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January 11, 2020

Alex De Minaur

Lleyton Hewitt

Nick Kyrgios

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

R. NADAL/A. de Minaur

4-6, 7-5, 6-1

Team Spain - 2

Team Australia - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Alex, you seemed locked in from the start tonight, the first couple of sets in particular. Does that feel like that's the best tennis you have played in your pro career, going up against a guy like Rafa?
ALEX de MINAUR: I feel like the mindset and the intensity I brought out, especially my last two matches, which was the doubles and now this match against Rafa, I felt like I was on another level of just intensity and how fired up I got. You know, that's sort of the standard I've got to keep on bringing.

Obviously I knew the task at hand, and I knew that if I wanted to hurt Rafa I was going to have to play like that.

Look, it's a tough one, because I felt like I was very close, probably a couple of points in the second set, but, you know, I just went until my legs couldn't go anymore.

Q. Alex, can you talk about what you feel happened end of the second set and kind of the third? Is it just a case of your legs going out? What were you feeling? What were you thinking?
ALEX de MINAUR: I mean, honestly he changed his game plan a bit more. He started to step up in the court a bit more and not let me dictate as much. Therefore, I felt like I had to push a bit more, and that's when the mistakes sort of came.

Anyways, for me to play the match, I've got to play a very aggressive game. I'm red-lining for a lot of that match, so, you know, a couple missed balls here and there, and he ended up just being too good.

I mean, ultimately I'm just so proud of what the whole team has been able to do. We have come out here, we have been in one of the toughest groups in the whole ATP Cup, and we have been able to come out, get three wins, make it to the semifinal, and our team is as strong as ever.

I mean, we've got everyone's back, and everyone in the team just left it all out there. I couldn't be prouder of what this team has done.

Q. Nick, a little bit flat tonight. Not your night. But overall the last week or so you must be quite pleased?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, yeah, I had probably one of the roughest matches over the last -- honestly, I hadn't felt like that in a while, getting beat down like that.

I mean, I didn't have my best serving night at all. I thought he played really, really well. He just played some crucial points early really well and got on top of me pretty early and kind of freed up a little bit.

But, yeah, as Alex said, I didn't get as close as he did tonight, but I left it all out there. I mean, ultimately, I didn't really care how I play. I just wanted to win for the team. I was really disappointed when I came off.

Yeah, as Alex said, it's been unbelievable eight or nine days with the boys. We have all won matches, great matches. It's been a lot of fun. I just had the opportunity to play with Australia and hang out with these boys again was pretty awesome.

Q. How do you package that feeling in a way for when you go on tour yourself? Is it possible to draw elements from what you get out of the team environment for when you go on tour as an individual?
NICK KYRGIOS: Well, no, because these boys aren't with me on the bench when I'm playing individual. I don't know what it is. When I'm playing for myself, I don't know, I find it hard to get up. My motivation levels are pretty low most of the time.

Something about these guys and playing for them brings it out in me. I just love -- I'm a team player. If I would have, I probably would have had a very different four years of my career, six.

Q. Lleyton, obviously there's great disappointment with the way things have turned out tonight, but what do you think the guys should be taking away from this experience with the ATP Cup and looking ahead to the Australian Open and beyond for the rest of the year?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, so many positives to take out of the last week for these guys. As Alex said, we had a really tough group. The boys had to be switched on. There were no easy matches whatsoever.

And to start the year, that's not always easy to come in. You kind of like to play your way in that first week, try to get a couple easier wins and build up. These boys had to be right on right from the start.

So there's huge positives. The wins that they have had, some of the matches they have played, yeah, sure, they would have liked to make the final tomorrow night, but they did absolutely everything in their power to get this far.

Once again, like both boys said, they left it all out there tonight. I thought Bautista Agut was fantastic. He played flawless tonight. Conditions suited his game. He moved exceptional. That's one of the best matches I have ever seen him play.

And then obviously, yeah, I thought Demon for two sets was unreal. He took it to Rafa, probably the better player for nearly the full two sets until he got broken there at the end of the second. Had a couple of little half chances.

But Rafa, some of the shots he came up with when he was under pressure and backed himself, that's why he's one of the greatest ever.

So, you know, for these boys to see and for Alex to feel it tonight, yeah, that's where you've got to get to to compete. This is only best of three sets. To be able to do that with five sets against Rafa, that's where you've got to get to to win the slams.

Q. Alex, you were talking about red lining, and when you're sort of in that zone and everyone saw the focus on your face and everything, does that make you hungrier, that even though you did lose tonight, to bring that again and even go higher and higher and higher?
ALEX de MINAUR: For sure. I mean, I know I've got this level. I mean, I'm showing it. You know, it's time for me to get in that mindset more often, in the mindset where I'm believing, you know, that I'm believing that I can take it to anyone.

In that match, that's how I felt. I felt like, you know, I was playing my game and I was doing it my way. Didn't matter what was happening. I was going to commit to my game plan and keep going for my shots and keep backing myself.

You know, that's honestly the head space I've got to be in. You know, that's what I've got to bring to the table more often. But it's good to know that I've got that extra gear, as well, if need be against these guys when I need to be a bit more aggressive that I can sort of bring it out.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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