Q. When you knew you were going to be going on court about the time they were predicting the highest temperatures, did you fear the worst about the conditions?
So, yeah, I was a bit nervous before the match. But obviously, you know, when the shadow comes across the court it cooled down a little bit. But still, the air is extremely warm. I was glad to get off quickly.
Q. How did you find the conditions?
Yeah, I mean, I obviously wasn't on the court for a long time. That's what's very draining about being in conditions like that. I mean, most of the players are conditioned well enough to last in that weather for, you know, a certain amount of time. But doing it for three and a half, four hours is tough to recover from.
Q. From the sidelines it looked as those every component of the game was flowing rather nicely for a first match in a slam.
And, yeah, I maybe didn't expect to play as well as I did today, but the signs have been good in practice. You know, I started the match off very well and did everything solid.
Q. Are you hitting the ball with a bit more freedom since the back operation? You seemed to be able to change direction quite easily, seemed more loose in your movement.
That was the whole point of having the surgery. So if I was still in pain and stiff and sore then I'd be a bit worried about the next few years.
But I'm hoping, you know, it was the right decision. I felt freer today than I did for the last 18 months.
Q. Is it strange going on court, given how many times you played in these events, not maybe knowing quite what to expect?
You know, a lot of players don't come back from surgery and are the same player that they are before. That's something that's always in the back of your mind, something that will worry you a little bit and something you'll think about.
And, yeah, before the match today, you're worried about the conditions, but you're also just kind of praying that everything is good with the back and you can wake up the next day even now and hope that all is good tomorrow.
Q. When you hired Ivan, you sort of kicked off this recent trend of players with legendary coaches. For the fun of it, if there were an imaginary tournament with the player and the coach teamed up, you and Ivan, Boris and Novak, Roger and Stefan, Nishikori and Chang, how would that tournament happen?
Q. When you were with him on the court this summer, did he still have a lot of the strokes? When you were playing that XO?
You know, the thing that changes is not that you stop being able to hit tennis balls. You can't move anymore. That's normally what goes with players.
So when the ball is there they're great. It's moving that's the issue.
Q. Do you think the conditions were safe out there? A couple players collapsed. A ball boy collapsed.
And I know when I went out to hit before the match, the conditions like at 2:30, 3:00 were very, very, very tough conditions. Anyone's going to struggle in that heat.
Whether it's safe or not, I don't know. You just got to be very careful these days. There's been some issues in other sports with, you know, players having heart attacks. I don't know exactly why that is. Or collapsing.
In this heat, that's when you're really pushing it to your limits. You don't want to see anything bad happen to anyone.
Q. Were you surprised the heat rule wasn't implemented today?
Q. Nobody does.
Q. Bearing in mind how hot it was this afternoon, you could have had a roof and air conditioning.
If I'm told to play, I play; if not, then we don't.
Q. What's the talk in the locker room? Are people unhappy about it?
But every single person that I saw coming in from practice or going out to play a match or coming back from a match, everyone just said like, It's really hot today. That was what they said (smiling).
Q. You play Millet next. Do you know anything about him?
So I'll try and watch a bit of video of his match from today to see how he plays. But I'm glad he won.
Q. Given you haven't played many matches, are you happy with quick wins or would you like the odd competitive match?
I'm well aware if I go further in the tournament, if I win my next match, the matches are going to get longer and tougher. You know, I'm still kind of waiting to see every day how I'm going to wake up.
I'm confident that I'm going to be okay. But, you know, these tournaments over best of five set matches on the hard courts, over two weeks, it's tough on the body. So it was a good test for me.
Q. You said you're happy that Vincent won. Is that...
Q. Do you think Odesnik should be on the tour?