and the weather not permitting us to go out and play. So I'm happy with how I dealt with the situation and really happy with the win.

Q. The conditions, what was it like? Looks kind of heavy.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, it was definitely heavy and quite humid. Very unlike Sydney, unlike last year. It took a bit getting used to, but, I mean, I'm happy I got that match under my belt and now I can look forward to tomorrow and hopefully keep this level that I'm playing and have a good match.

Q. How are you feeling returning to this tournament?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, I'm very pumped. It's a good way to start the year. It's never easy coming back, especially defending so many points. It's a different look for me. I've got a lot of expectations now. I think I'm dealing with all these expectations quite well, and I'm very proud of myself.

I'm just trying to focus on going out there on court and doing what I love, which is competing and leaving it all out there.

Q. Is that the difference between this year and last year? With every win last year, it seemed like people were jumping on the bandwagon and that kind of thing.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, it's a different look for me, but I'm still playing at home and still playing in front of family and friends.

It's one of the most special tournaments for me. This is where I grew up and where I have made my first final. I honestly can't wait to get back out there on Ken Rosewall Arena and just have fun and play some tennis.

Q. (Question about preparation.)
ALEX DE MINAUR: I feel like every match is different, and, you know, you just gotta go out there and put yourself in the best possible position to perform. I have been doing all the right things with my body and recovery-wise, so I was ready to go and now I've got to do everything in my power to get ready for tomorrow, which is another match. Anything can happen. Just gotta go out there and compete and have fun.

Q. You said it's a special tournament. Looks like this could be the last one in this format here in Sydney. What would breaking your duck mean to you?
ALEX DE MINAUR: It would be insane. Honestly it would be like a dream come true, but we are still far away from that. I have my second-round opponent, which is a very tough one. Can't look too far ahead. Struggling just to stay in the present. You can't look in the future and can't dwell on the past. It's all about the present and what you do each day. That's what I've got to focus on.

Q. Were you happy to see Daniil pull out?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, you're never obviously happy to see someone pulling out of a tournament. Daniil has had an amazing start to the year and had a hell of a year last year.

He's probably just getting ready for the big one. Hopefully he recovers and he can be 100% for the Australian Open.

Q. A lot of delays today. How do you spend that additional time?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Just trying to not waste any energy. Pretty much sit down, trying to limit as many hours as I can spending at the courts. I think that's the thing that gets you, having to spend 10 hours at the courts, waiting for rain delays and all that.

Got to just be smart and just try to limit my time here and just relax. No need to get anxious or anything. I mean, if the time comes for me to get on court, I'm going to be ready and don't want to be wasting energy.

Q. You might go car shopping?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, well, as much as I would love to do that, I think it's probably not the best mental preparation before a match.

Q. Have you played Opelka before?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I have played Opelka in juniors at Wimbledon, and it was 15-13 in the last set, and I had a match point, I remember. It was a brutal match, and I'm looking forward to what's to come.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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