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January 28, 2020

Tennys Sandgren

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

R. FEDERER/T. Sandgren

6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel?

Q. And?
TENNYS SANDGREN: Tired. Emotionally tired. Physically tired. Just tired, yeah.

Q. Did you surprise yourself today?
TENNYS SANDGREN: No, no. I played pretty good. I thought I could have played better. Yeah, wasn't surprised.

Q. The medical timeout.
TENNYS SANDGREN: That's not a question.

Q. What did you make of the medical timeout from Roger Federer?
TENNYS SANDGREN: I figured he was hurting.

Q. As the match points were going up, as he kept surviving, what was going through your mind? Did you still have a belief or was it eating away?
TENNYS SANDGREN: Yeah, he played them well. Obviously he played them well. I could have played them better.

I've run through them a bunch of times. He was aggressive on one, passive on a few, came in on one, could have put the volley in a different spot. He read it well, hit two good passes. Put me in an awkward spot on the last one I had. Missed the approach. He probably would have passed me anyway. It was in a bad spot.

Yeah, you know, all credit to him for sure.

Q. There was obviously a lot of distractions with the box, timeout, ball person running into you.
TENNYS SANDGREN: That's not a distraction. That was physically painful. She was apologetic and everything. Accidents happen, so that wasn't a big deal.

Q. All these things happening, did that distract from your game and your focus at the time?
TENNYS SANDGREN: No. I mean, I've had to deal with plenty of things going on in my career. This wasn't anything more or less than what I was accustomed to. I don't think there was anything that was taking away from my level of play.

Q. Did it physically affect you at all?
TENNYS SANDGREN: No. It stung a little bit at the time. It didn't bother me when the point started, no.

Q. Apart from the outcome on the court, of course was not successful for you...
TENNYS SANDGREN: That's putting it mildly.

Q. You said last time, I shouldn't be here. I feel tonight you showed that you should be here. Apart from how it went, how do you feel about it? Do you feel you belong here now?
TENNYS SANDGREN: Sure. I mean, I could just as easily be in the semis right now, but I'm not, so...

Back to the drawing board, you know. Back to the drawing board. Keep working. Keep trying to improve. Maybe I'll get another look, another shot. Maybe I'll come through.

Q. Midway through the fifth and final set, you seemed to be distracted while you were serving, someone in the crowd, someone below the crowd talking. Can you tell us what happened?
TENNYS SANDGREN: Yeah, heard somebody commentating the match as I was playing the match. That's not ideal. That was a little distracting.

Q. Do you feel from your point of view like it played out in real-time or in fast-forward or slow motion? How was it all unfolding the last hour or so?
TENNYS SANDGREN: No, I mean, I was present. I was present. It was fine. I thought once he kind of could see the finish line being a real thing, I thought his level picked up, as my level was, like, maybe decreasing a little bit. I did think he picked his level up a little bit in the fifth set, which is to be expected.

When you survive that many times, you can't give a good player, let alone maybe the best player ever, that many chances to come back. They're going to find their game and start playing well. That seemed to me what happened.

Q. What were you thinking as he left court and came back in the third?
TENNYS SANDGREN: Was that in the third?

Q. You were 3-0 in the third.
TENNYS SANDGREN: I mean, I could see his serve wasn't popping the way it does normally. But also I haven't really been watching his matches. I also tried to tell myself that some of the serves that he was hitting seemed normal, some of them didn't. I don't really know what to make of that.

Just keep your head down, keep working. You can't really control what's going on on the other side of the net at all.

I kept telling myself to control what I could, which was my own game, my own energy level, my own positive mindset. That's what I was focusing on.

Q. What did it feel like later on when you had match point against Roger Federer? What was going through your head then?
TENNYS SANDGREN: I just tried to keep playing it, playing the tennis portion of it. Like I said, it just seemed like his level picked up when his back was right up against the wall. He just wouldn't give me anything. Credit to him, for sure.

Q. What was your self-talk during the match points? What did you tell yourself?
TENNYS SANDGREN: Just try to strike a balance between being aggressive and being tactically smart. I think the first one I had, I pulled the trigger a little early on a down-the-line backhand. I missed in the net. It wasn't even the right shot. I didn't want to do that again.

I wanted to play out the point and see if he would give me a look, give me something to play with. I guess I only had one on my serve.

I was doing that, and he was playing the points fantastic. He kept the ball deep and kept pressure with his backhand. Didn't seem like, especially during the second and third set, that wasn't the case.

If I played a few, like three, four, five deep shots to his backhand, I'd get a look. I wasn't getting a look in those rallies. He was playing them great.

You play it as it comes. I thought I did that. I'm sure I could have played them better, at least some of the moments better. But I didn't, so here I am.

Q. Your opponent has also had match points in big matches and gone away, not won the match. Thinking back on the match points tactically, if there's one thing you could do differently, what would it be?
TENNYS SANDGREN: Maybe go for a backhand cross-court full power. Probably had eight or nine that I played pretty good, but maybe I could have opened it up a little bit more. I was hitting my backhand well the whole day. Maybe I could have done more with that.

In hindsight, played the volley to the open court. But I also didn't want to see a classic Roger Federer running forehand passing shot. So I thought I would play it strong cross, and he hit a great pass, yeah.

Q. Is this the most match points you've had in your career, junior, at all?
TENNYS SANDGREN: I don't know. Probably not. Probably not. Tennis is a crazy sport. Seven is not that many. Was it seven?

Q. Seven.
TENNYS SANDGREN: One on my serve. Really not that many. If I had, like, six on my serve, I'd be really pissed off (smiling).

But one on my serve, and I think I made the first serve, he gave it a good stick on the forehand, which is not surprising either, yeah.

Q. How encouraged are you?
TENNYS SANDGREN: Not encouraged right now. I have zero encouragement right now.

Q. Why?
TENNYS SANDGREN: I mean, I'm sure I'll look back in a couple days and appreciate the tennis I played the last, what, eight, nine days. But currently just disappointed. Just disappointed.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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