THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. First tour quarterfinal and at a Masters too. Well done. What are you feeling?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Yeah, thank you. I’m really happy about it, especially since I didn’t really do anything before this.
So, yeah, obviously tough to see your opponent retire like that, but I’m still happy that I managed to get to the quarters.
Q. How far can you go here?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: I mean, at this point anything is possible. I mean, I lost a week ago and I’m still here.
So I just hope, you know, to keep playing like this and we’ll see.
Q. At what point did you realize that Yoshi might have some physical issue?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Well, I think right from the start, because he asked I think at 2-1 for the — yeah, because I saw a little bit.
But then at maybe — when I broke him the first time, that’s when, like, I really saw, like, okay, something is wrong with him.
Q. Is it crazy to you at this level where you can have one big run and it kind of changes everything? Your top 100, you’ll be top 100 and all that?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Yeah, it’s, you know, funny that at these big events to have two, three wins and, like, you’re already there. You know, so it’s very lucky. You know, thank you to Anderson for pulling out.
So, yeah, I’m happy that I used this opportunity that I got.
Q. You have played many matches in this tournament starting from qualifying. Physically how do you feel at this point?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: I’m great. Yeah, I’m really good. You know, I had a match and then a day off, and then a match and then a day off. So that was also, you know, lucky.
But, yeah, I feel good. You know, I’m excited and I’m happy to see where this takes me.
Q. I was quite surprised to see how big you have become compared to couple of years ago when you were a junior. Can you talk about your workout?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Yeah, I worked. I worked a lot. And that was — I mean, I think you have to be, you know, at this level. You can’t really be — I mean, you can, there are some players, but then you have to have amazing speed, agility and stuff.
But, you know, genetically I’m built like this, a little bit bigger, so it wasn’t that difficult for me to get a little bit more.
But, yeah, it works for me. You know, I did a lot of work and then, you know, thankfully it’s paying off now.
Q. How much time did exactly pass between you losing a week ago and then till luck started coming?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: I think I lost on Wednesday maybe, or Thursday? And then — or maybe even before that. I’m not really sure.
But I know the first day I was pissed. Then second day, I heard, you know, somebody that — well, actually two people retired, and then I was the first. So I was, like, you know, Please, somebody.
And, yeah, and then as soon — as I think as soon as they told me, I think that things just turned around for me after that.
Q. How much do you think luck plays a role in an entire career?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: I think there’s part of it, you know. Definitely not the whole thing. You know, there’s a lot of the stuff that have to come together. But I think, you know, you have to have a little bit at some points in life.
Q. When did you start practicing at IMG Academy and how did it happen?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: I started when I was 13. That’s when I first came there. And it happened I played a tournament in Moscow, under 14. And that’s when they saw me and they, you know, signed me and asked me to come over.
Q. Rafa is I think serving for the match now. So if he wins, you would be the last Serbian male left in the draw. Is that kind of how you saw it?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Yeah, I did not see that coming, not at all. So, yeah, it will be funny, you know, that somebody other than Novak is still in.
Q. You got a wild card in Miami.
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: I don’t know yet. I don’t think they announced it yet.
Q. They just announced it now?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: They did? Oh, there you go.
Yeah, I’m telling you. It’s — so yeah.
Q. Have you played the lottery for this weekend already?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: No, but I’m going to definitely after that. I’m going to get a ticket because this is just nice.
Q. Can you talk about your adjustment to coming through IMG and just what that was like for you?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: It was fun. I actually enjoyed coming there. It was weird in the beginning, moving away from home, dropping everything, literally everything that I had back home and leaving my parents behind.
But, you know, I knew that it was for — like, that I had to do it. Because if I stayed at home, I wouldn’t have the same, let’s say, like, practices or coaches or everything, you know, in general.
And I don’t think if I didn’t go there, I don’t think that I would, you know, be here today.
Q. Who were some of the people that you met first that sort of made you feel a little bit at home? Were there a couple players that you bonded with?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Well, I think it was the coaches, you know, at the beginning. I had Jose Lambert, pat Harrison, Glenn Weiner, Chip Brooks.
You know, there were a lot of good coaches there and they all welcomed me, you know, accepted me right away. I think Max Mirnyi too. He was one of the first people that I met. He was the first professional player that I actually hit with. So he was really nice to me. He still is. You know, I’m happy that I had him, somebody so experienced to have to talk to sometimes.
Q. Is Novak your idol?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Yes, definitely.
Q. Did you get a call from your father who had the courage to send you here at 13 years old? He was a very respected doctor in Belgrade and Serbia.
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Yes. I didn’t talk to him yet but definitely going to after this. But I think it was a very difficult decision for them to just send your son to the U.S. like that.
But, yeah, like I said, I think they knew that this is something that has to happen.
Q. How often would you see them when you were training?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Not that often. Maybe during the summer when I’m home or at the end of the year before preseason, something like that.
Q. A couple of times a year basically?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Yeah.
Q. How much time did pass between the tournament in Moscow and when you moved over to the States?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: I think maybe, like, the next year after that. Because that was maybe end of the year, something like that, and then like the next year, in August or September. So almost a year. Because they were thinking about it, you know, first.
Q. You talked about looking up to Novak. Obviously with the success, but what makes him special as a person, as a role model?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: I mean, you know, everything in general. You know, somebody who’s done so much and for a lot of things, you know, and for the community, and for tennis. You know, to see him grounded like that, actually, you know, trying to help and engaging in stuff. And it’s something really nice, you know, to look up to, to aspire to.
And, you know, I think we’re all lucky enough to have him, to call him our friend back home in Serbia, and just to have someone to keep pushing you and to keep chasing you.
Q. Is he the type of guy that will give you some advice on occasion?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. You know, whenever we see each other, we talk. We practice. So sometimes he gives me some advice and stuff.
So it’s encouraging to hear that from somebody that’s already been through everything.
Q. Obviously you have a big serve, big forehand, and then also you move quite good. How do you describe your strengths and your weapons?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Honestly, I have no idea. I try to hit my forehand. I think it’s better. Serving, I try to hit an ace every time. If it works, it works. If not, I have a second serve.
But no. I mean, I just — I don’t know. You know, I try to base my game maybe all around a little bit. Not to have something that’s, like, very good and then something that’s, you know, terrible. You know, I try to maybe balance that out.
I’m working on a lot of stuff now to get better, obviously, to get a lot — maybe, you know, some easier points and stuff on these faster surfaces. So I think that if I keep improving, I think I’ll be good.
Q. You said Novak has given you some advice. Anything stand out over the years that really clicked with you and helped you?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: I guess, you know, because obviously sometimes you don’t feel like doing anything. You feel like not practicing or maybe quitting. And to hear him saying, No, you have to keep going. Push through it. Give some encouraging advice like that, I think that helped me a lot.
Q. Was there a real quitting thought moment?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Yes, right after I lost quallies.
Q. It’s good you didn’t.
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Yeah. I was really — yeah, I was bummed out completely after that match.
Yeah, because, like 7-6 in the third, the last round of quallies. And, like, yeah, so many chances. But, I mean, the guy made third round, almost beat Raonic, so, you know, too good.
Q. But that low, though, to the point where you really thought with quitting?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: Well, no. I just — I like to, you know, talk crap in general. But yeah, it was just like the reaction. But then you’re like, Okay, you don’t know anything else in life, so, like, you got to stick to this.
Q. Did you think about taking off and maybe not —
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: No, I was going to stay here. Because I saw that I was three, and I was, like, there’s no chance I was leaving. I didn’t want to go to Phoenix.
Q. Did you have match points in that last round?
MIOMIR KECMANOVIC: No. I saved a couple. But I was up a break I think three times, and I served for the match, so that sucked. But yeah.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2019-03-13 20:07:00 GMT