home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 24, 2015

Leon Smith

James Ward

Dominic Inglot

Kyle Edmund

Jamie Murray

Andy Murray

Ghent, Belgium

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the team, please.

Q. Leon, could you tell us how practice has gone over the first couple of days and what you make of the facilities here.
CAPTAIN SMITH: Well, we only had yesterday on court with a good day of practice. Court seems pretty good in the early stages. We'll see how it holds up over eight, nine, ten hours a day of practice. Hopefully it will be good.

As you guys are probably experiencing, it's pretty cold out there. It will be interesting to see how the conditions change when they finally shut the doors.

Yeah, I mean, the most important thing is that we're here now. On a serious note, we're here, we're practicing. Our main focus, as it should be, is now making sure all the players are ready to do their very, very best at the weekend.

Q. Leon, how are you going to handle the issue of team selection? Will you tell the guys before Thursday? Will you tell us before Thursday? Will you leave it till an hour before the draw?
CAPTAIN SMITH: You're right, I'll definitely have to tell them before Thursday. But obviously with our travel arrangements changing a little bit, we wanted to get here and actually get a feel for the venue, feel for the courts. That's why I didn't speak to the guys directly about it just yet. Going to wait and see over the next day or two, then speak to them obviously in advance of that.

Q. Andy, the feeling of having been here a few hours, it feels very much like business as usual. Many people were wondering about the security here in Belgium. Do you feel you're setting an example by coming to play this match at a time when so many people have security concerns?
ANDY MURRAY: I didn't necessarily think of it like that, that we were here to set an example. I think we just listened to all of the right people. They have a fantastic security team here. They're over there.

I've been saying anyway to a lot of people over the last few days, at the ties you think everything is fine, and the security, you don't necessarily need it. But in situations like this, it's great we have such capable people that are able to give us the best advice.

Everyone, I think, is very comfortable in the team. It was obviously a bit concerning a few days ago. I think once we got here and got into the hotel, came to the venue and saw what it was like here, I think that made everyone a lot more comfortable.

Q. James and Jamie, how much discussion was there over the weekend between you about the situation, how worried you were or not, if anybody thought about not coming?
JAMIE MURRAY: I was always planning on coming and playing. Always planning to come. Obviously things had happened that made it a bit more concerning.

But, you know, we're here. We're training. Business as normal. Yeah, ready to play on Friday.

Q. Andy, just a question for fans who are concerned. What can you say to reassure fans who are kind of 50/50 whether they want to come because of the security concerns?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think it's not for me to give people advice on security. That isn't my thing. But obviously it's a different situation in Brussels than it is here. I know a lot of fans were staying there and planning on traveling through there. Obviously listen to the right people, if you're doing that.

But here in Ghent, everything seems fine. It's very quiet. I think it's a really nice city. Yeah, I hope as many fans can travel over as possible to give us the best support.

Obviously understand if people make another decision because of what's been happening in Brussels. Like I said, a lot of people are traveling through there.

Q. Leon, what preparation have you done or could you do to prepare the team for playing an away tie? Obviously the three other ties this year have been home. What have you done to prepare the team for having them in a more hostile atmosphere?
CAPTAIN SMITH: There's not a huge amount you can change in terms of your preparation in dealing with the fans that are going to be there. We've played in front of our fans to know what the atmosphere is like when it's been on our side. Obviously you'll flip it the other way.

We've had experience playing in Naples and Umag, as well, which were good atmospheres. San Diego was a bit quieter. It wasn't sort of the same vibe.

Our team's got a lot of experience now because of the ties. It's more about preparing for the matches, the matchups, as everything has been pretty well documented, the training that everyone has done. It's been different for each and every one of them because of the schedules.

From Andy and Jamie preparing on indoor clay even before going to Tour Finals and then obviously James and Kyle going to South America, Dom going on indoor clay before. It's been slightly different for each player, but it's all been geared towards the surface and environment here.

Q. Kyle, you've been doing a lot of traveling, going effectively from summer to winter. Can I ask how you feel? When did you get back in Britain and link up with the squad?
KYLE EDMUND: I came back Saturday evening, landed Saturday evening. It was about a 12-hour flight. It takes a few days normally to get over the time difference. It's just three hours. Not too much of an issue.

Throughout the year we're having to deal with jetlag and travel. We find ways in ourselves to deal with that. It's no different this time. I know what I need to do to get my body in the best shape if I'm going to play.

I feel fine. It's obviously helped me physically to go to South America and play on the clay. It's not like I'm coming from a 12-hour flight and changing surface. I feel okay.

Q. Andy, you've won the Olympics, majors, you ticked off the Fred Perry thing at Wimbledon. Britain hasn't won this competition since 1936. Can you place this on a menu of achievements in your career? How much would this mean to you?
ANDY MURRAY: I think things are always difficult to know until it happens. I mean, I think often time is a good way of looking at it. It's been such a long time since Wimbledon and a Grand Slam, that any Brits had won, it was extremely significant.

To win the biggest team competition in tennis, having beat the other three Grand Slam nations, I think it would be a huge victory for everyone in the team. It would be well-deserved, as well. It's taken a lot of time and hard work from many of the players, many of the staff, coaches, physios, everyone. It's taken like five years.

I know when you win like a slam or a big competition, it's years, obviously, in the works. But this is a bit different. I don't know, the last five years it's been a progression from a pretty low place in world tennis to playing for the biggest team competition.

It would be big for everyone involved, for sure.

Q. Andy, can you tell us how you deal with the transition coming from London and what do you think about the clay here in Ghent?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think the court's good. I only practiced once on it so far yesterday evening.

Like Leon said, it has been very cold in there yesterday and also this morning. Obviously that changes the way the court plays and the way the ball travels through the air.

Hopefully this afternoon and the next couple of days we'll get to play in more similar conditions to the matches. But the transition has been fine. I'm really glad that I got the four or five days on the clay before Tour Finals. That helped me.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Kyle and James, I know you've been in this situation before. Obviously the stakes are the highest they've ever been. How are you coping with the situation knowing one of you is going to be disappointed inevitably?
JAMES WARD: Yeah, it's not easy. Obviously everyone wants to play in such a big competition, obviously the Final.

But, you know, it's been a big team effort for years, as Andy said. It's not just about this year, it's been about the last four, five years. Many different players, even guys that aren't here this week, have played a big part in that.

We'll all work together as a team and fight for the best result for all of us.

KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I mean, in sport you want to play, especially for your country. You want to do your best. Whoever plays is going to give their best. Yeah, they're going to prepare the same way they've done every other time. It doesn't change. It's a tennis match you'll prepare for.

Yeah, you just deal with it when it comes to it.

Q. Andy, could you expand a bit on the clay, how it differs from the clay you practiced on, other clay surfaces, any qualities to this that are particular to this court.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think the fact that it's indoors is fairly significant because there's not one indoor clay court tournament throughout the whole year. I could be wrong in saying this - you guys can check - but I think the last time I played on an indoor clay court was actually against Switzerland. I think that's right. That was like 10 years ago or something. Maybe I played a Davis Cup tie since then on indoor clay, but I don't remember it.

I think that's really the thing that's different. Obviously playing indoors tends to make things a little bit quicker, which helps obviously. But I only played on the court for a couple hours in freezing cold conditions. It's kind of hard to know exactly how the court's going to play come Friday. But I liked it yesterday.

Q. Andy, given the huge effort that you've clearly put into this event, the way you prioritized it this year, how disappointing was it the weekend to hear a couple of comments from former Davis Cup captains questioning your commitment to the British game and so on?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was a bit of a shame. But it's obviously not been the first time that's happened. Yeah, it's a bit like sort of background music: like you know it's there but you're not really listening. That's it basically.

My job here is to obviously try to win the tie, give my best effort. Like me and I believe all of the team have the last five years, hopefully we get the outcome that we want.

We may not get the outcome that we want, but it won't be through lack of trying or lack of care from anyone in the team. And that's it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297