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Friday, 7 July 2017
20:32 PM BST

Karen Khachanov: Third round

Karen Khachanov speaks to the media after the 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(3) defeat against Rafael Nadal

Q. Bad bounce on the break point. No fun for you?
KAREN KHACHANOV: Now maybe it's more funny from your side. Yeah, it was a bad bounce. What can I do? Bad bounce can be even for him, can be for me. So just had to forget it and focus on the next point.

Q. Were you pretty impressed by how he started? He started very fast.
KAREN KHACHANOV: Yeah, is true. The way he started, he was returning all my serves, the first, second, was putting a lot of pressure and hitting the forehand, like, I mean, so hard. So I didn't know where to go, where to move.

So I was a little bit out of, like, kind of in terms of rallies, you know. He was playing so fast.

Q. What did you take from the experience of playing Rafa on Centre?
KAREN KHACHANOV: That in this match still I had opportunities in the third set. So I had break points, I think it was 4-3 for me, had three break points. Then two more set points. I was close, so I have to keep all the match, keep playing all the match like I was playing from second set, let's say, that I started to put more pressure and playing more inside the court. Still, I could have more chances even, yeah.

Q. What did you adjust? Because he got off to such a good start. Did you adjust anything when he got off to such a good start?
KAREN KHACHANOV: Yes. I mean, at the beginning he started really fast. He was destroying me. And then in the second set I think I started to step in more. I tried to hit also more through, more harder, and I think he started to miss more.

And then of course he went back, and then the match was more open, and, like, more rallies that I could take the lead.

Q. A great match up against an amazing opponent, but you and Daniil Medvedev, young Russian guys doing really well, what do you think about that? What do you think about how you and he are doing and how you see the next couple of years panning out?
KAREN KHACHANOV: Did you forget about Rublev (smiling)?

Q. Oh, him as well. I'm sorry.
KAREN KHACHANOV: Yeah, it feels great that all of us young Russian guys are rising up and coming through. So hopefully in this year and next years we will try to be higher and bring Russian tennis back to the highest position.

Q. What do you put that down to, the progress that you guys are making?
KAREN KHACHANOV: It's a kind of work that we are doing, all of us. Just improving, trying to get better. I think everybody has a good team. So just to keep -- we have to keep focus on this.

Q. What was the experience of being on Centre Court like for you?
KAREN KHACHANOV: It's a great experience. I mean, I played in Roland Garros also against Andy on centre court. Now here in Wimbledon. It's nice to play on these kind of courts against the best players. That's what I'm really working to and really happy to be on that, yeah, that moment, yeah.

Q. Doesn't make you nervous or afraid because it's such a famous place?
KAREN KHACHANOV: No. I mean, of course top guys, they are used to it because every match, most of the matches they play on the big courts, but for me, match by match, I'm getting more used to.

So first games, they are always nervous. Doesn't matter against who you play. It's a little bit different feelings. The court is bigger. It looks much wider. Yeah. But as soon as you play more games, you get used to and you adapt more.

Q. The umpire sometimes had a "K" in your name, Khachanov, but it's Karen Khachanov?
KAREN KHACHANOV: Yeah, in Russian is Khachanov. But in English, "K" letter in front. So depending. Right pronunciation is Khachanov.

Q. Does it bother you when people get it wrong?
KAREN KHACHANOV: I don't try to look at it, you know.

Q. You played Murray and then you played Roger and then you played Rafa. So three of the so-called Big 4. Can you just explain the difference in experience playing the one in comparison to the other? What's it like to play Roger, what's it like to play Rafa, and Murray?
KAREN KHACHANOV: I mean, they are three different players, three different styles of play.

So against Andy, we also played on different surface, on clay. He was really good at defense, so, I mean, I had to go for the shots. I had to hit aggressive like always. Definitely in every match it's the main plan for my game.

Against Rafa, if you give him time, he can destroy you. I mean, if you don't hit hard and fast, he's going to destroy you. If he has time, he's dominating with his forehand and he can play all the angles of the court.

So against Roger, it's quite similar. I mean, if you give him time with his forehand, he also, he can play whatever he wants.

Definitely Rafa is also lefty, so maybe it's a little bit more uncomfortable to return the serves. And when he spin the forehand to your backhand, like, it's bouncing a little bit higher. But we were playing on grass, so it doesn't bounce as much as on clay, for example.

So for me it's a great experience to play against top guys in all three different tournaments like in the deeper stage, fourth round of Roland Garros, semifinal of Halle, here in the third round. Just motivated for next tournaments to get better.

Q. What are your next tournaments?
KAREN KHACHANOV: I'm planning to play Bastad and Hamburg on clay, two events.

Q. And until the US Open?
KAREN KHACHANOV: We are still -- I mean, of course Montreal, Cincinnati still in the plan. Maybe Los Cabos, yeah, and then US Open. Then week off and US Open.

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