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January 16, 2019

Frances Tiafoe

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

F. TIAFOE/K. Anderson

4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Would you say that's the biggest win of your career?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Probably, yeah. I mean, considering the circumstance, obviously in a Grand Slam. Yeah, still my biggest win is probably DelPo in Delray, because him being my idol.

I've never felt something like that after winning a tennis match. The fact that it was a Grand Slam, second seed I beat, obviously a top-five player, it's pretty big.

Q. Tell us about the celebration when you lifted up your sleeve.
FRANCES TIAFOE: You like that (smiling)?

It was pretty cool. I was talking with my boy Zach about it. Some celebration like you do for the new year. In the off-season, I'm more worried about winning tennis matches.

It is kind of instinct thing. I hope the crowd liked it.

Q. Do you feel that's a win that has been coming, your form over the last year or so?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I've been telling you guys last year, I had a lot of wins, had a rough end to the season. Good off-season.

Yeah, you know, I mean, those are the matches I feel like I'm dangerous. I always play pretty good in those situations. I've been in those situations quite a lot. I'm starting to feel more comfortable finishing the match, not just playing a match.

Q. How have you felt out of the gates, Hopman Cup?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Perth was terrible (smiling). I had a great week. I had so much fun playing with Serena. Sydney was bad. I played a match against John, lost. You can live with that. John is a hell of a competitor. I was happy with that.

Yeah, essentially it was rough. But it's all about how you think about it, right? I mean, I only took positives from it.

Q. I have to ask about Seppi. What do you know about him? What do you expect? Please talk slowly because if not I don't understand you.
FRANCES TIAFOE: Yeah (smiling).

Seppi is a great player. I mean, been around for forever. I mean, pretty solid from both sides. A ton of long rallies. Definitely going to make me beat him. He's not going to beat himself. It's going to be a good match.

Q. How much confidence do you get from a performance like today?
FRANCES TIAFOE: A ton. A ton. These are the matches where they kind of define you and help you feel more and more comfortable to keep winning matches like that.

So, yeah, I'm definitely going to remember this one.

Q. How were you feeling in the last game when you were trying to serve it out?
FRANCES TIAFOE: I knew he was going to make me play a tough game. He returns well. He returns hard. You don't know if you're going to hit the fence or the back of the line or something.

I knew he was going to make me play a tough game. He's there for a reason. Made me come up with the goods. Luckily I did.

Q. What would you say the key was to turning the match around?
FRANCES TIAFOE: I was getting killed, man. Yeah, I mean, just mix it up. Kind of just mix it up, play smarter. Don't try to go for cannons. Try to serve a bunch of first serves. Don't give him looks at seconds so he can be on the front foot and kind of be unpredictable.

Q. Big results for the Americans today. Do you feel like there's guys who you sort of grew up with playing in juniors arriving?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Yeah, we definitely pay attention to it. Nobody wants to do better than the other person. Sorry, everyone wants to do better than the other person. But it's all good blood. We all want each other to do well.

We actually had, me, Macky, Fritz, Tommy, who else is there, Reilly, we had a massive dinner before the tournament started. How crazy is this? We're all in the main draw. I can remember us playing 12s Orange Bowl or something. We're all here now, all doing great things. It's unbelievable.

Q. Give us something on Serena. Did she tell you anything that was fun? What was it like being around her?
FRANCES TIAFOE: She was telling me, Try and win (laughter).

Yeah, she's so nice. She's so nice. Such a good competitor. I mean, off the court, she's so chilled and relaxed. Once she gets on, she hates losing. It's unacceptable.

I mean, I definitely felt that playing. I was about as nervous as could be (smiling). Yeah, no, I think we grew a pretty good relationship. Yeah, I think that week definitely helped me long run.

Q. What do you do between now and Friday to get a chance to step away from tennis? Experience a bit of Melbourne?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Yeah, I mean, I love Melbourne. It's one of my favorite cities, one of my favorite stops in the year. Yeah, I mean, I'll probably chill around. Got a bunch of friends here.

I'm tired today, though. Probably just going to go and relax. FaceTime my girlfriend some, just chill out.

Q. Do you think people underestimate what it takes for a young player to really adjust to the moving around, different hotels, the competition? And did you get to meet Qai Qai the doll?

Q. Qai Qai the doll. Serena's daughter's doll.
FRANCES TIAFOE: Oh, the doll? No, no. I barely saw Olympia.

Yeah, the tour is definitely tough. It's definitely tough. I mean, ton of weeks away from home. I think that's why I think it's so good I have Zach with me, kind of get a home feel, a guy who is going to ride the ups and downs with you, also be real with you. Also, I grew up with a twin brother, having a guy that you're tight with.

Q. Federer and Serena on court, getting to be out there with both of them, what was that like?
FRANCES TIAFOE: I was talking to Belinda before. This is about to be crazy. This is about to be crazy. You're talking about, I can't even talk how many Grand Slams on that court.

Q. 43.
FRANCES TIAFOE: 43, yeah. It's crazy, man. Like, I mean, that may not happen ever again, especially with the new rules next year. I mean, it was unbelievable that they wanted to do it. The crowd was loving it from the first point. The walk-ons were crazy. I've never felt something like that in a tennis match.

Q. How far do you believe you can go in this tournament?
FRANCES TIAFOE: To the third round (laughter). I'm worried about the third round, man. I take it every match. Everyone is good, man. It's tough looking ahead. Everyone's levels... Look at today: he's 5 in the world, I'm 39, I was able to beat him. I mean, it's so tight now. Anybody plays a good match, you can beat anybody on a given day. You don't take anybody and underestimate.

Q. Hitting with Serena in Perth, how many times did you end up doing that? What was it like?
FRANCES TIAFOE: We hit a lot. I was struggling. She hits the ball so hard. Like, the courts are fast. It was skidding. I mean, a little topspin maybe. I'm not used to the ball coming in that flat. That was something I really had to adjust to.

Yeah, it was fun. I mean, we took a lot of breaks, a lot of jokes were going on. It was cool.

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