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January 18, 2022

Nick Kyrgios

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

N. KYRGIOS/L. Broady

6-4, 6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Well done today. Your first match after your coming back. How does it feel? Talk to us about the match.

NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, obviously a lot of nerves, a lot of pressure. You know, obviously my situation a week ago, contracting COVID, it wasn't easy. Obviously hearing the news I was positive, I knew what that was going to lead to, the week of quarantine, and not having the ideal preparation, not getting the physio, not getting the treatment.

I'm pretty pleased. I'm pretty pleased with the way I responded. It was a pretty flawless, everything I could control, serving, attitude, all the nonnegotiables, I did great.

Liam obviously qualifies, tough competitor. Obviously I've had pretty good success against lefties at Grand Slams. I've only ever lost to Rafa at a Grand Slam that's a left-hander. I was pretty confident my game style was going to match up well, but it was just good to be back out there.


Q. Looked like you had a bit of fun out there tonight. Have you ever seen the people's court quite like it was tonight?

NICK KYRGIOS: Oh, yeah. I think that's something I have kind of created on that court. They know what to expect. First game against Thiem last year when I broke, you know, the court went into an absolute berserk state.

I think from the get-go, I know I've got the crowd in the palm of my hand, and any time I can use that to, you know, spark a moment or spark some energy. You know, obviously Liam is a great player but his experience on that court in that situation, when the crowd is going nuts, he has never experienced that before, hence the reason why on breakpoints I'm trying to get the crowd up, get him to feel the pressure a little bit more.

I think that's the excitement of the people. You know, they haven't seen much sport, haven't been able to do much the last couple years. So the fact that they're out, you know, able to see some of the best players in the world come out, they're just excited to do things again.

I could definitely feel they were just really ready to just, you know, get behind someone or something.

Q. There seemed to be a fair bit of booing going on out there, and it was actually happening during Andy Murray's match, as well.

NICK KYRGIOS: No, I wasn't getting booed. That's not getting booed.

Q. No, I didn't think they were actually booing you.

NICK KYRGIOS: No, they actually weren't saying "boo," though.

Q. That's what I was just going to ask.

NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it's just a stupid, fuck, I can't believe they did it so much. They were doing some Ronaldo thing. Ronaldo does it every time he scores. It's like -- I thought they were going to do it for like 10 minutes. They did it for two-and-a-half hours, like every point. I don't know why, but I don't know. It was a zoo out there.

Q. Overnight you have become quite popular in Serbia because you supported Djokovic. Dusan Lajovic even called you Nick the Serb with a big smile. What do you think about your new fan base in Serbia?

NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, it's great. Obviously me and Novak have had some, I guess, differences in the past. But, I mean, whether it was Novak or someone else, I would have done the same thing.

I didn't do it because he was Serbian. If it was another player in that scenario, I would have stood up for what I think was right. I think it was just coincidentally it was Novak, and, you know, it was quite a story.

But yeah, we got a bit of a bromance going on now. Not that I'm complaining. I think I'm going to ask him to play doubles somewhere (smiling).

Q. You love playing on John Cain obviously. You're playing Medvedev next, who is the highest-ranked guy at this tournament. They're very unlikely normally to put him out on John Cain. Would you like to see that match on your court or on his court, basically?

NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, obviously either way it's going to be a hell of an experience for me. You know, he's probably "the" best player in the world at the moment. So I'm pretty excited, I'm excited for that moment. That's why I play the game.

I feel like those matches still excite me, to go out there and play the best in the world. That was always something I wanted to prove to people that someone like me could do, win those matches. I'm not going to go into it with a lot of expectation. I'm going to go out there, have some fun, play my game. I have a pretty set-in-stone game plan of what I need to do to have success.

As I said, he's probably the best player in the world, he does everything extremely well. He's a hard worker, ticks all the boxes. I'm not going to even think about that now. To play it on John Cain would be -- I'm just going to call it the Kyrgios Court -- would be fun.

Q. You're never afraid to speak your mind on the big issues in the sport. Wondering how concerned you are about the situation with Peng Shuai in China?

NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, yeah, that's obviously, something's obviously not right there. You know, I mean, look, I was dealing, while that was happening, I was dealing with a lot of things on my plate. Everyone has their own baggage and things I was dealing with, but, look, I honestly don't know too much about it. You know, I didn't get told enough. Obviously I was very aware of what was going on, but I'm not even too sure what the situation is at the moment.

Obviously if that's still something that's ongoing it needs to be found out and kind of, I guess, we need more awareness about it. We can't forget about her. We have to use our platforms as athletes. I think we're obligated to do that, we're obligated to speak up and, you know, get to the root of what's happening and why it's happening.

So I really don't know. I don't know much about it, to be honest, like I don't know what else we can do, to be honest.

Q. Wanted to ask you two quick things. One is whether, having COVID left any aftereffects for you at all or do you feel 100% health-wise in that regard? And then just looking ahead to playing Daniil again, when you play a guy that you've played in the past and maybe had success against, how much do you build off those past matches, or do you try to, say, You know what, this is a new day, new match, we both might be different than we were when we played in the past?

NICK KYRGIOS: Well, there's no doubt that he's probably double the player he was, you know, before when I played him. But, you know, he's obviously -- you know, those past experiences I had against him, and I have had success against him in the past, I know the kind of game style and the way I need to play, like he knows how I'm going to play, I think, and I know how he's going to play. It's going to be very contrasting styles.

But as I said, I'm not going to think about that match now. You know, I've got to go back, have some dinner with my team, not take little moments like that for granted. I love just going back to my Airbnb, enjoying some time with them. Tomorrow I have some doubles. I'm just going to go with the flow. I don't plan. To be honest, I don't really care at the moment. When I cross that bridge of playing Daniil when I walk out there, that's when I will deal with that.

Yeah, COVID for me hit me pretty hard. I was training five hours a day feeling extraordinary, and then it hit me and I was bedridden. Couldn't really breathe well, coughing. You know, I was pretty bad, like for someone that you assume in the peak of his physicality, I got hit pretty bad.

Anyone that's been through it, I hope honestly for the best. Obviously physically I don't feel 100%, but I'm not going to use that as an excuse. Like everyone is dealing with that at the moment. The whole world is dealing with it. So I'm just going to take it day by day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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