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June 28, 2016
N. KYRGIOS/R. Stepanek
6‑4, 6‑3, 6‑7, 6‑1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Do you enjoy playing somebody like Radek who doesn't play as fast as many of the younger guys?
NICK KYRGIOS: To be honest, that's a nightmare first round for anyone at Wimbledon. No one wants to play Radek here, for sure. You know, I could pick 90 guys in the draw that I would rather have played first round.
It was a fun match. We're great friends. I knew it was going to be tough. When I lost the third set, I wasn't really expecting anything less for him to compete and fight. He started to believe.
It was a fun match and I'm really glad I got through.
Q. Speaking of that third set, was that a match that might have slipped away a couple years ago with a little less experience?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, definitely. I think that's where I've improved a lot, matured a lot. To steady the ship like that, to respond in the fourth set's pretty good. So, yeah, that was a good response.
Q. Dustin Brown next. You know him quite well. Talk about that matchup.
NICK KYRGIOS: That's another tough one. Especially on the grass. I think he just waits for this time of the year. He's a good friend of mine as well. When you're playing a guy like Dustin, you hope it's not a day when he's feeling it, he can't miss, he's enjoying it. When he's playing like that, we all know what he can do, what he's capable of.
He's a great player. As well, he's exciting. I'm ready to have fun out there with him.
Q. It looked at the end like Radek might be waving good‑bye from here forever. Do you hope he comes back next year, carries on?
NICK KYRGIOS: I hope he plays, but I don't want to play him again (laughter).
Q. Obviously shot to fame here a couple years ago with that tweener against Rafa. Nice tweener log today. What do you think was better out of the two?
NICK KYRGIOS: I only play that shot if I have to. I was moving the other way. It just calls for a shot like that, I guess.
I practice it a fair bit. It was a good shot and obviously helped me today.
Q. Obviously Lleyton lost to Dustin a couple years ago. Can you draw on something from Lleyton on how to formulate a game plan for him?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think me and Lleyton play a bit different. I've got a pretty good serve. I think Lleyton returns unbelievable. I mean, we play completely different. I think our tactics and game plans are going to be completely different.
Q. How would you describe the passion of the Aussie fans who come out and support you and what does it mean to you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it's always good. As soon as I walked out the hallway today, saw a big group of Aussies, it's like, Good, but it's like, Oh, no, they're going to be, like, going nuts.
It's good. They bring energy. They're always loud. If it goes to a fifth set, having those guys out there supporting you and cheering for you, you can draw energy from that.
Q. I don't know if you have followed Marcus Willis' story, if you'd read anything about it. What is your reaction to what's going on with him?
NICK KYRGIOS: The last time I saw Marcus Willis I was playing a challenger in Nottingham. I didn't even know he was still playing tennis. I saw him qualify. I always knew he was a talented guy. He's pretty handsy.
I mean, dreams do start here. It happened for me. It's a good week for him. He's facing Federer next, but anything can happen, I guess.
Q. At the start of the match the umpire said, Mind your language and keep hold of your racquets. Do you think that's a case of an unfair reputation for you or have you heard an umpire do that before?
NICK KYRGIOS: I'm not going to answer that question. Next question.
Q. Apart from the fact that you fought back in the fourth, what else did you take out of today's match in terms of the way you played?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I thought I returned really well. I knew that I had to be on from the get‑go. He's played a lot of grass court matches. He's always ready to go on a surface like this. I knew I had to be very polished from the get‑go.
I thought I served well today. I thought my game plan was good. I didn't allow him to come forward so much. It worked out.
Q. At the end of the third, did you talk to him after and follow up?
NICK KYRGIOS: The umpire?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yes, we're good. We're not good, but... (Smiling).
Q. Was it a really bad word?
NICK KYRGIOS: No. I mean, no. I don't know. I mean, I'm pretty sure we've all said it in this room.
Q. You know Radek pretty well. Playing him, is it difficult? Is it the type of match you enjoy playing? What was it like out there specifically against Radek?
NICK KYRGIOS: I know it's going to be tough, first of all. But the way he plays on grass, he's tactically so switched on. I mean, he volleys well. He slices well. I think the court helps him out with his groundstrokes. They're very flat. He just competes well. He knows how to move on a grass court. He's always looking to come forward.
Last year I played two South Americans last year. There were a lot of rallies. Today I felt it was really good grass court tennis. It's good. If I happen to go deep in the tournament, I feel like I'm locked in already and feel like I have a really tough match under the belt.
Q. A lot of players say there's such a difference between the practice courts and the tournament courts. How do you experience that?
NICK KYRGIOS: Wimbledon. The courts are decent, dude.
Q. How about the Wimbledon towels? What do you think of them? What is their value to friends and family in terms of them asking you to bring them back for them?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, I keep a couple and I give them to my family and friends. They love it, mate. They love it.
Q. Going through the ATP stats today, it struck me this is your third Wimbledon. You've already had success here. When you're here, do you feel like you've been here a long time or is there still anything new for you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it's my third men's Wimbledon. Obviously juniors, I played here twice. For me, I feel like that's the great thing about juniors, I feel as if I'm so used to the surroundings, I feel I've played on a lot of courts here.
I feel like my juniors success I had here was a big reason why I had success early on the men's tour. I felt comfortable and I felt confident.
Q. Before the tournament, you mentioned Radek was going to be advising you a little bit. Is this someone that you look up to and hope to learn from in the future? How did the partnership form?
NICK KYRGIOS: It just sort of happened, I guess. I mean, I don't really know what I want yet with a coach. So for me, just to have him give me advice here and there, while his career is still going. You never know.
When he stops, he might step into a role where I might bring him along to tournaments. I don't know. I'm more than willing to give it a go with a guy like that, that has had such great success for a long time.
Q. What did you say at the end?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't know if that's appropriate (smiling).
Q. Is there such a thing as a good changeover or a bad changeover? Are there times when you really take advantage of it more than any other times, kind of a ritual that you go through?
NICK KYRGIOS: You mean changeovers, like a change of ends?
Q. Change of ends.
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't really have any rituals or anything like that.
Q. Do you do a lot of thinking about what you're going to do, or do you simply use it to rest?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, just use it to rest. Sometimes I think about what I'm going to eat or something. I don't know. Really, I don't know.
Q. Dominic Thiem played a really heavy schedule pretty much every single week. You've talked about wanting to be more selective with your scheduling. What do you think about his approach? It seems to have paid off for him pretty well.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, definitely. I think he's two years older than me. Let's establish that first. He's a great player. I played juniors with him. For me, what stands out with him, he's such a good athlete. That allows him to play a heavier schedule. He can sort of count on his body not to wear down as quick as some others.
He's had a great year. I think he's won like 40‑plus matches. I'm decent mates with him. He's going to have a great future. He already is top 10. He's an unbelievable player.
Q. Do you hope to build up to that sort of schedule or is it going to be a different path for you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Maybe. I don't really have a desire to go play every week, to travel around the world and play these tournaments. I'd much rather just play a couple weeks, then enjoy time with friends, family, loved ones, whatever like that.
Q. You say you feel locked in now for this tournament.
NICK KYRGIOS: Did I?
NICK KYRGIOS: Interesting.
Q. Maybe you meant in the zone. How often do you feel this way? Are we to expect special things from you this Wimbledon or do you frequently feel locked in?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't remember saying it. But, I mean, yeah, I feel this Wimbledon like I'm used to my surroundings a lot more, probably expecting a lot more out of myself. To me, I do believe I can do good things in this tournament, go far, potentially win it. I don't know, something like that.
I mean, I'm just taking it one match at a time at the moment.
Q. With all the travel that you've done, what is a pet peeve or something that you always have to have or don't want to have on the travel schedule, not necessarily tennis, but just as a traveling individual?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't know if I have a pet peeve. I actually don't like traveling that much. I've been told, How are you going to be a tennis player if you don't like traveling?
I try to bring my family when I can. Obviously having the people that are important to me around me helps a lot. I don't really have any pet peeves or anything like that.
Q. I think you said you have your family here doing some home cooking, that kind of stuff. It makes you feel more comfortable?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, definitely having that sort of home environment helps me for sure, definitely.
Q. How close is your relationship with Dustin Brown? When did you first meet?
NICK KYRGIOS: I used to play challengers with Dustin. But I feel like we started to get close obviously last year, IPTL. That event was unbelievable. I still talk to everyone that went to that event.
Me and Dustin have been mates for a long time now. I'm a massive fan of his tennis.
Q. What are your thoughts on playing Dustin?
NICK KYRGIOS: It's a circus. But it's good. It's good. You know, his style of tennis, it's just big. He's got a big serve. He likes to come in. He's creative. I think that's important to have in tennis.
Q. Is there any specific shot from Dustin that you've seen a video of that stood out to you or do you remember? I know there's so many.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think he hit an around‑the‑back shot against Isner once. I probably watched it honestly like 15 times. He's got that ability. He can pull out shots like that from anywhere. He's awesome to watch.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports