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Friday, 7 July 2017
16:16 PM BST

Aljaz Bedene: Third round

Aljaz Bedene speaks to the media after the 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-4 defeat against Gilles Muller

Q. Looked like you left everything out there. There wasn't much more to give, but wasn't quite enough. Is that fair?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Yeah. Every time I give my best till the end. Unfortunately it didn't work out today. I wasn't playing my best tennis.

But, I mean, he's playing a little bit different, unique style, lefty, good serve, great slice. Yeah, just didn't find my rhythm today. It wasn't easy.

Q. What do you feel the sort of key moments of the match were? The break you had at the start of the second, you couldn't quite cement that.
ALJAZ BEDENE: Yeah, the first set was quite close. I lost it in the tiebreak. Even though I lost it, I still believed I could win.

But, yeah, after I broke him with a great lob, had a few game points for 3-Love, and lost it. I mean, it wasn't easy to get back after that. I think if I would be a break up still after, I would be in control.

But unfortunately I made too many easy mistakes.

Q. What do you think you need to improve on to make it into the second week?
ALJAZ BEDENE: I wouldn't say many things. One is definitely a belief I can play on all surfaces, which I proved now, playing on grass, not just this week but in Holland as well a few weeks ago.

But obviously I have to be more consistent. I'll work every day hard just to improve my game. I mean, my coach knows what's there to improve. I'm just going to listen.

Q. Doesn't seem like your mental ability is a problem, it's about belief. You look like a real fighter out there.
ALJAZ BEDENE: Yeah, definitely fight. But, I mean, for example, I lost twice to Gilles before today. For example, I lost a game, a tough game, to go 3-Love in the second set. My mood changed. Although I was fighting, there was a bit of doubt in it, you know, maybe it's not the day today to win.

But, you know, he's a great grass court player. It's not easy to play against him. I didn't find my style today. So I need to learn from that to get my style on the court against anyone.

Q. Is playing on grass the key? Obviously you've been here since 2008. People talk about your nationality. This is where the British fans see you, at Wimbledon. Does that make grass that much more important to improve on?
ALJAZ BEDENE: I wouldn't say you can improve in that month when you're playing on grass because it's a long journey throughout the year. I mean, it's obviously great to play well on grass, play in front of the home crowd.

But the work's been done, for me for example, in the pre-season. I've done so much work. I'm playing well this year, getting more and more consistent. I think consistency was my biggest problem, which is fixed now.

But I need to improve my game.

Q. (Question about debenture tickets.)
ALJAZ BEDENE: I don't really know anything about that. Are they empty seats?

Q. Yes.
ALJAZ BEDENE: I mean, that's Wimbledon's strategy, I guess, business strategy. But I've got no idea how much do they cost or anything, so I can't tell you more, anything about that. Sorry.

Q. I know you're disappointed with the loss. From where I was sitting, it looked like you came up against an excellent grass court server. What particularly about his serve and volley was troubling to you? Is it strictly about his variety, the way he can throw it in each corner of the box?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Yeah, definitely he mixes a lot. For a returner, it's easier to know or to play someone who is always playing the same, serving the same. Where with Gilles, he's not just a lefty, he's using his left serve really well. He's got great slice, so wide and T. He's got basically all four serves, which, yeah, makes it tougher.

Then sometimes he serves and volleys, stays back. Yeah, you're always aware. I mean, you don't know what's going to happen. It's not an easy task to break him.

Q. Do you think he was better than he was in 's-Hertogenbosch today?
ALJAZ BEDENE: I don't really know because it was different conditions. I would say I wasn't as good as I played there. I wasn't feeling as confident as I would like to.

Q. How did you find the court today? A few players have been saying the baseline's quite slippery, it's more worn than some years.
ALJAZ BEDENE: Specifically on that game when I was serving to go 3-Love up, I think I fell twice. I started to feel my hip again, which is never good. It was a little bit slippery. I don't know if was it because of the shoes. I guess it was slippery to everyone.

But, you know, that's grass court tennis.

Q. Noticed today you were sponsored by The Sun on a shirt. Can you tell us about the company and support you have that have been backing you on the other shirt so far this season?

Q. Yes.
ALJAZ BEDENE: It's my friend's company. He's doing tennis coaching, coaching in general. I think he's got football, as well. I mean, what can I say? He's a good friend. He's helped me a lot during this year. I support what he does.

I honestly don't want to have a sponsor patch which I don't believe in. He's definitely someone who's inspired me. I mean, I think tennis coaching in general has to be improved. It's always good to see that someone's really looking into that, like Hamid is.

Q. How important is it to you to have that kind of support and backing?
ALJAZ BEDENE: You know, everything we get is going into improving our team, getting something out of it. With that money I'm not going to buy any car or anything. It's really nice to see Hamid is that much into tennis that he wants to help me in this particular case.

Yeah, you know, I got a little bit of money. I invested it into my team. I'm hoping I'm giving something back to him, as well.

Q. (Question about coming to camp and hitting with kids.)
ALJAZ BEDENE: That's the arrangement. I'm sorting that out with Hamid, yeah.

Q. Leon Smith was watching your match today. He said after the week, you might sit down and get everything sorted as much as you're able to. Is this an opportunity to put everything to bed and get on with some tennis the rest of the year?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Definitely. We got time now. I've got next one in Umag, which starts on the 17th. I've got a few days off. So hopefully we'll get a chat.

Q. I think you're probably back in the top 50, getting to the third round. What is your aim by the end of the year?
ALJAZ BEDENE: My aim is to get into the top 30, to be seeded at the Australian Open next year. As it looks now, I don't have too many points to defend till the end of the year because last year wasn't great.

Yeah, I just have to improve my game really. At the moment I'm enjoying playing tennis. That's what's important.

Q. That's a very specific goal. When did you decide that was going to be the target?
ALJAZ BEDENE: When I stopped last season, when I decided I want to play tennis. I want to do everything, I wouldn't say right, but do everything that's needed to be done to be good.

Q. Have you been staying locally during the tournament? Have you managed to get out into Wimbledon? Have you been recognized by British tennis fans? Are you getting more recognition from the home fans?
ALJAZ BEDENE: I don't know because I'm always on the phone. I don't know if anyone recognizes me (smiling). No, I'm kidding.

Don't really go out too much. I went to the great sushi place they've got in Wimbledon Village, called Sticks and Sushi, almost every night. So many tennis players eat there.

Q. Who have you been sharing tables with?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Gilles (smiling), just last night.

Q. Should have dropped something in his food.
ALJAZ BEDENE: I was trying to, but he's too quick (smiling).

He was at the table next to us. I'm probably the closest house to Wimbledon outside the Park 4 I think it is.

Q. Gate 4?
ALJAZ BEDENE: I don't know, is it Gate 4? Parking 4, I don't know, something like that. I mean, I've got walking distance to Aorangi a minute and a half. It's an amazing place.

Q. What is it like sitting next to someone in a restaurant and playing him the next day? Lob a bit of sushi at him?
ALJAZ BEDENE: He's a great guy. I don't have any problems sitting next to him. We chat. I mean, I would say he's one of the nicest guys on tour. I had no problem sitting next to him.

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