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September 22, 2018

Nick Kyrgios

Frances Tiafoe

Chicago, Illinois

R. FEDERER/N. Kyrgios

6-3, 6-2

Team Europe - 7

Team World - 1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The controversy with the serve, clearly you think you should have been awarded that point. How pissed off were you after?
NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, don't get me wrong, it was a very minor, minor point in the match. There were only so many things I could have done today. I think Roger played some of the best tennis I have personally been a part of.

But, I mean, at that stage of the match I'm already down a set and a break, and we are in Chicago, we are supposed to get a little bit of the home calls or the home crowd, you know, to go our way.

But, you know, I definitely thought it was not a replay. I hit a serve. He missed the ball and then the correction came. I really don't think it made any difference to the result of the point, but it is what it is now. But he played too good today. Doesn't really matter.

Q. There was a moment in the match where I think you weren't enjoying the fact the crowd was coming in while you were returning serve, I believe.

Q. Yeah. Talk about how hard it is to play or not play when crowds are moving around. I know at other tournaments players are more distracted at other times. Talk about that for me.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, at the time it seems like a big deal. But now all the emotions are gone. It's probably me just being a prima donna.

Obviously I just wanted to serve the ball and not have to wait for the crowd to get in. It kind of unsettles your rhythm a little bit. I wanted to get to the line and get ready to serve. And have to wait 20 seconds kind of just ruins your rhythm a little bit.

I think in basketball it's called icing, when someone is about to hit a free throw, try and slow it down, same sort of thing.

Yeah, as I said, those are minor things today. They didn't really -- you know, Roger was too good.

Q. Obviously a team format is big motivation for you. I'm wondering, throughout the year, if there was something like two dream teams just pulled randomly through the ATP draw that you were competing with throughout the year, would that make it more interesting for you?
NICK KYRGIOS: For sure. I would try so hard. I mean, I think myself, Frances, you know, Jack, our whole team really thrives on the team event and we always talk about this being our favorite week of the year. If somehow tennis was like this every week of the year, it would be so much more enjoyable.

It's not really realistic, I don't think. Tennis is a kind of old-school type of sport. It's hard to make things like this happen all the time. Yeah, I mean, I would really, really enjoy team events more often, for sure.

Q. You're a big basketball fan. A few years ago you almost were a part of the All-Star Game celebrations. Somebody said that Laver Cup could be kind of compared to the All-Star Game of tennis. What do you think about it?
NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, for sure, I guess. Maybe not the All-Star Game but there is like the World versus USA. I think they have that type of game. I think it's very similar to that.

You have the best players from the world and you have the best players from Europe. Yeah, it could be considered an All-Star Game, I guess. Yeah.

Q. We're in the house of Jordan here. You're a big basketball fan.

Q. He played a little while ago. What do you think of his game, his legacy? Just talk about Jordan a little bit.
NICK KYRGIOS: Well, I mean -- I'm just going to say he's the greatest of all time (smiling).

But, yeah, I mean, he changed the game. You know, I guess he's the reason LeBron, Kobe, all these top players we see now do what they do. They're trying to strive to be like him. You know, I watched a documentary with Kevin Garnett. He said the reason he put in all the hours and inches and got up early is because of Michael Jordan.

He's obviously paved the way for all the players that have played in the game. As tennis players, we still know how special he was and how special this building is.

You know, he was bigger than basketball. And, yeah, I mean, it's a dream for myself to come in here and play. I look up and see the banners on the roof. Even though I got destroyed today, I gave it everything. That's all you can do. You know, you're just happy being here. You get good vibes going in there and competing.

Q. How much experience adds up to your own game being here on the court and competing in the tournament with Roger and Novak and some other great players on both of the teams and being around all of them?
NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, we're in two different completely parts of our career. Frances is still very young. You know, he's proved that he can play at the top level and he's going to have a massive future ahead of him.

You know, I'm in a different spot right now. But, you know, I have beaten every single person on that bench. So I know where my game is. What I brought today was not good enough, but, you know, it's obviously -- I know how special it is to be here with Roger and Novak. You know, those guys are some of the greatest of all time and ever will play the game.

For me, I was extremely disappointed in my performance today. I don't really look at those guys and say, Oh, my God, it's those guys.

I expect to put in a better performance and beat them, because I have before. I was just disappointed today.

Q. Let's turn towards tonight. You get a chance to get back out there with Jack Sock. What are you looking forward to and what's your strategy?
NICK KYRGIOS: Well, first of all, just getting back out there for Kevin. He's a guy that's had a pretty solid year. He's obviously feeling pretty good about his game. I do believe he can go out there and cause a bit of havoc for Novak.

We have to get out and show them energy, show them that we're down, but we were down 9-3 last year and we nearly pulled it back. We need to get out and show we are not phased by being down.

And me and Jack, we are just going to bring great energy. Can't really do much else. It's doubles. Half of it is energy. Whatever happens happens.

Q. What did you mean just now when you said you're in a different spot?
NICK KYRGIOS: Well, he hasn't made the mistakes I have made (smiling). Hopefully he doesn't. You know, I hope he's going to have a better career -- when I see him being 23, I hope he's done more things than I have. He's certainly got the talent. That's what I meant. It was all positive things.

Q. You're animated and seem to enjoy the cheering and belly flops. You're about to take the court but doing that stuff at the same time. How much fun is that and how much thought do you put in beforehand to figure out what you're going to do?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't really think about it. I just know that it's a team event. You know, when someone is playing, it's not about me or my preparation for the match. It's doing everything I can to make them feel comfortable on the court or to give them some energy to feed off, anything to help them.

I think that's the whole gist of this event is being here for one another and not just for yourself. I always, I think, play better. Usually I play better. I didn't play well today. Usually I play better in a team environment because I know it's not only for myself.

I actually genuinely care about these guys. I think you guys can see that when I'm out there. I'm playing Roger in five minutes, and I'm still out there grinding to John Isner, like, let's get this point. I just genuinely care.

Q. Frances, being around a particular group of people, the company you keep, gives you an opportunity to learn a lot. I see you really listening carefully to Nick's responses here. What are you learning or absorbing, listening to him and being side by side with him on this team?
FRANCES TIAFOE: I'm not listening too deep (smiling). No, I mean, it's good to be around this group of guys. Nick and Jack are my closest friends on tour. We do everything together, have dinner every night and have a ton of fun together.

Yeah, I mean, being here with a bunch of greats and these guys, you know, it helps me a ton. Hopefully I can just keep my head down and keep doing the work and achieve some things I want to achieve ultimately.

Q. This was just sort of a follow-up on what you said on how much you enjoy the team camaraderie and team aspect of it as opposed to the regular tour. How difficult is that now after having this week, win or lose, with all the guys, travel all the way to Asia, get back to it? What's that going to be like?

NICK KYRGIOS: Give me a second. I just need to filter this answer a little bit.

I'm not going to lie to you. It's extremely tough for me personally, like, to fly to Asia and, like -- it's tough. Like, I don't like -- I don't really like, just like being somewhere just for myself and playing. Like I prefer to be there like knowing I've got a team event, like there's going to be my guys I can hit with and train, it's going to be fun, I'm going to be stimulated the whole time.

Yeah, it's tough. I mean, I'm definitely not going to be -- jeez, I can't say that. Yeah, it's going to be tough.

Q. Playing doubles, does that help? Will you play doubles over there? Would that be the plan to maybe keep you stimulated?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I'll probably play some doubles. I think doubles kind of keeps it light-hearted, a little bit, a lot of fun. Even if you lose singles, knowing you're still in doubles, kind of a decent feeling.

Q. Hey, Nick, for decades John McEnroe obviously has brought such passion, energy, knowledge. You have a feeling for him. What are the one or two things you have learned the most from John?
NICK KYRGIOS: That he can go in on an umpire as well as I can (smiling).

But, you know, he genuinely cares for the team, as well. He didn't have to show any emotion when that was happening. You know, even though it wasn't much of a match at that stage, he still genuinely went to bat for me and genuinely stand up for me.

Yeah, he cares about us. When I'm practicing, warming up with Frances this morning, he's out there. He doesn't have to do that.

He's a genuinely good guy. Like, I think he's got a temper, so do I, but I think he's a really good guy. He's someone that hopefully I'll stay in contact with. Not necessarily as a coach or mentor, just genuine friendship, someone I will keep in contact with. Yeah, I mean, he's a really good person.

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