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January 20, 2018

Nick Kyrgios

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

N. KYRGIOS/J. Tsonga

7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What pleased you most about that? Composure? The way you handled the situation?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, just the way I played. He's a tough opponent. He's beaten pretty much all the top guys in the world. I knew it was going to be an incredibly tough match. I was very nervous going out there today.

Yeah, I mean, obviously 5-2 down in the fourth set breaker, I was kind of getting ready for a fifth set mentally. I somehow just hung in and got a couple looks. I mean, it was surreal out there today, that win.

Q. In such a tight match, to play three tiebreakers and win them like you did must give you a lot of pleasure.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. I knew my best chance was probably to get in a couple breakers. He served extremely well I thought throughout the whole match. I didn't really get a look at many second serves at all.

Yeah, I mean, it was fun. It was a fun match.

Q. Is there anything you'd share about your elite tiebreak record that stands you apart?
NICK KYRGIOS: Did you say 'elite'?

Q. Yeah.
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't know if it's elite.

Tiebreaks kind of favor the big server. If I'm serving well, I feel like if I can put a couple returns in the court, I got a pretty good shot to win the tiebreak.

5-2 down, I thought I was looking down the barrel of a fifth set. I made a couple good returns. At 5-All, I missed my first serve by a long shot. I was like, I got to make the second serve and compete for that point. Everything just kind of went my way.

Tiebreaks, my mentality doesn't change. I just try and serve big and play big.

Q. How were you feeling at the end of the second set, leveled at 1-All?
NICK KYRGIOS: I knew that he was going to fight. He's a great athlete. He's won many matches in four and five sets. I knew he wasn't going to panic being one set down or two sets down.

Obviously I hit a bit of a flat patch in the second set. I got broke in quite a very bad game. I kind of hoped the adrenaline would kick in. I thought the level in the third and fourth sets was really high. I responded well.

Q. How much did it take out of you physically?
NICK KYRGIOS: I feel good now. Did an ice bath. I don't usually do that. I had a stretch. I feel good.

Q. How early in the match did you sense his knee was giving him a bit of trouble?
NICK KYRGIOS: I didn't even notice it. I was too focused on what I had to do. Even if he's not at 100%, he's such a tough opponent. He serves well. Hits his forehand big. I was trying to focus on making a lot of first serves, just focusing on my game.

Q. You made fun of it on court afterwards, but will you play doubles tomorrow? Do you have to rethink it?
NICK KYRGIOS: I won't make the decision now. Obviously have some food, have a good night's rest, see how I feel tomorrow.

Q. Did you feel it affecting you during the second set? You seemed a bit bothered by it.
NICK KYRGIOS: I felt heavy. My legs felt a little bit heavy. Yeah, yesterday was hot. I played a two-hour doubles match. It took a lot out of me. I tried my best. I wanted to win.

Yeah, I think the adrenaline kicked in the third and fourth sets. I had a couple bananas, started to feel better, got a bit of a second wind.

Q. Were you surprised to see Will Smith tonight?
NICK KYRGIOS: That was amazing. No joke, he's like my favorite actor. I get asked if one person were acting your life, I'd always pick him.

It was surreal seeing him tonight. You know, I was talking to him in the third set. I kept looking at him. I was like, I got to break the ice, I got to say something. He was really nice. I met him after the match. He was really genuine. Yeah, it was nice to meet him.

Q. What did you say during the match to him?
NICK KYRGIOS: Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making.

I was like, Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis. I said, I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times.

It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.

Q. How far back does your fandom for Will Smith go? Fresh Prince?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I watched that. I watch it on TV still. My two favorite movies are Focus and Seven Pounds. They were amazing. I watched them a lot.

Q. You said Will made you nervous. Who made you more nervous, Will or Jo?
NICK KYRGIOS: Honestly, I shook hands with Jo at the net. He was like, Great match. I was kind of staring at him. I didn't really say anything. He kind of just smiled, kind of embraced me.

I was nervous for both honestly. I was nervous for both of them.

Q. At the moment you're doing a lot right on and off the court. Public perception seems to be changing. Does public perception worry you? Did you feel the change in that?
NICK KYRGIOS: It doesn't worry me at all. It's not something I wake up and I'm like, Look, today I'm going to try to change the perception.

I've always played the same way. Nothing has changed. I've always been emotional. I showed emotion out there tonight.

Yeah, I feel like I've always been a caring person. I guess it's just how you guys perceive it.

Q. I saw you're on the possible witness list for the USTA Genie Bouchard trial. Do you know anything about that?
NICK KYRGIOS: First thing I've heard about it.

Q. Do you feel you're getting better at repositioning yourself or composing yourself when things are going wrong?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I feel like I am. I made quarterfinals here three years ago I think. I feel like I'm making improvements. The last couple years I feel like I haven't been physically ready to play these long matches and back it up.

I did a really good off-season this year. I trained with Lleyton and the guys in Melbourne for two weeks. Physically I feel really good. Just gives me confidence in my game.

I know mentally I'm a lot better, as well. Obviously getting a good start in Brisbane helped.

Q. How much do you think playing Davis Cup and having Lleyton in your team has helped with you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Huge. It's been huge for me. Especially last year after the Australian Open, I was really struggling mentally. He called me up and said, We would love to have you in Davis Cup. Ever since then, the culture has been amazing.

I think it's helped guys like de Minaur have the summer he had. I know he lost first round here. He had a tough draw. The summer, that was amazing.

I think honestly it's the culture. He's training with us guys. He believes. He's top 100 now. I think he's going to have a great year. It's helped guys like that.

We're a close-knit group now. We all help each other. Those Davis Cup weeks, I've got one eye on it. I can't wait for it in a couple weeks.

Q. Do you feel like your level is edging up to where you can take it to him on Sunday?
NICK KYRGIOS: I feel like my level is there. He's had a couple great wins this week. I know it's going to be tough. He loves the five-set format. He loves playing marathons. He's played well here in the past. I know it's going to be incredibly tough, but I'm not going to think about it right now.

Q. Federer last week talked about the power of the microphone, players should be more open, less robotic. Sometimes journalists need to ask better questions or...
NICK KYRGIOS: I'm always going to say what I think. I mean, it's an opportunity to get a message across. But yeah, I mean, I would love to see what players think, how they really feel. They all have different personalities. No one is the same. Yeah, it would be good for everyone to just say what they think.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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