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August 30, 2018

Nick Kyrgios

New York, NY, USA

N. KRYGIOS/P. Herbert

4-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously a tough battle going out there. You found your form towards the end. Could you just assess the match and the conditions you had to play in?
NICK KYRGIOS: Very tough conditions. Extremely hot. Wasn't feeling too good for the first set and set and a half. You know, and there was some cloud cover towards the end of the second set, third set. Obviously the heat rule came into effect. I took my time.

Yeah, I felt I played probably some of the best tennis I played in the third and fourth sets. My intent was a lot better. I was just more involved in the match.

Q. I'm just curious, you said you kind of found yourself as you were going along, level kind of improved. I was curious, the tenor or content of the conversation, chair ump, whether you thought that played a role in your level going up later?
NICK KYRGIOS: Not at all. You know, the same thing happen to me, it's happened in Shanghai before when we all know I had that moment in Shanghai where the referee said the same thing, It's not good for the integrity of the sport, doesn't have a good look.

It happens in other sports, too. In soccer, if someone is being roughed, they get warned. If you keep doing this you get penalized. Same sort of thing. It had not effect at all. I was 3-Love down, 5-2 down. Obviously, didn't help at all.

Q. It seemed Muhammad was kind of giving you words of encouragement. Which is not something you hear an umpire will do --
NICK KYRGIOS: I'm not sure it was encouragement. He said he liked me. I'm not sure if that was encouragement. He just said that it's not a good look.

Look. I wasn't feeling good. I know what I was doing out there wasn't good. I wasn't really listening to him, but I knew it wasn't a good look. It didn't help me at all. Like, I was down 5-2. If it was 3-0, and maybe if I would have come back and won six games in a row, fair enough. Didn't help me at all.

Q. What was happening before the umpire came on? Why were you not playing well?
NICK KYRGIOS: That usually happens in tennis. You don't play well all the time. I wish I could, but I don't.

Q. The umpire has gotten a lot of backlash on Twitter. Would you be upset if he was sanctioned?
NICK KYRGIOS: For sure. I don't believe that he deserves it. I mean, the umpire in Shanghai didn't cop any backlash. It happened to me in Cincinnati two weeks ago against Del Potro, the exact same thing happened. I wasn't putting forth my best performance.

I did the same today. The umpire was like, Nick, you can't be doing this. It's a bad look. Same thing happened there.

I'd be disappointed, yeah, for sure.

Q. Next up potentially a matchup with Federer. Can you talk about potentially playing him here. Popular everywhere, but when you know the crowd is so loud and so vocal supporting Roger.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it's going to be a lot of fun Cup. I definitely know that I won't be the favorite, the crowd favorite here. I go into that match with zero expectation. I do believe I can beat him. I have done it before. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Is he still playing at the moment? If he gets through, I'm going to be looking forward to it. I can't do anything differently. I've got to recover. Same thing. I'm going to play the same, regardless.

Q. Some of the crowd were booing during the second set. Does that upset you?
NICK KYRGIOS: I love it. I love it. You know, when I was up 40-Love at the end, I put my ear to the crowd, just want to hear them boo again. I loved it.

Q. If you were on the other side and the umpire was giving that kind of talk to the opponent, would you have any problem with that?
NICK KYRGIOS: What kind of talk do you think he was giving me?

Q. Say, you need to be better, you need to play better.
NICK KYRGIOS: He was not saying, you need to play better.

Q. What was he saying? You need to do better?
NICK KYRGIOS: No, just said it was a bad look for the sport. I mean...

Q. Was the implication of that, you need to do better?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't understand your question. If I was up a set and 3-0, and my opponent was getting that talk from Mohamed Lahyani, obviously an unbelievable tennis player, yeah, I -- yeah. I wouldn't care less. I couldn't care less. Obviously you know he's achieved a lot in his tennis career. Mohamed, he had a big one.

Q. You had big wins over Roger, Rafa, Novak. You say you've got no expectations. Does that help you sometimes play better when there is less pressure on you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, it's always going into a match as the underdog. I'm going to put a lot of expectation on myself to play well. I'm not going to go out there and roll over and be happy to be out there.

I do believe I can win. Yeah, I mean, it's better to be the underdog than have all the pressure, for sure.

Q. Do you think that it's going to be a different challenge because it's best of five? I don't think you have played him best of five before.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, we have never played before best of five. Yeah, for sure, to win three sets off Federer, you have to play some pretty consistent tennis. But he's never played me best of five, either.

Q. Without making you angry...
NICK KYRGIOS: This is too good.

Q. If someone would say that Lahyani cautioned you, had an issue with you, what would be your answer?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think you just heard the crowd laugh, it's so ridiculous. It's ridiculous. He wasn't coaching me at all. I mean, like, I don't have a coach. I haven't had a coach for, like, years. Of course he wasn't coaching me. Like, what are you talking about?

Q. I think part of the discussion seemed to be perhaps putting on a trainer or something like that. Did you have a physical issue?
NICK KYRGIOS: I got some salt from the physio because it was hot and I wasn't feeling great. I got some salt packets.

Q. That was the only physical thing during all that?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I didn't call the trainer on. I just wanted some salt packets.

Q. You had a few extremely hard flat shots. Must have been going over a hundred miles an hour. Crowd was enjoying those shots. What's going through your head when you --
NICK KYRGIOS: Just trying to play aggressive and just play my style of tennis.

Q. What does this 50th year of the US Open mean to you?
NICK KYRGIOS: I've only been a part of it for four years, I think. I'm enjoying my time this year. It means a lot, I guess. I mean, I don't even...

Q. Obviously, with the exception Rafa, Roger really has been a preeminent player of our era?
NICK KYRGIOS: Unbelievable.

Q. What do you think are the two or three greatest things in his game that give players --

Q. Roger Federer.
NICK KYRGIOS: I think his slice return, his chip return, is the best the game has ever seen. There has never been a better chip return ever. I think if you took that shot away, he wouldn't be as good because he neutralizes big serves as well. He turns it into pretty much instant offense.

His serve and first shot unbelievable, very unpredictable. And he's unbelievably efficient. Never gets tired, doesn't seem like it. His movements are so efficient. He's just, yeah, those would be the three things. He's efficient, serve and first ball, and chip return.

Q. If I could follow up, what do you think your greatest strengths are as a player?
NICK KYRGIOS: My unbelievable movement, my returns, and my mental strength. Slice.

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