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January 5, 2018

Nick Kyrgios

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

N. KYRGIOS/A. Dolgopolov

1-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Good day for Australian tennis, Nick?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. Yeah, obviously, De Min came out early again today. He looked hungry, and I wouldn't expect anything less. He's had two of his biggest wins of his career.

And I think this one was probably one of his trickier matches he's played. Obviously, good opportunity to make the semifinal. But, you know, he was probably expected to win today, I thought.

And he went out there and got it done pretty easy. And, you know, he performed really, really well, and I was pretty impressed with it.

And obviously, today, I started pretty poorly. No energy in the first set. But I never really, you know, felt that I was -- I always knew that I was going to come through and, obviously, played some pretty good tennis in the second and third set.

Q. It was interesting with kind of off the back of Alex I thought that might have given you a bit more energy? Any reason why that didn't work out in the first set?
NICK KYRGIOS: You know, that's just me, I guess. Very unpredictable. Don't really know how I'm going to come out.

But if a boxer puts his gloves down in a boxing ring, I wouldn't really call it tanking. So, you know, it's just a strategy and obviously it worked again today.

Q. You had your knee with minimal tape on it and it looked like you were moving freely today. You pulled up as well as you had hoped?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, my knee definitely felt better today, but obviously still a little bit sore, but I'm just managing it. The physios are doing all they can.

And I'm feeling pretty good. I'm hitting the ball well and I'm serving really well. So the first two matches of the year, I've got through two, tough three-setters.

And obviously, the only positive I can say about losing that first set is I'm putting myself in some pressure situation and getting some more court time out there, which is good.

Q. Is it a constant monitoring process for you given that it's so important in two weeks' time in Melbourne how you sort of handle this injury and how much court time you have in the lead-up as well?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. I mean, obviously I've got to monitor a little bit, but I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself now for the Australian Open.

I've got another match tomorrow, and yeah, I'm obviously looking forward to that. But I'm not thinking too far ahead. I'll take one day at a time and whatever happens in a couple of weeks is whatever is going to happen. I can't really control it right now.

Q. Is it satisfying to make a semifinal in Australia? You know, obviously week one of the tour, but to do well in Australia as well?
NICK KYRGIOS: Obviously I'm happy with the result, but I know that the tennis year is pretty gruelling. So you don't want to ride out the highs too high, because I know that there's going to be some periods this year where I'm going to be in some pretty brutal places and playing a lot of tennis.

So I've got to try and maintain as much energy as I can. Obviously, it's great to do well here. But, as I said, you know, if I don't do well in these couple weeks, I'm not going to lose sleep over it. I know there's going to be plenty more chances for me to do well.

Q. Today with Serena Williams pulling out of the Australian Open, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, is there a sort of discussion in the tennis world at the moment just how we can make all of you elite players available for our biggest tournaments? Seems we're losing a lot of elite players in the Grand Slams the last six months.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, they've got to do other things in their life, mate. I mean, Serena just had a kid. She can't play tennis forever.

And that's what happens. People do -- I mean, I do other stuff rather than playing tennis as well. We can't be available all the time. You know, if I had a kid, I probably wouldn't play the Australian Open either.

Obviously, Andy is a bit unfortunate, obviously, through injury, but he's -- you know, they're getting older these guys. So, I mean, they can't always be available.

Q. Could you talk through, please, your matchup if you play Grigor and also if you play Kyle Edmund?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, Grigor is obviously one of the best players in the world at the moment. It's good to see him back. He had a rough year, I think, a couple years ago, and then obviously last year had an amazing year. Finished very strong. And he's one of the best talents we've got. He's a very clean tennis player.

And I played him in Cincinnati in the final of the Masters there and I lost. I thought he was just physically the fresher of us. And he played really well that day and I couldn't really do too much.

And, obviously, Kyle is -- you know, he's a great young player. I grew up with him playing juniors. He has a big serve, big forehand, has a big game.

So it's going to be an exciting match-up either way, but I'm not really thinking about it too much.

Q. Grigor has a 2-0 head-to-head on you. Is there anything he does in particular that worries you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Not really. You know, every time I played him, I played him when I was a young -- I think I was 18 or 19 in Indian Wells and I rolled my ankle. And I kind of had to just battle with that the first time, and then the second time he was just too good.

You know, I don't think anything that really worries me with him. But obviously he's a great player and he can play some great tennis. So yeah. I don't think too many players have a really good record against him. Yeah, he's a good player.

Q. Talk about your lack of energy in the first set. How early can you tell? Can you hit the ball in the warmup and think I'm not quite feeling it or how does that -- I'm interested to know how that unfolds out there for you on court.
NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, I just -- slow start. You know, I would have much rather how it went today than come out in the first set and then lose. So I wouldn't change anything that I did out there today.

I mean, as bad as it is to say, it's kind of like a tap. I can turn it on when I want to and turn it on.

Q. Just looking at Alex and that match against Milos, were you aware he was that good before this week in match conditions?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I thought that he could win that match 100%. You know, he's been playing, you know, really good. He's been training with guys like myself, Kokkinakis. And, you know, hitting balls against guys like that, there's no reason he can't go out there and beat Milos.

And I think he's had some major confidence boosters in the last couple months. He's won the Australian wildcard playoff. He's young. He's got all this opportunity. He's got no pressure on him just yet.

So Milos' first match of the year. We didn't know how he was going to go out there. Obviously, he got a young guy who is thriving and he's hungry, and he's playing in front of his home crowd and he played lights out.

So I told him before the match, I told him, of every one of the Australians that he could go out there and beat Milos and, you know, that's what he did. I wasn't surprised at all, to be honest.

Q. Regarding the wildcard, you know, and Bernard Tomic, do you think he's wondering what opportunities he's given up by not playing the wildcard and not playing qualifying?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I don't really know Bernard's situation at the moment. I don't talk to him a lot really. But, yeah, I mean, it was obviously strange not seeing him playing any of these events. You know, this is what we -- it's why we play tennis, I guess, to play in our backyard. It's not like we have to travel long periods of time to get to these tournaments. Yeah, everyone is behind you. And I really don't know. I have no idea.

But it's good to see new faces doing well. I love seeing guys like De Min go out there. I remember when I would play my matches and I would get the crowd involved in the first game and pumping my chest. And it's good to see that, a young guy doing that. But he'll learn that he needs to conserve his energy soon enough.

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