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January 18, 2019

Alex De Minaur

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

R. NADAL/A. de Minaur

6-1, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are some of the positives you take out of this match today?
ALEX de MINAUR: I got better as the match went on. I've had a great Aussie summer. I'm really proud of the effort I put in. I played some great tennis. Obviously I'm a little bit disappointed that I wasn't able to perform a little bit better. But, you know, that's just what Rafa does to you. I mean, you've got to go out there and pretty much redline. You've got to be able to go out there and perform your game plan and execute.

I felt like I wasn't able to do that today. But I still got better as the match went on. I fought till the end.

Q. The scoreline when you last played him at Wimbledon and tonight was exactly the same. I think tonight must have gone longer and seemed to feel closer. Talk about the progression of your performance from the Wimbledon match to tonight, how it might have felt different for you or if you got closer?
ALEX de MINAUR: I felt like definitely games were a lot longer. There were many games, especially on my service games, that had a lot of game points. I ended up getting broken. If I could have just held on a little bit more with my serve, applied a bit more pressure early on in the sets, then maybe I could have got in a little bit more chances on his serve.

But, geez, he served well. Going through the whole set, serving, I think it was 80% first serves. That's pretty scary. There were decent-paced first serves, as well.

Look, this is tennis. This is what you want to do. Now I've got to go back and get better. I have plenty of areas to work on and improve. Just can't wait to get out there on court and improve these little aspects. Hopefully next time around I can have a bigger crack.

Q. Did you find going right through to the Sydney title, then that five-setter last match took its toll? Did you feel tired at all?
ALEX de MINAUR: Look, the body was good. I felt great. Obviously I've played a lot of matches this summer. But my body's used to it. That's why I put the hard work in the pre-season for.

Obviously I would love to be as physically fit as Rafa. That's the next step. But still, the body was feeling good. It was just about matchups today, Rafa being Rafa.

Q. The match points at the end, I think you saved six against Cilic at the US Open. Can you talk about how it is for you at the moment.
ALEX de MINAUR: I wish I could play like that the whole match. I don't know. I just have it in my head to fight till the end, fight every point. I just wanted to give myself a chance. I thought I did everything I could. I just wasn't able to win the deuce points. I had to fight and fight and try to give myself that opportunity, but it just didn't come.

Q. Big payday. Do you treat yourself at all?
ALEX de MINAUR: It's been a great summer. I'm just really proud of the whole work that the whole team has put around. It's not just what you see, me performing, playing some good tennis, but there's a lot of things that happen behind the curtains, a lot of hours in the gym, a lot of hours at the physio, and a lot of hours on court.

We got to sit back as a team and reflect on a great summer and be proud of ourselves. But it hasn't finished. I mean, I've got Davis Cup coming up soon in Adelaide. I'm really looking forward to that.

Q. You haven't spoken about your Spanish roots. Tell me a little bit about Uruguay, what you like about it, and what you know about South American tennis.
ALEX de MINAUR: Obviously my father is from Uruguay. I've been there a couple times, once when I was a little kid, then I went back to play some junior tournaments.

Yeah, I really liked it. I really liked the food, sort of the lifestyle. Yeah, I mean, my father, he pretty much spent a lot of his life and he grew up over there, then he moved to Australia very young.

There's a couple things that are still there, a couple sort of traditions, stuff we do. We used to make a good asado, which is good meat. I love a good piece of meat.

Q. There's a lot of talk about Australian men's tennis, different dynamics. Everyone pretty much has been praising you, pointing you to one of the examples of positive things. They almost always do it, then turn around and criticize other players who they think are falling short. Are you ever uncomfortable with the good guys, good kids/bad kids narrative that goes on in Australian tennis?
ALEX de MINAUR: Well, at the end of the day, this is me. This is what you get from me. I like to just focus on my side of things, just try to do everything the best I can. There's a lot of stuff that happens off court, but I think at the end of the day what I really want is to be that boring guy that lets his tennis do the talking, you know?

I want everyone to know that I'm that kid that's going to leave it all out there, fight till the end, and just continuously want to improve. If I'm that boring guy in the media, then I'm doing something right.

Q. You're coming to the New York Open next month. Why did you decide to play there?
ALEX de MINAUR: Yeah, well, it's going to be a quick turnaround for me. I thought it was the best way for me to start that sort of American trip. I'm really looking forward to going out there to New York. I've never played at the New York Open.

It's going to be pretty special. I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully I can play some good tennis. I know there's going to be very quality opponents over there.

Q. Can you tell us a bit about what the atmosphere was like out there playing Rafa at your home slam on center court?
ALEX de MINAUR: Probably the things you dream of. This is why you play the sport. My first time playing on Rod Laver. I was able to share the court with someone like Rafa. That's a pretty surreal experience once you sit down and think about it.

Just the crowd support that I've had pretty much the whole way has been insane. At the later stages of that match, it was quite deafening. It was pretty cool. Gave me goosebumps. I'll do everything in my power to keep improving, and hopefully get many more chances to play on that court.

Q. You mentioned the Davis Cup. Do you feel like all the drama that's been going on this week about it has unified the team? Are you looking forward to leading the team as the Australian No. 1?
ALEX de MINAUR: I think everyone that's going to Adelaide, they're really looking forward to it. As a team, I believe there's nothing better or there's no greater honor than representing your country. I'm looking forward to going out there with all the fellas and just keep pushing each other. It's a great couple of weeks. Probably the weeks that I enjoy most out of the whole year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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