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January 22, 2022

Christopher O'Connell

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

M. CRESSY/C. O'Connell

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

THE MODERATOR: Tough opponent, tough conditions out there. Just talk to us about how you were feeling on court today.

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: Yeah, obviously it was a great atmosphere out there. I felt good going out there. Felt fresh. Body felt good.

But, yeah, up against a completely different player to what I was up against in the first two rounds. Yeah, just had no rhythm out there. He served unbelievable. When he got into the net he just knocked away those volleys. And, yeah, I had no rhythm out there and he was just too good.


Q. Well done this week. How do you reflect on what you have achieved?

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: Yeah, thanks. The highlight of my career so far making third round. Yeah, played some big matches over the past few days is awesome and great experience. Yeah, I'm gonna take those matches and, yeah, hopefully, yeah, can play some more big matches throughout the year.

Q. On the week, the little niggle late in the first set, was that sort of hip or hamstring? How did you pull up from that?

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: Yeah, I'm pretty sore. I'm seeing the sports doc. I actually did it first point of the match. I think I was pretty nervous and I sort of stumbled wide to a forehand. I felt something. With treatment, it seemed to be all right. I don't know how I'm going to pull up.

But, I mean, regardless, he was too good for me today, so it didn't really hurt me too much.

Q. We spoke the other day about obviously very different player to Diego, there aren't a lot of players that hammer the serve down, getting behind it with a volley, quite unique on the tour at the moment. How did you find trying to adjust to that? Obviously you got a bit of rhythm in the second set.

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: Yeah, I mean, I hate playing guys like this, but it's part of it. There is a few of these guys on the tour, so you're going to run up against them eventually.

Yeah, it's just experience playing these guys. I played Isner last year in Atlanta. That was interesting. Then Cressy is similar but different, as well. Isner doesn't come to the net as much as Cressy, so he's just constantly on me and it's just very uncomfortable.

I mean, credit to him, he's really fine-tuned his game. Every time I see him, each week he just seems to be improving constantly. So, yeah, credit to him.

Q. Do you mind specifying what the injury might be? Do you have any idea of what you might have done?

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: No, I'm not sure. Not sure yet.

Q. In terms of the crowd out there and the atmosphere out there tonight, what do you take from that experience of playing in front of a crowd like that?

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: Yeah, it was mental when I walked out there. I was, like, Wow. Yeah, I don't know. I mean, I have never played in front of a crowd like that.

Yeah, I don't know. I can't really describe it. It was, yeah, yeah, I don't know. It was awesome.

Q. What does this week mean to you in terms of what your plans are for this year and what you might do probably in the next couple of months or so?

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: Yeah, even just making the third round has helped my ranking. I slipped towards the end of last year just with injuries and my ranking dropped. I was 170 before this week. Now I'm back up to, I don't know, around 140 I think. I haven't checked.

So that's probably going to get me into, I don't know, Indian Wells qualifying, Miami qualifying. So my schedule changes a little bit just by making the third round.

Yeah, I don't know exactly what I'm going to be playing yet, but, yeah, I'll have to talk with my coach and, yeah, we'll figure it out.

Q. (Question off microphone.)

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: Yeah, for sure. The main goal is just top 100, and I feel like I really can get there. I've just got to stay healthy this year and just, yeah, play consistent week in and week out.

Q. It was a great week. You talked a little bit about what you've got with your schedule and everything coming up. We know you missed a couple of months early in the season last year. Is that when you can target to make a lot of points and get that top 100 ahead of the French Open? Is that sort of the immediate goal?

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: Yeah, you have periods, last year I didn't play, obviously you target them the following year because you've got nothing to defend obviously.

Yeah, I'm just going to have to speak with Marinko and figure out what's the best plan of attack.

Q. When you talk about Indian Wells and different tournaments, they're obviously not till March, is that the plan? Like stay home for a little while now before you go overseas or will there be something in February you'll look at?

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: No, I was planning on actually going to India next week, play Pune 250 and then those two challengers after that. But just have to see how I pull up tomorrow with what's going on in my hip flexor.

Q. So it's the hip flexor is the main issue, you think? How is it restricting you?

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: I don't know if it's hip flexor or high quad, I don't know yet. It didn't really restrict me out there. I wasn't running around too much. I was just trying to return his serve (smiling).

Yeah, didn't really restrict me, but it's painful.

Q. It's on the left side; is that right? That seemed to be where you were feeling a bit throughout the match.

CHRISTOPHER O'CONNELL: No, the right side.

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