Alex de Minaur 13-01-19 interview

  • Pre-tournament press conference

Q. How is the body today after the big week?
ALEX de MINAUR: It feels good. I mean, I've done everything to recover. Hopped in the ice bath, had a massage. I'm ready to go.

Q. How much do you have to focus on recovery? How important is it just in the 24 hours? How much can you alleviate the fatigue in the body?
ALEX de MINAUR: It's real important. That's something that I've realized, especially last year, how important the body is, taking care of the body. So putting a lot of emphasis on the recovery part of things, just to put myself in the best possible position to perform each time I step out on court.

There's a lot of hours after the match spent on recovery, on treatment, ice bath, massage. It's really helped. I mean, the body is feeling good I'm ready to go.

Q. What about mentally? How do you refresh mentally?
ALEX de MINAUR: Well, I had pretty much a whole day to just chillax, sit back and reflect on a great week.

I'm playing tomorrow. The Open starts. Got to come back and do it all again. I've just got to reset and start again.

Q. You talk about recovery. By the same token, you've won your first ATP Tour title. What confidence does that give you going into a Grand Slam?
ALEX de MINAUR: It's given me a lot of confidence. To be able to do it at my home in front of my friends and family, it's always that much more special.

Coming in, it's given me a lot of confidence. Hopefully I can just ride that momentum and keep playing some great tennis here in Melbourne.

Q. What is a realistic goal for you the next couple weeks?
ALEX de MINAUR: Look, I don't know. I don't like to look too far ahead. I like to take things day by day. Now the only thing I can focus on is my first-round opponent, coming in tomorrow and just leaving it all out there, having fun.

If I can just play some good tennis, just fight every point, that's all I can ask of myself.

Q. Do you feel like when you step onto the court, it's not a matter of wondering if you are going to win, you feel like you can win every time? Do you feel that's what you're doing away from maybe the not-so-bigger tournaments, now you can take it into a Grand Slam?
ALEX de MINAUR: I think every time you step out on court, you got to believe that you can win. I've been very proud with my efforts, both physically and mentally.

One of the big focuses to improve on was to keep my level throughout the whole week, day in, day out, week in, week out. I feel like I've been able to do that. That's something that we've put in a lot of hard yards into. I'm very happy to see it pay off.

Q. The match against Marin at the US Open, how big was that for you in the way you came back in that match?
ALEX de MINAUR: Yeah, it was one of those learning experiences. It's probably sort of one of the best tennis matches I've played in a Grand Slam. It just slipped away. I had my opportunities. I didn't manage to finish it off.

Then again, never stop fighting until the end. That's something I want to be known for, something that I want to bring every single time I step out on court. Hopefully all the players in the locker room realize that that's sort of the player I am.

Q. Do you reckon the organizers might do you a favor by closing the roof given it's going to be 37 degrees?
ALEX de MINAUR: The good thing is I like playing in the heat. Either way, I'm going to be ready for what's to come tomorrow. Very excited. It's always special playing here in Melbourne, in your home slam. Hopefully there can be a good crowd and I can play some great tennis.

Q. Did you speak to the organizers yourself about you being scheduled for tomorrow? Do you hope that might be a learning thing for another example of that in future years?
ALEX de MINAUR: My manager spoke to Craig. It's just what happens. We got to come back and play tomorrow. Look, I'm ready. The body's feeling good. Mentally I'm ready. I just can't wait to get out there. I'm excited to play my first round. Hopefully I can play some good tennis.

Q. Coming in as the Aussie No. 1, have you had any advice from Lleyton or anybody else about what to expect, what you might be dealing with on top of tennis at a Grand Slam?
ALEX de MINAUR: I'm just trying to take it day by day, keep doing the same things. I think once you start thinking sort of in different ways to deal with these situations, that's the wrong thing to do.

I'm just doing the same things that I was doing two years ago, three years ago. Every match, just making sure I go out there, compete, just give it my all. That's pretty much all I can ask from myself.

If I can put myself in the best possible position to perform each day, I can go out there and feel good about myself.

Q. Going into as the No. 1, have you noticed anything about the way people react to you as you're walking around the courts and streets?
ALEX de MINAUR: Yeah, I mean, a little bit. But don't like to focus too much on it. I'm still the same kid I was two years ago, a year ago, doing the same old thing.

You know, I'm just focusing on myself, just trying to keep improving. That's the main part. Keep listening to the team of guys I've got around me, who have my best interests at heart. If I can just keep on listening to them, keep working hard, hopefully the results will show.

Q. You can see yourself as kind of a kid. When you step on court against a big-name player, do you feel you still are a kid versus a man? Do you feel you can match it with these guys?
ALEX de MINAUR: Yeah, I feel like I'm closing the gap. I've had some tough matches against quality players. I've been learning from those experiences, as well.

Hopefully I can have a lot more matches against these top guys because that means I'm doing something right, playing some good tennis. Hopefully push them and even try to just sneak a couple wins here and there.

Q. You mentioned that you enjoy playing in the heat. There's a new heat policy this year that we're going to see how it varies. Tomorrow, if it was on the precipice, would you rather the roof stays open or don't you mind? Do you find that an advantage?
ALEX de MINAUR: It's an interesting one. I mean, at the end of the day I'm a strong believer that you just got to adapt to the conditions on that day. Anything can happen. I think that's one of the things I've really focused on, to be versatile and to be able to adapt to sort of all these different conditions.

I mean, I've always loved playing in the heat. I've grown up playing in the heat. If it was to stay open, great. If they were to close the roof, great as well. I mean, it's not going to change what I'm going to do. I'm going to go out there, compete, try my hardest, we'll see what happens.

Q. Second time in a year you got a private jet down here. Does an ice bath fit on the jet?
ALEX de MINAUR: It was a small one (smiling). We had just the team of guys with me. We got in early this morning. I mean, it's a pretty good feeling, something I'm definitely not used to.

Well, if I've got to keep on winning matches to get there, that's a real incentive. I'm looking forward to it.