K. NISHIKORI/J. Tsonga
2‑6, 6‑2, 6‑1, 3‑6, 6‑3
Q. Obviously the game plan was to play to his backhand, yes?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah. Yeah, I watch some matches this last week. You know, he was hitting bombs, a lot of forehands, a lot of inside out. I was, yeah, try to be careful at the start, tried to go his backhand.
Yeah, just tried to be solid.
Q. You were yawning on the way in. Was a very tiring match?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yes, I guess I'm tired. Yeah, played two five sets this last two weeks. Yeah, it was hot condition, too. I mean, score, it looks easy. But, yeah, it was tough match today.
Q. Do you feel okay?
KEI NISHIKORI: I think so (smiling).
Q. Tsonga has been quite famous for five‑set matches at the Australian Open. Were you prepared to go the distance against him today?
KEI NISHIKORI: No. Of course, I want to finish three set. I started slow I think today. I was missing a lot, a lot of unforced errors first set, then start playing well in second set.
But, yeah, there was second win five set these two weeks. Yeah, I'm very confidence.
Q. Will you still play mixed doubles tomorrow?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, for sure.
Q. Can you explain the problem with the surface at the start of the second set.
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah. I guess it was too hot. You know, first of all I didn't know what's happen. Ball didn't bounce. I thought it's going to, you know, replay the point. But they say no. But I broke that game. So, you know, it worked well for me.
Q. So it was a good break for you, the interruption?
KEI NISHIKORI: I guess so. I didn't want to take a break, but we have to, so... Nothing we could do.
Q. You said you had some messages from people back home this week. Can you tell us about who's been sending you messages and what they've said.
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, a lot of people congrats me. Always email me after the matches. A lot of people from works in Japan, tennis association. Yeah, a lot of people.
Q. Are you aware of the impact that your career is having? Are more young kids playing tennis in Japan?
KEI NISHIKORI: I am not sure. Hopefully people, especially kids, start playing tennis. But, yeah, first of all I have to play well and I have to give them good news, to Japan. You know, if that helps Japan, I'm really happy.
Q. You're the first Japanese man into the Australian Open quarterfinal since 1932. Do you know who that was?
KEI NISHIKORI: No, sorry (smiling).
Q. Do you feel a lot of pressure seeing as it's been such a long time since a Japanese player has reached the quarterfinal?
KEI NISHIKORI: Never. I never feel the pressure. You know, it's very honor to make a lot of histories, to be No. 1 player in Japan. But that never gives me the pressure.
[b]Q. How tough was it to close the match today?/b
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it was tough because, you know, he was still playing well in the fifth. Yeah, I was having trouble with making returns. I start getting nervous. Yeah, I was tired, too. It was tough to finish.
But still I was playing aggressive, you know, on important points. I was making good serves. So that helps me to get the games.
Q. Do you feel like this is the biggest step of your career?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, this is first quarterfinal for me. Yeah, best result is 2008 US Open round of 16. That was couple years ago. And I played well end of last year, and now it's like this. So, yeah, I feel I'm stepping up.
Q. How do you see your next match?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, honestly I was surprised it finished. I watched the score, finish 6‑1, 6‑1 and he retired.
Andy, we played last year, end of last year. He kind of destroy me. But, you know, I have no pressure now. He's one of the players I have to play like him. I learn a lot of things from him.
Yeah, it's going to be tough, but I try to do my best tennis.
Q. How do you regard your influence as a role model to inspire especially young male players from East Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, and China?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, honestly there's a lot of good players in Asia. But, yeah, I'm happy to get to the top from Asia, and hopefully I can be like Li Na for the men.
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