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January 9, 2019

John Millman

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

J. MILLMAN/M. Fucsovics

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just a touch easier than yesterday?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, look, the conditions were really different tonight. Obviously probably yesterday hotter and the duration of the match was obviously longer, so takes a bit more out of you.

Probably feeling a bit worse yesterday than I was today. I'm still not 100, but I'm feeling a bit better.

But heavy conditions out there, so really kind of different playing conditions. I thought it was really important to keep good court position and try to keep it out of, try to get that ball back on Marton, because he can really dictate play. He plays some really good stuff.

So different conditions. I thought I handled them well, and I thought I played some pretty good tennis.

Q. You still sound...
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, no, I'm not 100 yet, but we're getting there, and, you know, hopefully over the next few days I continue to recover. I was speaking to the doctor then and been looked after really well here.

Look, I'm just happy that I'm playing through this, and hopefully then when you start feeling a little bit better, the game kind of goes to the next level.

Q. How does preparation differ with being sick?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, it does change a little bit, actually. Normally if I play a night match, the majority, not every time, but I will normally come in and have a bit of an early hit and then go back.

These last -- today, for example, and probably again tomorrow, I notice I'm second on, I'll just try and kind of get a bit of sleep. I'm an early riser. Today when I woke up I didn't set the alarms and I was up at 9:30, which is very abnormal to me, but obviously the body needs it. Just trying to push through it.

Yeah, I think I will probably do that again tomorrow with one eye also on the Australian Open, too. You know, you want to continually play some good tennis here, win more matches. I'd love to go really deep here now. I have given myself an opportunity, but also I want to try to get healthy for tomorrow, too, and for next week, also. No early-morning hits. Just kind of concentrate on the game and see if I can keep going.

Q. Obviously you want to go deep here.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
JOHN MILLMAN: Definitely not. No, definitely not. No, ATP tournaments, week in and week out, they are tough things. I'm now in a position where there is only eight more people left, and one of us has to win it.

So, you know, I think that it's not in me to -- you know, I'm really kind of thinking kind of one tournament at a time. That was always the idea. Playing this week, always the idea is to try to go as deep as possible, try to create as many opportunities as possible. And we'll tackle Australian Open when it comes.

Yeah, like I said, I'm hopeful I can continue my stay here in Sydney. It's a great place.

Q. Querrey or Simon playing at the moment. I don't think you have played either of them before. What are you expecting?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, tennis doesn't exist outside ATP because I have played -- when I came back from shoulder surgery, I played actually Querrey, he was like 51 or something, you know, like he was just outside that top 50. So he'd go and play some challies. He came in, and I played him two out of the three weeks. One time in the semi, one time in the final in California challengers. He had my number then.

But a few years have passed since then. They are both great players. You know, whether it's Gilles or whether it's Sam, they are top, top players and there is a reason why they have had some successful careers.

Either/or, they play obviously very different. Either/or, I think it's going to be pretty tough tennis. That's what you expect. When you get into quarterfinals of ATPs, you expect tough matches.

Q. You spoke a little bit on court about the heavier conditions making a bit of a baseline slug fest. I think the forecast is fairly similar next few days. How does that suit you?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, look, I think it gives me the opportunity to really back my ball-striking abilities. I think it is tougher. And it goes both ways. It's tougher for me also to get it out of the slots. When I say "slot," like out of that strike zone, hip high, it's tougher. You don't get much lift out of the courts.

The balls are quite heavy in the heavier conditions. When they are new, they're quick, but it's probably only taking, in my opinion, two or three games and they are quite heavy.

I have grown up in Brissy, and in Brisbane, obviously it's normally quite humid, especially in the summers, and with that humidity, it's quite conducive to heavy conditions. I always feel like can really hit out at the ball and really back my ball striking in those conditions and really swing through it.

I'd much prefer heavier conditions than, say, playing in the altitude, which I hate. Don't mind the heavy conditions. Whenever I play, though, I'm pretty comfortable here in Australia, and that's why it's great to have tournaments in Australia. That's why I think we have to really push to have more tournaments, whether they are ATPs or even challengers.

I think we could do probably a better job with the guys coming through to have a few more, because obviously you have seen there are three Australian men in the quarterfinals. I know Ash won. She had a great win today. And Priscilla split sets. Did Priscilla end up winning?

We are seeing some great results. In Brisbane, Kim Birrell went great, Destanee Aiava went great. It shows that you do have an advantage when you play at home. I think the more times we can get a few more tournaments, I'd love to see that. Few more challengers, too.

Q. How do you see the state of Australian tennis?
JOHN MILLMAN: I think it's pretty positive. I think the toughest thing with Australian tennis is -- the toughest thing is that travel factor. And you go to -- not everyone, even though you decide to play tennis, not everyone loves that. That happens not just for Australians. That happens with a lot of others places. The problem is with Australia, when you do travel, you have to go for 40 weeks a year. I think that's actually as much of an opponent as the people that we play at the other end of the court.

So I think it is a real responsibility for us to -- you know, especially at that next level down from the ATP, I think the more tournaments we can have and the more access we can have to maybe access our coaches back home and maybe limit the expenses a little bit, I think you'll find the more comfortable players are. And then, you know, once you get up inside that top 100, things are a little easier. You have access to physio, you have access to, you know, better practice facilities. You have access -- you know, you're playing some bigger tournaments, so things are a little bit more comfortable.

So I think that's probably one of the biggest factors into why, one of the biggest factors that could really help improve the rankings. But I think it's in a good place. I think it's in a really good place. The key thing is is now sustaining this over the course of the year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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