February 14, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
A. KARATSEV/F. Auger-Aliassime
3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What were you telling yourself when you were two sets to love down?
ASLAN KARATSEV: Yeah, it was a big moment. I didn't feel my game from the beginning. It was tough to really serve, and he also broke me down from the beginning, so already I was down in the set, and I just found the rhythm in the third set. I said, Okay, I would keep playing and go a bit far to the return and make him play more balls, and yeah, I think that was the right strategy.
Q. What did it feel like when that match was finally over?
ASLAN KARATSEV: I mean, the match is long. You play best of five, so looks like it's over, yeah, but I said, I'll keep playing every ball and focusing on the next ball.
Q. But I'm talking about like the match is finished, you've won it. What did that feel like?
ASLAN KARATSEV: Amazing. Amazing. It was a big win from 2-0 down and emotionally it was tough. Yeah, it's a good feeling.
Q. During ATP Cup you sat at the end and seemed a little fed up because all the questions were going to everybody else on the team. A few more questions coming to you this time. How does that feel?
ASLAN KARATSEV: Fantastic. (Laughing).
Q. There's been a lot of talk about the speed of the court. Does it feel like a fast court, and do you think that plays to your advantage with your game, or is it all the same to you?
ASLAN KARATSEV: I played here before, and it was slower, yes. But for me, it's good. I think the fast surface for me, it's always good. I take the time for the opponent. If you're serving well, it's always good.
Q. You've achieved a few firsts when you're looking at the stats, things like first qualifier to reach the quarterfinals on debut since 1996. There's a whole lot of different things that you've achieved going from a career high ranking of 114. You're going to be at this point in the low 60s. Do you think about those sorts of things? Do they matter to you?
ASLAN KARATSEV: You told me just now that I broke some records. Of course it's a good feeling, but I try to more focusing on the tournament, on the matches, and then everything what happened behind. It's good. It's a good feeling, yeah.
Q. If Daniil and Andrey reach the quarters, it'll be the first time in the Open era that three Russians, men, are in the quarters of a major, of a Grand Slam. Pretty cool, too, I guess.
ASLAN KARATSEV: Yes. Of course, what should I say, it's good. I'm happy for them, yeah. For the Russians especially. Three players from Russia playing the quarterfinals, it's always good, yeah.
Q. What can you tell us that Russia is doing right that they're the only country with two players in the top 10, potentially three players in the quarterfinals? What is it about how people approach tennis in Russia that has made it so successful at this point in history?
ASLAN KARATSEV: It's tough to say. I mean, they was good in juniors, as well, so they grow up from the juniors. They was No. 1. The generation of '96-' 97, they are really strong, and I think they're doing a good job.
There was a long period of players who wasn't there. There was like Marat and Kafelnikov in the top 10, and now these guys are playing really good.
Q. Have you surprised yourself?
ASLAN KARATSEV: I try not to show that. (Laughing). Yeah, it's a good feeling, yeah.
Q. I think it was after the second set you left the court to go change, whatever it was. Did you give yourself a little pep talk or anything to try to motivate yourself, because it seemed like after that you were bringing more energy and that sort of thing.
ASLAN KARATSEV: I just went for toilet and take a rest. I took a rest. I showered myself a bit in the face, and yeah. That's all.
Q. How much have you talked to Daniil and Andrey this week as you guys have moved through the event?
ASLAN KARATSEV: We talk when we see each other, especially in the locker room. Yeah, it's quite often because you met them mostly in the locker room or in the lunch. That's it.
Q. There are many people who are not familiar with you yet. How would you describe yourself as a player and your journey as a player?
ASLAN KARATSEV: You mean how I play or --
Q. Yes, your style of play, your strengths, and also your journey to this point as a player, since as some people have said you've come out of nowhere.
ASLAN KARATSEV: Okay, I play aggressive, try to play more aggressive style, like going for big serve, and to work the point like as short as I can, like not so long point, not run behind the baseline, that match. Try to stay close to the line. Yeah, probably I would say like that.
Q. And your journey from seemingly out of nowhere to this deep point in a major?
ASLAN KARATSEV: Yes, it's impressed, but I was working a lot, and it just happened right now. It's like you never know when it happens. It just happened here.
Q. What for you is the best part or the most exciting part of what you've been able to do here at the Australian Open so far?
ASLAN KARATSEV: You mean out of the court?
Q. Well, that too if you want. No, I meant making the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam tournament.
ASLAN KARATSEV: I'm already happy to reach this point. Are you talking about the court or out of the court?
Q. On the court. What's the best part for you on the court, what you've been able to do, winning these matches, getting to a Grand Slam tournament quarterfinals? You've never even played in a Grand Slam main draw before. What are you happiest about or most excited about?
ASLAN KARATSEV: I'm happy every match. Every win I'm really happy to move on for the next round. Every time it's good emotion. Really happy.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports