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January 21, 2020

Nick Kyrgios

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

N. KYRGIOS/L. Sonego

6-2, 7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What did you make of John's generosity after the match there?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it was awesome. Obviously I felt like he wanted to help. I mean, I'm sure a lot of people appreciate that.

Q. Do you feel like there's a little bit more pressure now to win sets?
NICK KYRGIOS: Not at all. I want to continue to do what I can. I'm not even thinking about my next round. I'm going to do all the things right tomorrow, recover, go again. Hopefully I can keep serving well. Hopefully I can win more sets.

Q. Are you sensing a real warmth from the reaction to you at the Australian Open so far? There seems to be a real groundswell for you now.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yes, I guess. I've always felt the energy was pretty good here every time I came. Yeah, I mean, today was awesome. I played really well. I hadn't played too many matches just for myself the last couple months. It was good to get the first one out of the way.

He's a tough competitor, has a big serve, plays big. Happy to get through it in straight sets.

Q. You mentioned on court it had been a difficult couple of months. What was your mental state coming into the match? Was it anxiety? Were you relieved afterwards?
NICK KYRGIOS: After I finished?

Q. Yes.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, just with everything going on, walking out there, I was a lot more nervous than I have been in previous matches. Australian Open, I usually feel pretty comfortable.

I was definitely really nervous walking out there. But, I mean, the crowd was unbelievable. I got comfortable quite early in the match. I played an unbelievable first set, which helped. I thought the pressure kind of eased off after I won that first set. He didn't go away.

I'm just playing a lot more than myself. I've said it before, so... There's not necessarily added pressure. I feel like I'm playing for a lot of people.

Q. Does that maybe not add extra pressure but focus you better when you are playing for an extra cause like this, extra stuff attached to it?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, for sure. I guess it's just a perspective thing, isn't it? Why am I really getting mad on the tennis court with everything going on?

I felt like I was very focused today. Every match I've played this year, I've been pretty good. It's probably because of everything going on.

Q. When the lights dimmed in the second set, that wasn't a big distraction for you, or was it?
NICK KYRGIOS: I won the match in straight sets, so I wouldn't say it was too much of a distraction.

Q. Would it have been in a previous incarnation?
NICK KYRGIOS: I was joking. You obviously didn't get the joke.

The lights just dimmed. I mean, what kind of response do you want from me right now?

Q. There was a moment at the end of the match where you were cleaning out. I think you tossed away a banana. Was that just so the ballkids wouldn't have to do it?
NICK KYRGIOS: You got to do better than that. C'mon now. Oh, my God.

Is that a serious question?

Q. Yes.
NICK KYRGIOS: Oh, my God. Next question.

Q. How pleasing was it to play some of your best tennis in the tiebreak?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I mean, the second-set tiebreak was massive. Obviously if he got that set, I feel like he would have started to believe a little bit more.

But I played two pretty rock solid sets. I didn't really make too many mistakes. He hit a good return in the first one to get it back, get the mini break back. I returned really well. In the breakers I served well. I didn't really do much wrong, so...

If he takes that second-set breaker, could be a different scenario. I played two pretty good tiebreaks.

Q. (Question about Nick making himself available for the Olympics in 2020.)
NICK KYRGIOS: 100%. I wanted to play just as much the last time the Olympics were around. I feel like if I'm there, I've got a genuine shot at winning a medal, one. I'd love to be there with other the athletes representing Australia, two.

So, yeah, I mean, I would obviously love to be there.

Q. You said about Acapulco last year that you're motivated by people who were ahead in the draw to get to those matches, excited to play those players. Is that in your thinking at all here?
NICK KYRGIOS: Not really. Acapulco, we met in the second round. It's obviously a best-of-three sets. I mean, you know how exhausting best-of-five sets is. Anything can happen.

I play either Simon or Cuevas next. That's going to be a battle. I've played both players and they're both great players. I'm not thinking ahead at the moment.

Q. I have a question.
NICK KYRGIOS: Oh, God. You're late (smiling).

Q. I spoke with Sonego. He said, first of all, you are much more clever than everybody thinks when you play tennis because he says you know always what to do. You read very well what he wants to do. If he wants to play a dropshot or so, you see it before. He said it was a good experience for him to play against someone like you who was serving so well. He made a lot of compliments. I wanted to tell you. I would like to know what you think about him and his game?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think he's a great player. He plays super aggressive. He's got a very good serve. His forehand's pretty large. He backs himself. Under pressure, he likes to play big.

In the long run, that's going to help him I think win some big matches. He lives and dies by the sword a little bit. He makes a lot of errors. At times he does, but at times he hits some pretty special shots.

He's young. He's going to figure it out. He's a very good player.

Essentially he just called me dumb off the court, though (smiling).

THE MODERATOR: Any more before we wrap-up?

NICK KYRGIOS: Please, no.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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