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January 18, 2022

Aslan Karatsev

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference


3-7, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4

Q. How does it feel after such an epic win? Must feel like one of you are best career wins.

ASLAN KARATSEV: Thank you very much. Yeah, it was a tricky match, really tricky match, especially in the start of the beginning of the match. I couldn't found the rhythm, yeah, everything was different compared to Sydney, I just arrived and I had just one practice session and, yeah, different conditions. I played outdoors there, I played indoor under the roof.

So I think it was, it takes me time to get into the game, to find the key because it was not easy, nothing was works and, yeah, I tried to play as simple as I can, but again it was a lot of mistake, unforced errors, but still I was keep trying, keep trying and it was long match, five sets but in the end I'm happy with the win.

Q. You say at the start you were 6-3, 3-Love down. Was it more difficult mentally or physically to keep going in five hours?

ASLAN KARATSEV: I think it wasn't difficult to go five hours, it's not the mindset you think. Like you think that you have to find the key, the solution for your game to try to win the second set and then just keep going every point. You think like, okay, next point, next point and then somehow I found the rhythm in the second set and then the third set was a lot of break points on his game and then I was leading on my service game, also losing, so it's just about like keep going, so that's the most important part was.

And then the third set I was a little bit getting crazy and it was emotions, talking to myself too much and, yeah, not focusing on my game.

Q. And you mentioned Sydney, you had that epic match with Dan Evans, you had the epic match today. Just wondered what makes you so strong in these types of matches, the really long kind of up and down matches, what makes you so strong?

ASLAN KARATSEV: I don't know, I just keep trying to find any solution. So if for example the things are not working my way I try to find the other way just to win the match. So I don't care if I don't feel the ball or something like this, but in the end I want to win so I have to find any solution or key, the right key for the match, so I just want to win, no?

Q. Might be a bit general but you obviously reached the semifinals here last year, you just got the title in Sydney, won this epic match here, what's it about playing in Australia that you feel so good?

ASLAN KARATSEV: I like to play here, especially beginning of the year, you are fresh. I did good preparation with my team. Here I am with a fitness coach, tennis coach is in Barcelona right now. Yeah, I think it's the start of the year, you are fresh, good mood, good energy, so I think it's, this is the reason, I would say.

Q. I know you've been asked a lot about last year but how are you handling the thoughts, the pressure of those semifinal points, or are they not in your mind?

ASLAN KARATSEV: I mean, I wish to defend every Grand Slam semifinal even more. Just to arrive to Grand Slam and to think, oh, I have to defend. But, yeah, just playing every match, so you have to win, you have to play your game.

First of all, you have to play what you were practicing, so and then we'll see what's going on on the court. So I'm not, I'm trying not to think about that, yeah.

Q. Just in general on 2021 when people mention it, what's kind of highlights, what's the main memory that pops in your head? Your run in the semifinals. What's the best memory that pops into your head?

ASLAN KARATSEV: You mean on the match?

Q. It can be anything from last year in Melbourne.

ASLAN KARATSEV: It was a touch match against Felix, 2-0 down and that was a really tough mentally, physically, so I think that I would keep this one.

Q. Your nickname I believe is the Lion. I just wondered where that came from, how you became to be called Lion.

ASLAN KARATSEV: It's a Lion in turkey, but in my language it doesn't mean Lion. So it just from the grandfather, the grandfather, so it's then my father decide to call me Aslan, so, yeah.

Q. I think you said you got a new coach, is it a new coach in Barcelona is that what you just said?

ASLAN KARATSEV: Yeah, I was trying the base there at 4Slam and I tried Coach Gabbi (phonetic) and I was working with him a few weeks and it was not time enough to prepare the visa to make him to come to Australia. So we will do the few tournaments after Australia and then, yeah, I will be with him in the few tournaments after Australia and then, yeah, we'll see. But I did the preparation in 4Slam, so I'm really happy with the base and, yeah, really nice place, everything is there, so it's a great atmosphere, I really appreciate for this academy to give me the opportunity to practice there.

Q. With your success here in Australia and going up the rankings and this long match today, I just wondered your kind of belief when you're down in matches now you feel that you could always come through, you've got that kind of in the back of your mind you've got enough to get through?

ASLAN KARATSEV: As I said again, you don't think about it. So there is emotions, there is small gap to think like what's going on on the match, so you just thinking what's going to happen in that next point, so you don't really focusing on what's going to happen in the future. But it's not easy, it looks maybe easy, but I try just to focusing on the game and not to think like what's going to happen if I lose or something like that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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