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January 25, 2020

Nick Kyrgios

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

N. KYRGIOS/K. Khachanov

6-2, 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How satisfying was that to get through after that huge battle?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it was crazy. I don't think the emotions have died down at all. I think I'm still running on adrenaline. But I haven't even really checked my phone. I just went in the ice bath, got some food.

Yeah, that was definitely one of the craziest matches I've ever been a part of. It was insane. Had a matchpoint in the third, a match point in the fourth. Then 8-7 down, I had all the thoughts. I thought I was going to lose. I was thinking about everything. I was thinking about the media if I lost, everything. Then, yeah, it was crazy.

Q. Today is Australia Day. You've made a lot of efforts to help your country with the fires. You're also somewhat of a national hero. How does it feel to be an Australian on this day for you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Good, especially after a night like that. Just everything. I could feel everyone in the crowd, just everyone trying to will me over the line. It's a good feeling.

But, I mean, still a lot of devastating things happening, even though it's Australia Day.

Q. Is there a lot of self-satisfaction particularly in the way that you did it? Your critics might say in the past, given what transpired, you might sort of go away. He was playing super well. Are you quite proud of yourself for how you did it?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, no, he's not given enough credit. He played like four hours something in his previous match. To come back out and put on a performance like that, I thought the level at the end was crazy.

Yeah, I mean, the least I could do was go out there and give everything I had.

Q. You're glute or hamstring...
NICK KYRGIOS: Do you ever have any positive questions? Sorry, what was it?

Q. I'm just asking, was it a glute or hamstring? I'm not sure why it's a negative question.
NICK KYRGIOS: I just served and felt my left bum cheek get sore.

Q. It's sweet now?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, feels better now, yeah.

Q. How do you feel you're going to turn out physically for the next match? What are your thoughts on playing Rafael Nadal?
NICK KYRGIOS: I mean, I haven't even thought about it. Physically I think I'll be fine. I have a whole day off tomorrow. Get some rest after this, do all the right things.

I'm super excited honestly. Playing one of the greatest tennis players on center court at your own slam, it's pretty damn cool.

Yeah, I've got a lot of time between now and then. Obviously it's going to be another physical battle. Nothing comes easy with him. He had a relatively routine match today, so he's going to be feeling good.

I'm looking forward to it. That's why you play, I guess.

Q. What is it you like so much about playing inside Melbourne Arena?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think the crowd's awesome. They get a bit rowdy in there. I mean, adding tonight's experience on that court, I've had such good memories in there. I love playing there.

I don't know, I just feel at home.

Q. The crowd supported you so nicely tonight. I read a lot of nice things in the newspaper of what you have done. How does this make you feel?

Q. Rafael Nadal got asked in his press conference today, does he like you as a person. Just wanted to ask you the same question about him.
NICK KYRGIOS: I don't really know Rafa. I've never, like, hung out with him or anything like that. So I don't really know how he is.

I don't really dislike him. I never said... I mean, I don't know him at all. Hell of a tennis player. Don't know him as a person. I'm sure he's okay.

Q. 2-1 against him head-to-head on hard court. What about your game do you think matches up well with his game?
NICK KYRGIOS: Ever since juniors I enjoyed playing lefties. I feel like I kind of know what game plan I need to bring to be successful against them.

I mean, Rafa is a different beast altogether. I mean, I kind of know his patterns. Everyone knows his patterns, can't do anything about it. Federer knows his patterns. Everyone knows his patterns. He executes them at the highest level.

But I'm not even thinking about the match, to be honest. I mean, tonight's match hasn't even sunk in. I'm still dealing with a bunch of emotions. I just like playing lefties.

Q. You and Rafa have had words in the past. There was obviously the match in Acapulco. Do you stand by what you said about Rafa?
NICK KYRGIOS: About what?

Q. Calling him super salty, obviously the disagreement you had in Acapulco.
NICK KYRGIOS: Disagreement?

Q. The post on Instagram saying you can smell blood every time you play him. Have you ever spoken to him about that since you played him at Wimbledon?
NICK KYRGIOS: Last time I played him was at Wimbledon. We had a pretty good match, 7-6 in the fourth set. At the end of the day, we're two different tennis players. We go about it completely different.

After Wimbledon, I lost, I got beaten by the better player. I shook his hand, looked him in the eye, and said, Too good.

Regardless, if we don't like each other or whatever, I think there's a layer of respect. He's one of the greatest of all time. I also read that he thinks I'm good for the sport.

There's a layer of respect that we both have for each other. Doesn't necessarily mean we like each other, but... We're going to go out there and give contrasting styles and personalities.

Q. Both this match and the last one, you said you were almost mentally losing it, but you kept it together. How did you do it tonight?
NICK KYRGIOS: I just laid it all out on the line tonight. Match point in the third, frustrated, didn't get it. Match point in the fourth, didn't get it, fuming.

I don't know. Took it one game at a time in the fifth. My body started hurting. Then, I don't know, my team, they don't get enough credit really.

Q. And the hand issue? You managed to also pull yourself back from that situation, got it out of your system. Seemed like you were clearly in the right with it.

Q. You managed to pull yourself back.
NICK KYRGIOS: My hand was squirting blood. I'm not really too sure why I got a time violation. I just made sure that the ball kid wasn't touching my towel with blood on it.

Then the umpire just had no idea what was going on apparently. My hand is usually brown. It was covered in blood. Something wrong there.

Q. The margins were very small in Wimbledon, the two tiebreaks in the last two sets. What do you take from that match in terms of confidence?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, for sure. Every time you put up a battle like that against Rafa, you're going to take confidence from it. Two tough tiebreaks. There's nothing in that match really. He changed up his game plan a little bit.

I'll probably expect him to serve a little bit more to my forehand when I play him in a couple days. That's what he did at Wimbledon. He had some pretty good success there. I thought he played really well at Wimbledon. I came out a little slow. But the grass just seemed so slow. I couldn't really break him down.

But I forgot about the question. Yeah, I feel good. Like I feel like my game is ready to go.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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