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November 8, 2019

Alex De Minaur

Fiera Milano, Italy

A. de MINAUR/F. Tiafoe

4-2, 4-1, 0-4, 4-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You and Frances have said throughout the week that you guys were going to battle on the court and be good friends after. You both seem really good at separating the personal from the professional. Has that always been easy for you?
ALEX de MINAUR: I think for me it's a bit harder, because I'm probably not as chilled out as he is. I tend to be way more sort of in the zone. And before matches, I'm not really sort of talkative or sort of making jokes.

But I have learned to sort of chill out a bit in that aspect, and especially that happens when I play Frances, because, you know, before the match we were both in the physio room and were cracking jokes like nothing's happening.

But it's great, especially someone like Frances who, for me, is the ultimate sort of sportsman. He'll leave it all out there on the tennis court, and then we'll be best of friends afterwards. Nothing will change that. It's always good to know that.

Q. The final tomorrow, this time last year you hadn't won a title before. Now you have three titles this year. How will your success in finals this year help you against whoever you play tomorrow?
ALEX de MINAUR: Obviously I'm hoping it helps, but it comes down to tomorrow is just another match. Anything can happen as well as all week, so I'll prepare for this match as best as I possibly can and come out tomorrow and hopefully have some fun.

Q. You haven't played -- it's not decided yet, but with Sinner, can you put it into perspective just someone going from ITF futures at the start of the year and not winning to suddenly, in less than a year, getting to semifinals of ATP events, just how much improvement that is?
ALEX de MINAUR: Well, I'm pretty sure you can just see what he's been able to accomplish, especially in the ATPs. It's pretty special.

The amount of firepower he has is up there with anyone out there on tour. It's pretty amazing to see and to witness, because it doesn't come very often. It will be very interesting to see who I end up playing tomorrow, but nevertheless, he's got a great future ahead of him.

Q. You said you hadn't really known him before this week. You got a chance to get to know him. What do you make of him? What do you like about him?
ALEX de MINAUR: Yeah, I pretty much hadn't had anything to do with him pre-this tournament, and I have been able to know him sort of off the court a bit more. I have been able to hit with him. I have seen how sort of genuine, humble, sort of grounded kid he is, which is great to see.

Because even though he's been talked about a lot and he might have taken all this media attention the wrong way, he's in my opinion taking it exactly the way he should be. I don't think he's changing. He's still the same kid that he was before all this happened.

Look, hopefully he can keep going that way, and I'm sure good things will follow.

Q. (Question referencing Octopus.)
ALEX de MINAUR: Octopus? Well, I still don't know why I'm an octopus. I haven't been told.

Q. Waiting for...
ALEX de MINAUR: Yeah. But Baby Shark, that was a little bit of a dance I did, but I still probably prefer to be called Demon.

Q. (Question off microphone.)
ALEX de MINAUR: Well, it all depends on their training schedule, because ultimately they're here to train and prepare for Madrid. I still don't know what's going to happen, to be honest.

But, you know, they're here as a team to prepare for Davis Cup coming up very soon, so I think that's the priority.

Q. (Question referencing last year and this year.) The transition, is it better for you as a favorite? Did you feel pressure during this week because you are by far the best player according to the rankings compared to last year?
ALEX de MINAUR: That's where, you know, the media will see a completely different way than the way I see it. I don't see it as I'm the favorite. I see it as it's just another tennis match.

You know, here you put everything aside. It doesn't matter what rankings, form, how you have been playing. It's a tennis match, and you're playing your opponent. It's about whoever plays better on that day.

Coming through this week, I haven't thought about being the favorite once. Coming tomorrow, it is not going to change, you know. It's just another tennis match for me, and I'm going to do everything in my power to come tomorrow and play the best possible tennis I can, and hopefully that will be able to help me tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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