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July 2, 2019
Wimbledon, London, England
N. KYRGIOS/J. Thompson
7-6, 3-6, 7-6, 0-6, 6-1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How do you assess that performance?
NICK KYRGIOS: It was incredibly tough. I think coming into today, Tomo is probably one of the most in form grass courter of the season. He made his first final in S'hertogenbosch. He's obviously feeling pretty comfortable on the grass.
I looked at my draw, I was excited because we've known each other since we were about nine. We played at every age group. To see each other playing at the highest level against each other, it was pretty cool.
I'm sore at the moment. That was one of the longest matches I've played in a long time, so... Yeah, it was fun.
Q. Back home Channel 7 elected to show your game rather than Ash Barty. Does that surprise you? Do you think that's appropriate?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't have much to do with that. But obviously, I mean, Ash, what she's doing on the tennis court now is pretty special. I actually told a lot of people that I thought she was going to win Wimbledon as well.
I mean, I thought they probably would show both. I don't really have much to say about that. You know, sorry.
Q. You had a fun interaction with a fan. You had a really warm reception at the end. You get a lot of stick. You do enjoy those warmer, kinder interactions, don't you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I'm never going to change. I used to be like this when I played under 12s, 14s. I just go out there, have fun, play the game how I want it to be played.
At the end of the day, I know people are going to watch. Like, they can say the way I play isn't right or he's classless for the sport, all that sort of stuff. They're probably still going to be there watching. Doesn't really make sense.
Q. Does it upset you when they say that?
NICK KYRGIOS: It's not nice to wake up and hear it, but what can you do? Can't really do much.
Q. Cori Gauff had a pretty insane one yesterday. Saw a video of her clocking a forehand winner against you. What was it like to hit with her?
NICK KYRGIOS: She's going to have the potential to do some amazing things in this sport. I mean, she's got a lot of good people around her, as well. To see her beat her idol was pretty cool. I was actually watching it back in my airbnb. I hit with her when she was 12 at Miami. I hit with her this year again. She's the real deal. She's amazing.
I think she's definitely going to be one to watch. That forehand winner was just like... It was practice (smiling).
Q. Obviously huge anticipation about your potential next opponent, Nadal.
NICK KYRGIOS: Is there (smiling)?
Q. Provided he gets through. 2014 was your huge breakthrough. Do you ever look back at that match for inspiration about what you can still achieve on this stage? Does part of you feel nostalgic for a time when you had fewer expectations on you?
NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, I've looked back on that moment. That's never going to leave my tennis career. It was one of the most special moments I've ever had.
But, I mean, if he gets Sugita, he's not an easy test on the grass, he's very comfortable on it. Going into the match, he's one of the greatest tennis players of all time. I go into that match as an unbelievable underdog. I know if I play the right type of tennis, I can have success against him.
I have to come with the right attitude, I have to be willing to fight. If not, it's going to be butter for him. He's one of the best tennis players.
I'm not going to think about it. I need to rest, recover, I have a day out, then I want to go out there and have some fun.
Q. You look like you had a lot of fun at the start.
NICK KYRGIOS: (Indiscernible.)
Q. Got a bit more fired up towards the end. What sort of head space are you playing your best tennis in, relaxed or getting angry and fired up?
NICK KYRGIOS: Well, I don't think I figured that out yet because my behavior probably would be a little bit better (smiling).
I honestly don't know. I mean, when I have a lot of energy, I play well. My emotions tend to come out a little bit more. When I'm calm, I probably don't play as unpredictable, probably don't entertain as much. It's trying to find that balance.
Q. You obviously said you have great respect for Rafa. Earlier in the year you took a dig at him, at his uncle. Do you think those comments would have any impact on the match, me him want to give you a beat-down? How do you think your relationship is now with Rafa as a whole?
NICK KYRGIOS: Can I ask you what his uncle said to me first? Do you have that fact?
Q. I can't remember.
NICK KYRGIOS: Once you have that, then I'll answer that question. But that's good by you.
Q. I don't want to quote it wrong.
NICK KYRGIOS: Did I go at him first or did his uncle come at me first?
Q. I can't remember.
NICK KYRGIOS: From a journalist, I assume you get your information right.
Q. Do you want to tell me?
NICK KYRGIOS: No. That's not my job.
Q. You tend to play your best against the best. Do you like a draw having Rafa already in the second round?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I can't wait. As soon as the draw came out, I was super happy that I saw him in my section. I mean, it's more exciting. When you're a kid, you want to play the best players in the world on I think it's the best court in the world. This is something that I can't take for granted. There's no guarantee I'm going to be here again in this position. Could have an injury or something like that.
I'm going to grasp with both hands, go out there, give it my best shot.
Q. If it is going to be Rafa, you have a great record against the top players. Why do you think you're able to get up for the bigger players?
NICK KYRGIOS: It's just me, bro.
Q. Any more?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't know what to say. I just love playing them.
Q. You seem to have a bit of an issue halfway through the game. Was it photographers talking at the side of the court?
NICK KYRGIOS: No.
Q. You were saying something to the umpire about people talking, no?
NICK KYRGIOS: Photography or people talking?
Q. I don't know. I didn't know who you were complaining about talking at the side of the court during the match.
NICK KYRGIOS: What's your question?
Q. Who were you complaining about?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think it was someone that was showing people the way out. They were very loud.
Q. A steward or something?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think so, yeah.
That's unbelievable question by you, like so good. So interesting.
Q. Ash has had so much support in Australia now. You haven't always enjoyed that from Australian tennis fans. Do you look at her trajectory and go, It would be nice if the country got behind me more often?
NICK KYRGIOS: No. I don't ever wish that. What she's doing is incredible. I knew as soon as she got her head right and wanted it enough, the sky's the limit for her. She's incredibly talented. We played juniors together. She was going out there with ease, beating people.
I knew deep down she was always capable. When she took that year off, came back, she seemed to be refreshed. Now she's winning Grand Slams. Doesn't surprise me at all.
I'm happy that she's got all the support. She deserves it.
Q. When the draw was made, you knew that Nadal was potentially in the second round, how much of an incentive was that going into the match today? How much motivation was that?
NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, I was very motivated today. But I wasn't looking forward because I knew that Tomo has been playing very well. He was more than capable of winning today as well. There were a couple moments if they went his way, he could have been easily the one in this chair at the moment.
Q. How is the body feeling?
NICK KYRGIOS: It's sore, my friend. It's very sore. The medical timeout was to loosen up my hamstring a little bit. It was a physical match. Especially on the grass, it was a little bit slower this year. There were a lot more rallies.
I'm a physical specimen, so don't worry about it (smiling).
Q. Do you consider it your responsibility to entertain the crowd? If so, do you think there's a shortage of other entertainers in the sport?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think everyone just goes about their business the way they are. I think that the sport has a serious problem with that. I mean, just because I'm different, I go about it a different way, it causes a stir.
I understand that people are different and people are going to play different. If everyone was the same, it would be very boring, no? I mean, I don't think there's a shortage of entertainers. I just think people go about it differently. Different perspectives. I don't understand why it's so hard for people to understand that.
Q. You mean understand the way you play?
NICK KYRGIOS: Not just me, just everyone. Anyone. I don't know. Sam Querrey, good serve, good aggressive player. Goes about it the way he goes about it. It's very hard for the tennis world to understand the way I go about it. I don't understand why.
Q. In the fourth set when you were bageled, then turned it around.
NICK KYRGIOS: You just answered your own question, didn't you?
Q. Does that show how unpredictable you are?
NICK KYRGIOS: If a boxer puts his hands down in a fight, does that mean he's not trying? Yes, no? What's that? It means he's trying or not trying?
Q. Could be either.
NICK KYRGIOS: Could be a tactic, couldn't it?
NICK KYRGIOS: How did the tactic pay off today? Good question. Oh, this is fun.
Q. Rafa also said --
NICK KYRGIOS: The nice lady had her hand up.
Q. Nick, some of the stuff that's said on court, is that heat of the moment? Is that pressure? People who criticize you, do they need to understand that?
NICK KYRGIOS: Most of the people that comment are high-level athletes. That was a joke (laughter).
No, for sure. I mean, it's heat of the moment. I've said things to my team or people that have my best interest at heart, I've said things to them that I don't mean. It's definitely in the heat of the moment.
I mean, when you're out there, it's a whole different world. There's pressure, expectation.
Yeah, I mean, what was the question again?
Q. You answered it. Is there stuff that you saw that sometimes you go, I didn't mean that?
NICK KYRGIOS: Sure, 100%. Yeah, at times it's funny. At times it's not great.
He's excited he got the last question.
Q. Rafa said he didn't know you as a person. Do you have a good relationship with him? Do you feel like you know him well? Would you like to get to know him better or he know you better?
NICK KYRGIOS: Uhm, not sure that me and Rafa could go down to the Dog & Fox and have a beer together. I don't know him at all. I know him as a tennis player. I just don't -- no, I don't know him very well. I don't know what you want me to say to the question. It's a very strange question.
Q. Is there a reason you feel that barrier is up? Do you find it's easier to talk to other people rather than him?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, 100%. That's just how it is. I get along with people, some people I don't get along with.
Q. You don't get along with him?
NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, we have a mutual respect, but that's about it I think.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports