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January 12, 2019

Alex De Minaur

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Well, sum up the feeling, Mate.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Oh, it's surreal. I couldn't think of a better place to get my first win. You know, it's been tough, because I have played a couple of finals and things haven't gone my way. And to finally be able to take that step further and get my first win, it's something that's really special in front of friends and family and in the courts I grew up. You know, that's definitely memories that are going to last forever.

Q. Did that kind of spur you on in some ways? It was a tough day today. You played two matches. Did that help get you along?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, well, I knew coming in that if I wanted to come away with a trophy, I was going to have to play two really tough matches.

I'm extremely proud of myself. I mean, this is why I have done all the hard work in the preseason. To come out and just be able to back it up, first match in the sun and then later on, it wasn't easy.

It was pretty tough conditions and long rallies, but I'm extremely proud of myself. I know I have put in the hard work, and it's so good to see the results pay off.

Q. Short sets, you didn't want to go into a third one?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, obviously you always want it to go in two sets and not have any complications, but I felt great out there. I felt like the body is handling it really well, and, you know, the hard work I have put in, I can see it working.

I mean, I felt good out there. I felt like I was moving well. Fitness-wise, I felt like I could keep going, as well. So if, for some reason, it didn't go my way that second set, I was going to be ready for that third.

Q. What did you do between the semi and the final?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I had an ice bath and pretty much laid down, and I was in the massage chair for a very long time (smiling). That's pretty much what I did.

Q. How much sleep did you get?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Ah, not too much. Probably like half an hour.

Q. Really? That's all you slept between your matches?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah. I would have loved to sleep four hours, but I thought when I wake up I probably wouldn't be as ready as I would like for my match.

Q. I think you became the youngest winner here since Lleyton Hewitt. He's obviously someone that you're pretty close with and working with. Does that mean a lot to you, as well?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, that's definitely special. I had the opportunity last year, and every time I walk down to Ken Rosewall Arena and walking down the tunnel and you see his name on the board four times, so, you know, I'm just happy that I was able to get the win and be the next Aussie to get the win and especially at home. I mean, yeah, I can't stop smiling.

Q. Have you had a chance to talk with him properly?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, he just congratulated me. It's just -- it's great. The whole team, we just are really happy. We put in the hard yards, and it's showing off. And now looking forward to what's next.

Q. People always compare you to Lleyton in a lot of ways. Is that something that you are proud of, or how do you feel about that?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Well, I think if you're being compared to Lleyton, then you're obviously doing something right. Growing up, he's one of the guys I looked up to and I watched a lot of matches. And to be able to, in a way, to follow his footsteps and win here is definitely special.

Q. What do you do now? Go to Melbourne tonight?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Go to Melbourne tonight. I'll have a light hit tomorrow. I'll get the body right, and it's showtime.

Q. I know we spoke earlier about how much of a challenge it is to play Monday, but how much of a challenge will it be?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, well, I'm just happy with what happened today. Don't want to think about it too much. Once the time comes, I'll be ready.

Q. Has it sharpened your ambition for the coming week, the win tonight?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, it's definitely a big confidence boost. I feel like I have been playing some great tennis, and I just gotta keep the momentum going.

So it's given me a lot of belief, and I'm really looking forward to coming to Melbourne and hopefully playing some great tennis, as well.

Q. Talk about the confidence, winning a tournament right before a slam.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, it's the best result I have had going into an Open. Or best result, full stop. Yeah, I have been playing well. I feel like the body is good. I'm mentally fresh.

You know, I just can't wait to get back out on court, and especially at the Australian Open. There is no bigger stage than that. I'm really looking forward to just going out there and competing, firing up and hopefully play some good tennis.

Q. You're also ready to embrace, I imagine, the nation getting behind you, you and Ash, the NextGen? Are you ready to embrace it in some ways?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I feel like I have dealt with the sort of nerves and pressure and expectation these coming weeks quite well, and I think it's just something to get used to it. At the end of the day, you're just the same guy. You've got to keep doing the same things, and the most important thing is just keep listening to the team of guys around you, because they have your best interest at heart.

Just keep wanting to improve day in, day out, and I'm a strong believer that if I keep doing those things, then I'll get better as a person and as a player. With that, the results will come.

Q. Have you talked to Ash at all?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I saw her before the match. I wasn't able to see her afterwards. You know, she's had an unbelievable week. It's definitely not easy with the caliber of player she had to beat to get to the final and to be so close, but she's playing some great tennis. She's really leading the nation. Hopefully she can have a massive Australian Open, because she deserves it.

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