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July 1, 2014

Nick Kyrgios


7/6, 5/7, 7/6, 6/3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You were cocky, cheeky today.  How are you feeling today?
NICK KYRGIOS:  I'm pretty happy.  That's the biggest win of my career obviously, and that's something I'm never going to forget.  I'm going to draw so much confidence out of that no matter where I play now.  To have that under my belt, it's massive.

Q.  You got the Greek connection.  Is your father Greek?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, my father is Greek.

Q.  Is he from Greece?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, he's from Greece.  He came to Australia in 1965 when he was seven.

Q.  How would you describe what you were able to do?  How were you able to win?
NICK KYRGIOS:  You know, I think I had to play a solid game that gave me the best shot.  That's serving big and playing aggressive.  I thought today my serve was something that got me over the line.  It made me, you know, be able to put pressure on his serve as well.
I think that was very important.

Q.  What were your emotions when you wrapped this up?
NICK KYRGIOS:  It still hasn't sunk in yet.  I was just overwhelmed with every feeling out there.  I turned to my whole box, you know, just shared that moment with them.  It still hasn't hit me what I've done.

Q.  John McEnroe said he thinks you can win the whole tournament.  How do you feel about that?
NICK KYRGIOS:  You know, I'm just going to stay grounded.  I'm just going to go home tonight and do everything possible for my next round tomorrow.
Milos has probably got the best serve in the world.  I'm just going to go out there and have fun again.

Q.  Given that Nadal started slowly in his previous matches, was one of your ploys to come out and just hit him with everything first up?
NICK KYRGIOS:  I definitely needed a good start out there.  He started slow in the last couple matches.  Everyone is coming out of the box pretty quick, you know, playing aggressive.
I knew I was going to have to stay with him the whole match.  He's one of the best competitors of all time, so I just knew I had to play aggressive for a long period of time.

Q.  John McEnroe may think you can win this whole tournament, but from your flash TV interview afterwards, am I right thinking your mum didn't think you could win it?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, last night I was actually reading a comment that she thought Rafa was too good for me.  It actually made me a bit angry.  You would think he's in a whole 'nother level compared to me.  I just believed in myself that I could create some opportunities.  I took them under pressure today.
Yeah, I don't know‑‑ yeah.

Q.  Have you spoken to your mum yet since you won?
NICK KYRGIOS:  No, I haven't actually.

Q.  What will you say when you do?
NICK KYRGIOS:  I'll just text her a smiley face (smiling).

Q.  Are you ever a little afraid when you play to hit a second serve 130 miles per hour?  Stepanek last year told me you did something unbelievable in a tiebreak.
NICK KYRGIOS:  I remember.

Q.  Then nine match points with Gasquet.  Today again.  You just don't think or what happens?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, definitely I'm scared.  Like I just go through my routine and I just play aggressive.  You know, if they play too good on that point, then it's too good.
But I'm going to go after it and give myself the best chance to win the point.

Q.  The other day you said that between you and Rafa, you have won an incredible 14 Grand Slams.  People were thinking by the end of Wimbledon it would be 15.  What do you think of that?
NICK KYRGIOS:  You know, I've got another chance to go out there tomorrow and get through another round, but I'm not thinking about any of that stuff yet.
It was just a comment for a bit of a laugh.  It's gone pretty much viral.  Yeah.

Q.  You can probably tell that the buzz is building at home from looking at Twitter and online.  Do you feel any pressure with the weight of a nation, Australia, behind you now?
NICK KYRGIOS:  You know, I think I've achieved a lot this week.  It's definitely been the best week of my life.
It's great, you know, they've given me so much support.  You know, I don't think there's any pressure at all.  You know, I'm not feeling any pressure.  I'm just feeling motivation to keep going and give my absolute all out there.
No matter what happens, I'll be happy.

Q.  How hard do you think the recovery will be with a match again tomorrow?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, it's going to be a tough ask, but I'm going to do everything possible and see how my body responds tomorrow.  If I come up short, I come up short.  I'm going to give it my best shot, and whatever happens, happens.

Q.  Rafael Nadal said earlier that you play very good on the grass and he hasn't seen you on any other surfaces.  He's not sure how good you are on other surfaces.  What's your answer to that?
NICK KYRGIOS:  I think in the near future he'll probably see me more on other surfaces.
I'd like to think I'm comfortable on clay as well.  I played some really good matches on clay.  I played ‑‑ I qualified at the US Open last year, lost to Ferrer, so I think I'm competitive on other surfaces as well.
We'll see.  Next time I play him on clay, we'll see how it goes.

Q.  You played Raonic at Roland Garros last month.  What can you use from that?
NICK KYRGIOS:  There's going to be a lot of walking from side to side from his serve, and there's going to be a lot of winners in the match.  It's going to be hard to find rhythm.  I'm just going to go out there and just go my return of serve.  Holding serve is going to be important, being able to make inroads on the other person's serves.

Q.  You won the juniors doubles 2012/2013, and you were the Australian Open junior champion.  Does this help you to play on a big stage like today?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, definitely.  Playing the finals of the juniors final on Rod Laver Arena definitely helped me today.  I thought that before I walked on, you know, that I played on an arena the same size or even bigger.  I think it definitely helped me having that experience.

Q.  Do you think your mum will believe now you can win tomorrow?
NICK KYRGIOS:  I hope so.

Q.  And the tournament?
NICK KYRGIOS:  I hope so.

Q.  Talk about your funky strapping that you have on your arm, what's the story there?  What kind of design is it?
NICK KYRGIOS:  This is just the tape that my physio gives me.  I say my arm is a little sore, she just puts it on.  I can't really say anything.

Q.  No story?

Q.  Three years ago it was Bernard Tomic being the big thing.  What have you learned from his experience and that experience?
NICK KYRGIOS:  I've learned a lot.  I'm just going to, you know, try hard, you know, just give the people what they want, a bit of a show out there.  I'm just going to continue to do that.

Q.  In Australia everybody was talking about you and Kokkinakis during the Australian Open.  Now you are here and we don't know where Kokkinakis is.  Do you think this is strange?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, I actually miss Thanasi.  He went back home a couple weeks ago during Nottingham.  I think he needed some time at home.
He's extremely talented, if not more than me.  He's going to have a great career.  It's great that we can train together.  I miss him a lot.

Q.  You spoke about being grounded.  Who are the people around you keeping you grounded right at the moment?
NICK KYRGIOS:  You know, my coach, my family, my brother, my friends, my agent.  They all know in reality I have another match to play tomorrow.  Of course I'm going to soak it up tonight, but tomorrow I'm going to give myself the best shot to win.

Q.  What struck most people was how fearlessly you played on that stage.  How did you acquire such a fearless attitude?  Have you always had such an attitude?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, I think on the big stage, it's something I thrive on, the atmosphere, the crowd.  I just love it when at 5‑3, I think it was in the fourth set, they erupted, the crowd.  I just love that feeling.
At that stage you just think about all the work you put in.  You know if you believe in yourself.  Especially with my serve, if I just go after it, hit the right spots, I'm going to have a pretty good shot to close out a match like that today.

Q.  We're learning bits and pieces about you, including a mother that can be critical.  What is the most interesting thing about you outside of tennis that you can share with us?
NICK KYRGIOS:  You know, I'm just a normal kid, 19‑year‑old.  I play a lot of XBOX.  I brought my XBOX with me.
Never did I think a week ago I was going to make the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in my first appearance.  Geez, I'm sure some of you have 19‑year‑old kids.  I'm exactly the same.

Q.  When you're playing trick shots on Centre Court, it seems like it can't get any better than that.  What is your tennis dream?  What motivates you coming through the ranks?
NICK KYRGIOS:  I want to be the No.1 player in the world.  I think that's my motivation.  To play Davis Cup.  I've played a couple ties alongside Lleyton, Bernard, Marinko, Chris Guccione, and it's just all happened so quickly.  I've never had anything like this happen in my life.
I'm trying to just work out where I'm going to go for me really.

Q.  Is there a particular trophy you've dreamed of winning?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Growing up I thought it was the Australian Open.  But, you know, now being in reality three matches away from the Wimbledon title, I think it's going to be something that I'm going to be focusing on in the future.

Q.  You said you brought your XBOX with you.  Have you traveled here with your family?  Girlfriend?
NICK KYRGIOS:  No girlfriend.  Yeah, my family have rotated from home.  I get homesick pretty quickly if I don't see them.
I have my sister and my dad here at the moment.  I think they've been good enough to come, visit me, make sure I'm okay.

Q.  You have a chain around your neck.  Is it a lucky chain?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah.  I've had it on pretty much my whole life.  Yeah, I've got a cross on here that my mum gave me.  I've lost a couple crosses.
But it's all sort of good luck.  I can't actually play without a chain now.  I think it's going to be something I have for the rest of my career.

Q.  And your relationship with Simon, do you rethink that after this result or where is it at?
NICK KYRGIOS:  I haven't actually had any thoughts on that at all.  We have a commitment till the end of Wimbledon.  He's done a great job.  I've had the best week of my life, the biggest win of my career.  Right now I'm just thinking about the match tomorrow.

Q.  Do you have a name for the trick shot and do you have a name for the dance you performed at the end?
NICK KYRGIOS:  The juicy wiggle (smiling).

Q.  What is most important to you about the Australian tennis tradition and your opportunity to make more history for Australia?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, you look at the Australian culture of what it was, you know, back when Lleyton was a champion, Pat Rafter was a champion.  They were such fearless competitors.  I want to start bringing that back into the sport, especially for Australian tennis.
I thought Marinko started the week well for all the Aussies.  That really motivated me when I saw him take down Fernando the first round.
I think Australian tennis is coming back in a big way.  We have Luke Saville, Thanasi.  I think Australian tennis is alive.

Q.  There's been a lot of great Australian champions over the years.  It's your first experience of Centre Court today.  Any thoughts of you following in the old guy's footsteps?
NICK KYRGIOS:  I wasn't thinking of any of that at all when I was out there.  Playing Rafael Nadal is a big enough task.  You don't really think about anything else.  When I'm serving, he goes through his routine, he touches his nose, all that stuff.
It's just tough playing him, and that's all I was thinking about out there:  competing and sticking to the game plan.

Q.  How happy are you today that you chose tennis in front of basketball?

Q.  Can you say a bit more?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Best choice of my life.  Yeah.

Q.  Again and again Rafa just said that you were fearless, you had nothing to lose.  Talk about that.  Did you feel that way?  Did you feel a sense of joy or freedom?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, I definitely had nothing to lose out there.  My first Wimbledon making fourth round, playing Rafa on Centre Court, I definitely had a sense of even if I get broken here‑‑ I was actually thinking about it in the fourth set.  If I get broken here, it's not the end of the world.  There's another set to play.
Even if I end up losing that match‑‑ you know, having that sort of pillow to fall on even if I got broken, I think that definitely played a big part, you know, having nothing to lose out there.

Q.  How would you compare what you're feeling now to when three weeks ago you lost in the first round of a challenger to John Patrick Smith?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Well, I don't know.  It's just extraordinary.  I'd never think after that match I'd be in the quarters of Wimbledon three weeks later.
It just shows that, you know, my coach has done such a great job.  I'm just staying persistent, working hard, and yeah.  I'm losing my voice.

Q.  What were you thinking at that moment looking ahead?
NICK KYRGIOS:  I was actually thinking about flying home after that match.  I just stayed strong, stayed positive, kept working hard.  Just shows good things will come.

Q.  Why apparently are you splitting up with your coach?  What is the reason for it?  You're doing so well.  We are surprised.
NICK KYRGIOS:  I don't know.  I don't have anything to say.
THE MODERATOR:  Nothing to say.  Next question.

Q.  I know you tweeted earlier this week about wanting to get to 25,000 followers.  I think you cracked that when you went up a break in the fourth.  Did you realize it would be that easy to reach that milestone?
NICK KYRGIOS:  It hasn't been easy at all.  I saved nine match points against Gasquet, came from a set down against Vesely, and just beat Rafael Nadal.  I finally reached my goal.  It was pretty hard (smiling).

Q.  Do you find it easy to keep playing with this freedom?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, I think I'm always going to have a style of game that's aggressive, having an aggressive serve, really take control from the baseline.  To be able to play my best tennis, that's how I'm going to have to play.  I am going to have to play free, back myself under pressure.  That's going to give me the best chance to win matches.

Q.  You are still here in part because of Hawk‑Eye saving that match point.  If you win the Wimbledon Championships, will you send a percentage of your winnings to the Hawk‑Eye company?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Probably, yeah.

Q.  That win will take you to 65 in the rankings.  How will it feel that you won't be playing in front of one man and a dog?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, I have had a bit of trouble in the past playing those low‑end tournaments on the back courts.  I really like having a big crowd, having that spark.  So, yeah, hearing that is music to my ears.

Q.  I know you tennis players only want to think about the next match, but it could be Roger Federer in the semifinals now.  He's your big idol, isn't he?  How would that be?
NICK KYRGIOS:  Yeah, that would be extraordinary.  If I manage, you know, to pull the win out against Raonic, to play Roger would be a dream, yeah.

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