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April 19, 2018

Captain Kathy Rinaldi

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Coco Vandeweghe

Madison Keys

Sloane Stephens

New York, New York

CAPTAIN RINALDI: Welcome, everyone. I'm happy and proud to be here with the U.S. Fed Cup team. Having a great time working hard this week. Very excited about the weekend, playing in front of the French crowd.

So ask away.

Q. How important is it to get out there with the Net Generation, the next wave of American players, CoCo and Sloane?
SLOANE STEPHENS: It's a great opportunity to give other people the opportunity to play. It's a great resource to be able to use to find proper equipment, coaches, safe environment, all that. Yeah, I'm pretty happy (indiscernible).

COCO VANDEWEGHE: It's good to get kids out there being active. As long as they're playing a good sport and happy, being active, I'm good for that.

Q. You play the circuit week in, week out. A pretty tough go. What makes coming together to play the Fed Cup special? Can you put into words what it means to you?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, obviously tennis is an individual sport. So any time we get the opportunity to play on a team together with a group of friends, it's always an amazing opportunity. We always have the most fun weeks throughout the year. We're always thinking back to these awesome weeks together, and we're always laughing.

Q. Can you think of one fun or special moment that was really great for you Fed Cup wise?
MADISON KEYS: We pretty much go with, What happens at Fed Cup stays in Fed Cup (laughter).

Taking the title last year.

Q. For any of the players or the coach. Clay is a surface that U.S. players have had limited success with. Has it been a difficult adjustment this week getting prepared to play on clay, or those of you who played Charleston last week help prepare you for transitioning to playing on red clay?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: I actually won French Open two years in a row now, so I actually like playing on clay.

We've had a lot of good players, having some good results on the surface. I think the only difference is it's red over here in Europe and we have more green clay in the U.S. It's a little bit of an adjustment.

But I think everyone is feeling pretty good on the clay.

Q. With such a talented lineup for the U.S., how difficult will it be for you to decide who to play? How will you go about filling out your lineup card this weekend?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: It's amazing to have in my second year here an amazing team. Every team has been amazing. As Maddie mentioned earlier, we're a team. Everyone here has a role. Everyone is very supportive of one another. That's why we've had so much success.

As a captain, yes, it's tough picking players when you have a lot of great American players. But I've been very fortunate with all the girls. They're an amazing group of young ladies, not just tennis players. They're here to support one another and have each other's back. So that's why we have had success.

Q. What does it mean to be able to train at the national campus?
MADISON KEYS: It's been really great. The red clay courts at the USTA are just as good as they are in Europe. It's not very often that you can play on that in the States. Being able to practice on that has really helped.

I've definitely felt more comfortable on the surface just because I've had so much more play on it.

Q. On a different front, what makes Lake Nona as a special training center?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: I think once you go to the facility, you actually can see how great it is just because it's so expansive. Every time I've been there, a lot of the courts are being used. The gym facilities, coaching, the staff, everyone is there to help everyone be the best they can be.

With that mentality, it's going to help a lot of players get a lot better. It's just a huge facility. I mean, they have every surface. It's an amazing place to train. I think you're going to see a lot of talented youngsters coming up from there.

Q. After your devastating Wimbledon injury, did you ever think you might not get back out there? What was your toughest moment in the comeback?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: I think for me it was about keeping the same attitude day-to-day. There's certain things that are beyond your control. Once I had suffered the injury, I couldn't go back and do it over again. I made a choice to control what I could, and that was my attitude. What I was doing daily to rehab, enjoy my life, find other things that I enjoyed, doing TV. I went down to Australia, did some commentating, in New York.

It feels nice to be back on court. I'm not going to say it was this long journey to get here because I enjoyed each step of the process to get here.

Q. Kathy, looking ahead to the semifinal matchups, what are your expectations for this weekend? What specific challenges are you expecting from the French team?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: Obviously they have a strong team. So do we. I think my expectations are the same every time we have a tie, and that's for us to be united and have each other's backs and support one another. We're here to win. We're here to compete. Just another great opportunity.

I think the biggest challenge obviously is when you play an away match, you have the crowd. I think everyone here has experienced the French crowd. We're excited for it. It's a lot of fun. I remember playing in front of them as a player at the French Open.

Yeah, I think it's going to be a great weekend. We've worked hard, had a great week of practice. We have one more, then we're ready to go.

THE MODERATOR: This concludes today's teleconference. Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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