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August 30, 2019

Alex De Minaur

New York, NY, USA

A. de MINAUR/K. Nishikori

6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How exciting was that out there today?
ALEX de MINAUR: Oh, it was amazing. You know, I have been in this situation before, and this is where I want to be. This is where I feel like my game's at. I want to be pushing these guys, I want to be pushing second weeks of Grand Slams and putting myself out there. So very happy.

Q. You're obviously into the second week now. Do you think you can push into the quarterfinals for the first time?
ALEX de MINAUR: I mean, it's just another day. Nothing changes. My mentality going in is going to be the same.

You know, I'm just happy to be here. There's not much to complain about. I'm in New York, playing the US Open, some great weather, and playing some great tennis. Hopefully I can just keep it rolling.

Q. I think you spoke a couple days ago about the Cilic match. What have you learned from it? Can you take us through what that means to you and what you've taken from it?
ALEX de MINAUR: Yeah, obviously last year it was a bit of a heartbreaking match for me. Very big opportunity leading two sets to love up against Cilic and then losing in a heartbreaker 7-5 in the fifth. It stung a lot, but you learn so much from it. You know that that's your level.

It helped me a lot today. At one stage it looked like maybe the same thing was going to happen, but I just had to regroup and put out all those negative thoughts in my head and just play point by point, just make sure to be very positive and leave it all out there, intensity. And I'm glad I was able to do that, play a great game in the fourth set to break him, and then sort of hold on to my serve.

Q. Lleyton has good record against Nishikori, so I was wondering if you got advices from him?
ALEX de MINAUR: Obviously Lleyton is someone who has helped me out a lot. He's sort of like a mentor to me.

You know, going into this match, obviously I talked to my team and we had a game plan, and very happy I was able to execute that game plan and play some good tennis today.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about that game plan you prepared?
ALEX de MINAUR: That's probably something for me to keep to myself. But on my side of the court, obviously I knew that I couldn't have any lapses of concentration, because obviously Kei, the firepower he has, if he gets things going, then, you know, I'm definitely in trouble.

So I had to make sure to try and keep holding on to my serve and just make him play as much as I could on his serve and hopefully build enough pressure to just get a couple of cheap ones here and there and maybe get the break.

Q. Is he a player that you have observed closely? Could have looked like you were playing yourself in the mirror. It takes a bit to rattle Nishikori. Seems the frustration was building as you were relentless. Is he one where you say, I have a lot of similar attributes?
ALEX de MINAUR: For sure. He's someone I have watched play for -- you know, growing up. I mean, he's been out there on tour for a while now. It still amazes me, like, his ball-striking ability, how he can absorb and redirect and hit lines with every shot.

So I knew coming in that I was going to have to try and keep as much depth as I could, because any sort of short ball, then I was going to get punished.

You know, I fought very hard in certain points, and I'm happy that I could finally get my first top-10 win.

Q. For Americans, certainly Coco Gauff is a huge story here. Seemed when she was at Wimbledon, people there really picked up on what she was doing. What sense do you have among the players, both men and women, that hers is a story that people are really following and watching her?
ALEX de MINAUR: I mean, she's on TV 24/7. I mean, it's amazing what she's been able to accomplish at such a young age. I mean, I was watching her match last night. I'm pretty sure the whole of America was watching that match.

I mean, it's pretty insane how much the Americans have gotten behind her and it's great to see. The following she has is amazing. You know, it's good. It's entertainment. I.

Think between the players, I'm sure a lot of even the guys would have tuned in to watch that match.

Q. What did you see when you watched her? What thoughts did you have about her game and what she's done at this young age?
ALEX de MINAUR: As I said, it's unbelievable what she's been able to accomplish at such a young age. I mean, it's not easy, especially for her here in her home Grand Slam, first time, a lot of expectation coming in, especially after Wimbledon.

What she's been able to accomplish is pretty sensational. She's been able to hold on her nerves and play some good tennis, beaten two quality opponents. You know, I wish her all the best. Hopefully she can keep it going.

Q. We know that any fourth-round opponent at a slam is tough. Roger is potentially there in a quarterfinal. How do you not think about that?
ALEX de MINAUR: Well, I don't think about that because I don't look at the draw. Now I know...

Q. Sorry.
ALEX de MINAUR: But as I said, nothing changes. You know, I've got my fourth-round match, which is the winner between Dimitrov and Majchrzak, so everything goes into that match. Nothing changes. I will do all the same things. I'll take it as a big opportunity, as I did for this match. This is where I want to be, so I'll go out there and leave 100%. Nothing changes.

Q. Do you have a good nickname that you like? Not something that's related to your real name.
ALEX de MINAUR: Demon. That's something that's sort of catched on in Australia. And, yeah, I don't mind it.

Q. Do you know where it came from?
ALEX de MINAUR: Not sure, to be honest. I like to think it's got something to do with sort of my fiery attitude on court. Just, you know, I get pretty fired up and pumped up. I'd like to think it's something to do with that.

Q. Do you think it works, if that's it?
ALEX de MINAUR: Yeah, I'll take it (smiling). I like it.

Q. Roger said he does not have a nickname. If you could give him one, what do you think you'd give him?
ALEX de MINAUR: Roger? Oh, you know, it's probably one of the easiest ones: GOAT.

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