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July 3, 2016
N. KYRGIOS/F. Lopez
6‑3, 6‑7, 6‑3, 6‑4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How did you rate that? Seemed to play particularly well today.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I knew it was going to be a tough match. Feliciano can play some really good tennis here. He's made quarterfinals I think three times. I knew I had to come out today with lot more energy than I did the first day. Got broken first game.
I thought the conditions helped me a little bit more today. It was a little hotter. It was good for me. I got a lot more out of my serve and from the baseline.
Q. What is the approach against Andy? Just business as normal?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, obviously, he's one of the best tennis players you can play right now. Yeah, I mean, I've got a game plan. At the same time, we both know what to expect. It's going to be a really fun match. I'm looking forward to it.
Q. You obviously played him a couple times in Grand Slams. What can you take from those particular meetings? Stuff you can learn from it?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, definitely. I think last time I played him was at the US Open in a major. I thought I made some inroads there. Finally won a set against him in a Grand Slam.
I feel like I know what to do. But it's hard to actually go out there and execute against such a player like him obviously.
Q. You've come through a treacherous first week. How are you feeling physically and mentally after the long week?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it's obviously been tough. I feel coming here every day, being on schedule every day nearly, with the rain, it hasn't been easy for any player going into the locker room, preparing for matches, going back out.
Physically, I feel good. Mentally, I feel good. I've been to the fourth round at Grand Slams before. I know what to expect. Yeah, it's Wimbledon.
Q. What sort of relationship do you and Andy have personally off the court? He spoke very highly about you in here the last time he was here. He said, in fact, that he felt the media tried to wind you up a little bit. He said he didn't think you deserved that.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think our relationship's pretty good. We joke a lot. Obviously when he's in the locker room, it's just instant banter. We just have a lot of fun.
He's a very relaxed guy, down‑to‑earth. He baits me a lot of time. He's always very funny. It helps.
He's a great guy. I'm just looking forward to go out there. I'm obviously relaxed, I'm nervous as well. I'm looking forward to going out there with him.
Q. Tomorrow is going to be like a road game for you. Do you consider that to be difficult or are you excited that there's going to be a lot of energy?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I'm just looking forward to it. I obviously know they're all probably going to be going for Andy out there. I've played on Centre Court before. I've produced some really good tennis there. I can take a lot of confidence going into that.
But, I mean, I don't think anyone's going to have the crowd on their side when they go out there against Andy.
Q. What does it mean to have the public support of a player like Andy and a guy like Andy?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it's awesome. He backs me up a lot, which is good. It's just good to have one of the best players in the world, to have a good friend like that obviously.
I see him at times more than I see my family, so it's good to have a friend like him.
Q. Today what did the atmosphere feel like to you? Did it feel any different being middle Sunday?
NICK KYRGIOS: I thought it was the same. It was really good. I'm sure the crowd loved that they got an extra day of tennis in. I thought the conditions were perfect. The crowd was really good. Yeah, it was good.
Q. You said before the tournament it was a bit of a silly question to ask who the favorite was. Now that the favorite has gone out, has that made an impact on the locker room? Do people in the locker room look at the tournament a bit differently now?
NICK KYRGIOS: For sure. I think as soon as Novak loses, you look at Andy and you look at Federer's eyes light up. They think that their chances probably doubled.
I think a lot of people in the locker room now believe they can win it. If the stars align and they're playing well, there's a lot of people that can go get it.
Q. Thanasi has spoken about how well he gets along with Andy. Then Andy comes out and he's 18‑0 against Australians. Is he buttering you up? What goes on in terms of that sort of banter?
NICK KYRGIOS: The last couple times I played Andy, I lost to him at US Open four sets, I played him in Hopman Cup, beat him there. I definitely feel like he's beatable. He's only human. At the same time he's a great player.
I don't think there would be too many people with a winning record over him, not just Australians.
Q. You really respect Andy, you've said that before. Mentally is it different when you're facing someone who you really maybe look up to or respect that much?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, you know, I think everyone in this Grand Slam can play good tennis. With Andy, it's probably just a little tougher because he's a good friend. I respect a lot of guys in the locker room because they're just great players.
It is tough. But at the same time it's a little easier as well because he's a good mate.
Q. You've been to a few second weeks now, as you said. Do you feel experience behind you going up against a player like Andy?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think being in the second week a couple times now, I feel mentally ready. Usually when I get to the second week, I feel kind of drained a little bit.
I know what to expect now. There's not going to be as many people in the locker room. There's a little different feel about it.
Q. He's had the luxury of being on the Centre Court every match up to this point. How much of an advantage do you think that is for him?
NICK KYRGIOS: It's huge, I think. But, you know, he deserves it, obviously. But I played there before. As I said, I played there once before. I feel comfortable going out there as well. It's the same dimensions as any court I've played on since I was a little kid.
He's obviously comfortable there. It's like his backyard.
Q. You know each other very well and have hit together a lot. Who do you think benefits most from that, you or him?
NICK KYRGIOS: Beats me every time, so...
Q. In terms of that experience, who benefits in terms of having had that experience?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't even think about it when I go out there to hit with him. I'm just focusing on what I need to do when I'm practicing with him.
I think the top guys at the moment, every time they practice with one of the young generation sort of players, they're definitely picking up on things we do and things we don't do so well. They definitely use that to their advantage, for sure.
At the same time I think they're willing to help.
Q. You played him at the other three slams, but how does grass change the dynamics?
NICK KYRGIOS: He's won here before. I think it doesn't change it too much, I don't think. This is probably my best surface, my best chance to beat him. At the same time I think he's pretty comfortable on the grass.
Q. Where does the basis of your friendship with Andy go back to? When is the first time you sort of hit it off together?
NICK KYRGIOS: That's a terrible saying. I actually don't know. It was love at first sight (smiling).
Q. You seem to be on your best behavior today. Even put the water bottles in the bin afterwards. Was this a conscious decision?
NICK KYRGIOS: I threw my water bottles in the bin after the first round and second round.
Q. You mentioned the love at first sight for Andy. What about his game? What is it about his game that you admire most and what are the biggest similarities and differences with your game?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think when you look at Andy, you just look at him, he's a great athlete obviously. Moves extremely well. He knows the game so well. He's practically a brick wall from the back. He's a great returner. Can mix it up.
He just competes well, as well. There's not many weaknesses there, obviously. The only person he really loses to is Novak.
The biggest difference is I play a little bit more aggressive to Andy, obviously. I don't move anywhere near as well. I don't know if he's got the tweener like I do (smiling).
Q. Andy has spoken to us multiple times about his relationship with his box during matches. Sometimes he asks them not to sit in his box. I think I've seen you a couple times get angry at your box during a match. What do you need from your box during a match?
NICK KYRGIOS: Sometimes I'm just a pest. They're always doing the best they can do. It's obviously in the heat of the battle. Everything I say and everything I do out there, they all know I love them. So it's okay.
Q. You said a lot of guys will now be feeling they can win this tournament. Do you include yourself in that?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah.
Q. Have you felt that all the way or just the way you played today, for example?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, I rarely walk into a tournament and don't think I can win it.
Q. You said before that many players, when they found out that Djokovic was out, it doubled their chances, and they were more hoping to win the tournament. Are you one of them?
NICK KYRGIOS: Are you guys friends (smiling)? Exact same question.
Q. You mentioned your box, that you love them despite sometimes getting a little testy with them. Yesterday when you did, there were reports about you dropping a word in, the R word. Have you had a chance to think about that any?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, definitely. I mean, it's all in the heat of battle. I know some people can obviously get offended by that. I'm not meaning to be rude or disrespectful at all, so, yeah.
Q. How would you rate the quality of your tennis out of 10 today? Will it need to be at a high level against Andy?
NICK KYRGIOS: Well, I mean, Feliciano and Andy play completely different. Feliciano looks to come forward nearly every point. Andy not so much.
I think out of 10 today, I probably played seven and a half, eight. I thought I served really well. My composure was really good. At times my returning was a little shaky. But he's serving really well out there.
Q. Is Andy more approachable in the locker room than Roger, Novak and Rafa in the past?
NICK KYRGIOS: When Andy walks in, we see each other, we just give each other a look. We can't stop looking at each other for a bit.
When I see Roger, everyone sort of just looks at Roger. Roger has an aura about him. I think he's the greatest player of all time. I just watch him. I don't say anything. It's the same with Novak.
But Andy, I don't know, it's different.
Q. The previous match on Centre Court here, what are your thoughts when you think of it?
NICK KYRGIOS: It was a good experience. But, you know, it was just another tennis match really. Looking back at it now, it was just a tennis match. Then, it was obviously the biggest match of my life, the biggest moment of my life.
A year before that, I played a challenger the week beforehand. I was in qualifying. I qualified, then made the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.
That was a massive moment for me. That's when everything sort of changed. Obviously the hype came with that. It's been a long ride since as well.
Q. Will you be sharing a few texts with Andy between now and your match?
NICK KYRGIOS: Maybe.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports