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July 2, 2019

Alex De Minaur

Wimbledon, London, England

A. DE MINAUR/M. Cecchinato

6-0, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You looked happier out there today than at Queen's two weeks ago.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, a lot of effort was put into this coming training week before Wimbledon, and to really focus on Wimbledon. Can't dwell on the past. It's about keep moving on and on to the next week. So very happy with the progress we have made.

It was a very tough training week, and I felt like every time I stepped out there I was training with a purpose. That purpose was just trying to be constant and having my level up here for the whole match. Not have many dips.

I think that showed the way I came out of the blocks. I had a tiny little lapse in concentration probably when I got broken in the second set, but I still managed to stay focused, calm, and keep playing my game. It was definitely a good day, a day I definitely needed.

Q. You had at the beginning to save two breakpoints maybe? That was really the start of the match?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, it was a bit of a shaky start. I had to fight off I think maybe three breakpoints in that first game.

But, you know, I think a very important thing is that maybe a couple weeks back I would have been pretty negative on myself and sort of get down and, you know, start thinking on all the negatives. But today I was just, you know, telling myself that, you know, this is the start I needed to get out all the cobwebs, start off with a tough hold and then everything else was going to go well.

Q. Cecchinato just said he's in that situation where he thinks everything is negative. He was top 16 in the world. He's going down, 41, not winning any more matches. This goes through many players. It happens.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Tennis is a very tough sport. You know, very individual, as well. You might have a big team around you, but at the end of the day it's just you out there on the tennis court. So you've got to try to turn things around when things aren't going well.

You know, I have done obviously a lot of work with a psychologist, and that's really helped me. I think that's one of the biggest changes I felt with the last couple of weeks and going into this week. I was able to not focus on the past and just be in the moment.

It's definitely working for me.

Q. Is that work with the psychologist, has that just been the last few weeks?
ALEX DE MINAUR: No, that's been happening for maybe two to three years. It's unbelievable the rise I have had, thanks to the work I have done with him.

Often I sort of forget how important it is, and might not put in as much time as needs to be put in, because you sort of focus on your training, your fitness. But your mind is equally or even more important than all those other aspects in your tennis game.

So when everything is balanced and everything is working well then you can definitely see the results.

Q. How does that relationship work? Do they travel with you or you call?
ALEX DE MINAUR: No, they're back in Spain, in Alicante. Whenever I'm back there, I'll see him and just message him and talk to him. It's something that, you know, it's tough to get around. Obviously I have been doing a lot of work with him. But it's not the same this year rather than last year.

So last year I'm, you know, coming up, no one really knows me, everything is going well, I'm winning a lot of matches. There is not really a lot of pressure on me and I'm enjoying myself.

This year, I've got a lot more expectation on myself, a lot more pressure. I've got to back my ranking. You know, it's not all just going up. You also got to look at the weeks you have done real well and try to back yourself there.

Didn't realize how much more I needed to talk to a psychologist now. Obviously my eyes got opened up, and I'm glad they did. I'm in a great head space and really enjoying myself out there.

Q. After that, how much were you looking forward to coming back here after last year's efforts?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Obviously coming here is always special. I said before the tournament that no matter what sort of leadup you have, as soon as you step into Wimbledon, everything just goes away. You just admire the beauty of this tournament.

So I know everyone out there in the locker room was keen to go out there and just compete. It's definitely very special, and obviously coming from last year's result here, it's a tournament I really enjoy.

Q. The psychologist is Spanish?

Q. Do you have a name? Can we know the name?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I'd rather keep that private.

Q. Doesn't want to be known?
ALEX DE MINAUR: He's Spanish, and he's a person from Alicante and has helped me for a very long time. But I feel like, you know, there's some things that can be kept to myself and a bit more private. Nowadays there is not a lot you can keep private from the media, so there is a couple of things I like to keep to myself.

Q. Given that you played Cecchinato exactly the same point as last year but the roles are reversed, he's unseeded, you're seeded, how would you compare the player you are now 12 months on? Obviously you have been talking about going through a lot and everything, but also, the scoreline, what does this result and this scenario say about your development as a player the last 12 months and how have you improved compared to last year?
ALEX DE MINAUR: I'm very happy with the development I have had. I think you can definitely see that.

Lately I haven't had the best results, but it's not like I feel like I'm playing bad tennis. I feel like my game is there. It was just about putting everything together. I feel like I have improved in a lot of areas from last year, and obviously not satisfied. I want to keep improving, and almost every day be a bit of a better version of myself.

Q. Queen's, your off-court interview, has that been resolved now? Are you dealing with...
ALEX DE MINAUR: It's all good. That's a lot of the work I have done with the psychologist, just get my mind on playing tennis and enjoying myself. I mean, it is a very tough sport, but you can't really complain. We've got it quite well.

Q. I should ask you about Steve Johnson. Big forehand and slice.
ALEX DE MINAUR: Very, very big player, especially on the grass. I think the grass really suits his game. He's got a very mean slice and obviously great serve and forehand. It's going to be a very difficult match.

But saying that, the way I have been playing, the way I have been practicing, I'm very happy with myself. So I'm trying to focus on my side on the courts. Hopefully I can come out with a bang like I did today and just take care of my service games and hopefully apply some pressure on his service games.

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