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January 18, 2015

Nick Kyrgios


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How is the back?
NICK KYRGIOS: Uhm, yeah, I'm noticing improvements every day. I've done everything I possibly can to get where we can get the most improvement. Yeah, I think I'm ready to compete.

Q. If this was any other week, other than a Grand Slam, would you have skipped it, the fortnight?
NICK KYRGIOS: Uhm, it's a tough question. I mean, obviously it's the Australian Open. You know, I'm only 19, so I wouldn't want to do anything silly to shorten my career any way. I think I'm good enough to compete. So, you know, I think, you know, I would play any other week, yeah.

Q. Do you think going through this last week, getting through it with the back, even if it hurts you, will help you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Definitely. I think I'd probably do some things differently over the last couple weeks preparation-wise. But sometimes you can't avoid injuries. It's just part of the game. I've done everything I can with my physios, my training. Been monitoring training. I'm think that I'm confident I can still make a pretty big impact.

Q. Any restrictions on the court? Do you feel you're hitting as well as you can?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, like I'm feeling it. I'm obviously feeling it. It's not 100%. But, you know, I'm good enough to compete.

Q. What do you know about Federico?
NICK KYRGIOS: I know he's a lefty. He obviously plays some pretty solid tennis. He's obviously had a good year. I'm just going to go out there, have fun. You know, obviously night match on Margaret Court Arena again. I'm really looking forward to that. He's going to be playing some really solid tennis. I know I have to play aggressively and take it to him.

Q. Do you enjoy the pressure? We've seen Sam Stosur struggle with the expectations. Do you like the crowd, being the center of attention?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I love the atmosphere here. The crowd's obviously really behind you. I love that part of it. You know, just looking at it, I'm 19. My last Grand Slam as a teenager. I'm going to embrace that. I'm going to take advantage of the last Grand Slam I'm going to play. I'm starting to, you know, grow up and I think mature a little bit more. Yeah, looking at it, it's not bad playing a Grand Slam in my 19th year.

Q. You had a great breakout year. Is this year about maintaining the ranking or do you think you can push up into the top 30s and get a seeding at the Australian Open in 2016?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think I definitely can get into the top 30. My goal is to stay healthy, stay out on the court and compete. I think my level is definitely there. I can play with some of the best in the world. I just need to be able to stay out on the court and obviously do what I do best.

Q. Does winning the juniors here two years ago seem like a lifetime ago?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it does actually. I mean, I played Thanasi in the final there. It actually doesn't seem that long ago. It only seems a couple weeks ago I was playing the Australian Open here, the Australian Open last year. It's all happened incredibly fast. I think me and Thanasi both think that. We still can't believe what's happened since now and then. I think it definitely helped in my development to get used to the surroundings.

Q. How would you describe the last year of your career?
NICK KYRGIOS: Fun, entertaining. There's a lot of ups and downs. You know, there was a period of the year where I was injured. Obviously a couple weeks before Wimbledon, I was contemplating going home. I had a meeting with my coaches. They said the best thing for me was to stay and obviously play qualifying week for Wimbledon. Ended up winning that tournament, had the best couple weeks of my life. You know, just a rollercoaster year.

Q. You played at the end of the year with some legends of Australian tennis, but also world tennis. You said you were going to try to take as much from it as you can. Do you feel like you learnt some lessons from them?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, definitely. I created so many relationships with some of the players I never spoken to before. Just watching players like Tomas Berdych, seeing what they do off the court, in the gym, I learned heaps from them. I wasn't picking their brains. I was observing what they did before matches, after matches. He put in so much work. He was doing up to two gym sessions a day, plus on-court work. Obviously physicality is a massive part of my game I need to improve.

Q. After the last year, does it feel different coming back in now? Do you feel more experienced, more at ease amongst the other players?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I feel more experienced definitely. I played on some of the biggest stages in the world: Wimbledon Centre Court, Arthur Ashe. I feel as though I know where my game stands on tour. Obviously I'm known a lot more in the locker room. People know what to expect. I think I'm putting a bit more expectation and pressure on myself as well to perform and obviously I'm expecting more out of myself now.

Q. You're a pretty outgoing, sort of excitable guy. Do you think that helps you out on court? If you were more of an introvert, would it be harder for you to perform?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think I play my best tennis when I'm finding that fine line between staying really positive and staying calm. You don't want to get too over-hyped. I think the older I get, the more mature I'll get. I'll find out what helps me most on the court. I'm obviously not going to be a person that is going to be a robot out there, not show any emotion, that sort of stuff. I think that definitely helps.

Q. There's attention around you, especially in Australia. How do you deal with that? Do you sign as many autographs as you can? How do you deal with this attention?
NICK KYRGIOS: Well, as I said, I've got a good team around me that helps me through all that sort of stuff. I'm still growing up, so I don't really know what's the best thing to do, how to deal with all that stuff the best way. I play the game to play on big stages and obviously get good fans and crowd support. Of course, when I can sign some autographs, I'll sign some autographs. I play the game to inspire other people to play, so I'll continue to do that.

Q. You said before about not wanting to take risks with a view to a long future in the game. Is it that serious, the back, or something short-term that in a couple weeks should be better? Do you think it's something you have to manage the next couple years, if not more?
NICK KYRGIOS: I definitely think it's not going to be something that's going to linger around for the next couple years or anything like that. I just got to manage it because you don't want it to become a longer thing than it needs to be. I don't want it to be affecting me during US Open or anything like that. It's a tough call. It's the Australian Open. It's why you play the game. It's why I play the game. I think I just got to be smart about it and just manage it.
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