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January 13, 2018
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Your thoughts on your first-round match?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, obviously I feel pretty confident. I know he's a good competitor. Fights every point.
Over the last couple days, just been focusing on myself, my practice sessions. Obviously feeling pretty good after Brisbane.
Yeah, I'm just looking forward to kicking it off soon.
Q. How do you feel on the eve of this tournament compared to how you felt at other slam tournaments?
NICK KYRGIOS: I probably feel a bit better this time around. You know, I feel relaxed. Obviously winning a tournament before you play a Grand Slam always helps.
At the end of the day, I know even if I lose first round here, there's a long year ahead. Obviously I'd love to do well here, but for me it's just another tournament.
Q. Looking back to Brisbane, what is the biggest thing you took from it?
NICK KYRGIOS: More mentally. I overcame some adversity in that tournament, obviously coming from a set down a couple times. Just the way I kind of conducted myself in my matches, I think that's the main improvement, and that's what I was pretty happy with at the end of the day.
Q. Has the knee resolved itself completely?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, my knee feel goods. My physio flew in, so I've had him for the last two, three days. I've had the luxury of getting treated in my room at my hotel. Haven't been spending too much time around the courts. I've been kind of doing my practice, getting out of here, and just relaxing. So it's been good.
Q. Do you feel you have the physical resilience to put the best-of-five-set matches together over potentially two weeks?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I feel very confident in best-of-five matches. I've played a lot of them now. I feel like, you know, with all these younger guys coming up, I kind of feel like I'm getting a bit older.
But yeah, I feel confident with best-of-five. I feel good.
Q. There's a lot of razzmatazz around a Grand Slam tournament. Now that you're a little bit older and you're in the center of it, do you find it's easier to deal with with the experience?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yes, I do. I remember when I was, like, 9, 10, I played in Grand Slams. You know, I would kind of be hanging around all day in the cafe. I would always bring two bags in. But now it's just my tennis bag. I get in and out. I definitely feel like I've been used to this sort of level for a long time now.
Q. Do you do something different when you play in Australia to cope with the extra pressure?
NICK KYRGIOS: No. I feel for me there's pressure wherever I go. I'm expected to win a lot of matches. No matter if I'm here, Wimbledon, US Open, it's the same for me.
Q. Billie Jean King was in here yesterday talking about Margaret Court's repeated comments that she found offensive or derogatory towards gay people. She said if she was still an active player, she would refuse to play on Margaret Court Arena. What are your thoughts on Margaret Court's comments, and if you think players might feel uncomfortable playing somewhere that still holds her name?
NICK KYRGIOS: I guess you got to take it just as how she was as a tennis player. That's why the court was originally named after her, because of her tennis, what she was really good at.
I guess for me, that's what I will do. I'll try to block out the other stuff. Obviously, definitely I am okay with same-sex marriage, all that sort of stuff.
For me, I mean, you got to just try to block it out. It's her court because she was a great champion of the game. That's all it is, I guess.
Q. Is there an option for players to say, I don't want to play there? Do you think players have that opportunity to make a stand?
NICK KYRGIOS: Not all players, I don't think. I don't think all players kind of have that pull. I'm guessing a lot of the Aussies or a lot of the big-named guys would have that pull. I mean, yeah, I don't think everyone does.
Q. Is your preference still Hisense?
NICK KYRGIOS: Definitely. Hisense here is my favorite court here. I've been hitting on Rod Laver the last couple days. Just to get out there without the crowd watching, it's been a bit different feel. But I definitely feel more confident on that court now.
Q. You've been able to say to Craig, Please put me on Hisense, and he'll usually follow through with that in the past?
NICK KYRGIOS: Usually, yeah.
Q. What is it about Hisense you like?
NICK KYRGIOS: I guess just memories. I played a lot of matches and won a lot of matches on that court. Obviously that match in the fourth round against Seppi when I made it to the quarterfinals, ever since then, I've kind of tried to make that memory happen again.
I definitely feel comfortable on Hisense Arena.
Q. Do you have a particular goal this tournament?
NICK KYRGIOS: I'd like to do well. I'm not going to say quarterfinals, semifinals, anything like that. I just want to take it one round at a time.
Everyone started the year hungry. They can play great quality tennis. I don't want to look ahead at all. I want to take care of business one round at a time.
Q. (Question about Alex De Minaur and the Davis Cup.)
NICK KYRGIOS: Yes, definitely. I think it's been great to see Alex do so well. He's worked so hard. He's very hungry. It's good to see all the work he's putting in is paying off now.
If he wins the title tonight, he goes to 80 in the world, which is right up there with some of the best players in the world. He has a great chance to be on the Davis Cup team. I think guys are going to struggle against him, they don't know too much about him. He's feeling confident.
Yeah, I think he's definitely going to be a part of the team.
Q. Is it players like him that are making you feel old?
NICK KYRGIOS: Not really. I mean, I don't feel old. I know that obviously it's time to mature. I feel like I am maturing a lot.
Yeah, I mean, it's good to see these young guys. I remember feeling like that, when I had no pressure going out there and beating guys. He's just got to know he has to keep a level head. He's got a long year ahead. He could have a really big year. If he does well the next couple tournaments, it can set up his year, playing tour events, hopefully getting into the Masters level.
Q. How long did that feeling last for you?
NICK KYRGIOS: He's making semifinals of a 250. I made quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. It happened for me pretty quickly. I mean, I felt a lot of pressure every time after that. I felt a lot of pressure every time I went out on the court.
Q. After Wimbledon?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. Then Murray just destroyed me in Toronto, that kind of brought me back down to life (smiling).
Q. When you say you're maturing, do you feel your attitude has changed a little bit to what you want to get out of your career?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think last year there were periods where I was really good and really bad. But at the end of the day I just need to know it's a long year. I can't expend too much energy, you know, on other things. I want to kind of ride the highs, not as high as I usually do. If I lose a match, at the end of the day it's a tennis match. I kind of want to keep it even-keeled throughout the whole year rather than being such a rollercoaster ride.
I guess right now that's what I'm doing. Brisbane was a great week, but I had to prepare for the Australian Open, and prepared.
Q. Last week I think you made a joke about Matt Reid, saying you should call him your coach. Is he maybe approaching that stage or was it more of a gag?
NICK KYRGIOS: He's a doubles specialist. He's still playing in the doubles. Why are you laughing?
I'm playing doubles with him here, and I feel like we can win it.
Q. Do you want to say something about your foundation?
NICK KYRGIOS: It's a nice hat, isn't it?
Q. Did you choose the logo?
NICK KYRGIOS: I didn't choose it. I got help with it. I approved it (smiling).
Q. Prospects for some of our leading Aussie women, two of them in the semis yesterday in Sydney. What do you think of their prospects in an open women's field?
NICK KYRGIOS: Ash Barty is unbelievable, I think. I played juniors with her. She was dominating all the junior tournaments when I was young. We were really good friends.
I mean, I always thought she had a great game to be at the top of the game. She mixes the ball up well. She's got great talent. Good to see.
Got a good crop of girls coming. Dasha has been pretty good for the last couple years. It's good to see Ajla back, especially after the shoulder surgery, coming back, playing at the highest level again.
I'm excited. I think Australian tennis is in pretty good hands at the moment. Got a good bunch of boys and a good bunch of girls that can make an impact on the tournament.
Yeah, I mean, I think moving forward we're doing the right thing to keep the younger guys coming through, as well.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports