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November 26, 2015

Leon Smith

James Ward

Kyle Edmund

Jamie Murray

Andy Murray

Ghent, Belgium

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Leon, can you talk us through your team selection, and is this what you were always thinking or a decision you only made in the last couple of days?
CAPTAIN SMITH: I think that it was always going to be a difficult decision who started the weekend. The good thing that coincided with this tie was that the number two singles players had all come into good form. James won a challenger in India, Kyle had won a challenger in South America. It was actually a really good situation to be in.

I think where Kyle's ranking sits now, and he's very comfortable on this surface, is why we're starting that way. But still a very difficult decision.

Q. Leon, I think all three previous ties this year you've started with two doubles specialists. Why that change of thinking here?
CAPTAIN SMITH: Yeah, the thing about that is fairly simplistic. There was no way that Andy and Jamie wouldn't be playing this rubber. They've played with such quality in the last two ties.

So as soon as we made that decision, it's much better to have more singles options because who knows what happens over the next couple of days. It's good to have options for Sunday.

Q. Kyle, what a great opportunity. For you does it feel inspiring or intimidating, or perhaps a mixture of the two?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, it's just exciting really. Obviously for myself personally, it's my first match of the Davis Cup for my country. It's exciting itself, the fact it's a final. At the same time it's a team event and the team comes first.

My job is to give my best and give my all. The ultimate goal is obviously to put the point on the board for Great Britain.

Q. Andy and Jamie, when we're all growing up as kids, we always imagine it's a putt to win The Open or a penalty to win the World Cup Final. Did you ever imagine you'd be here playing for the Davis Cup?
ANDY MURRAY: I never really had those dreams when I was a kid about serving for a Grand Slam or Davis Cup or anything like that. When I was a kid, I just loved playing tennis. I loved watching it on the TV. It became a passion of mine.

It wasn't until I really got to like 17, 18 years old and decided I was going to become a professional, and competing in those events, that you start to actually think about winning them.

That's just me. Maybe other people are different. But, yeah, I didn't have like massive goals when I was 10, 11 years old. I just loved playing tennis, and that was it.

Obviously now that we're here now, since I've become a professional, I wanted to try to win the biggest competitions. This is the biggest team competition in our sport. Everyone has played a huge part in getting us into this position. I hope we can do the business over the next few days.

JAMIE MURRAY: I just wanted to play at Wimbledon. That for me was a huge thing, to play on Centre Court. I was able to do that a few years ago. Everything else is a bonus after that really.

Q. Andy, we've seen you play three rubbers in a match quite a lot. How confident are you at the end of this long year the scale of this event will kind of fuel you to get through the last three days?
ANDY MURRAY: I'd imagine I'd be fine, to be honest. The match after Wimbledon was really hard for me, the match against France I found very tough. That came on the back of obviously the French Open, Queen's and Wimbledon, which for me is a very stressful time of year.

Then obviously the match against France, you know, they were quite draining matches. Even the doubles and the singles on the Sunday, it was tough.

Now I think I should be fine here. You never know how the matches are going to pan out, but I'd imagine I'd be okay.

Q. Andy, are you surprised by the choice of Ruben? What do you know about him?
ANDY MURRAY: We're not that surprised. The last couple days obviously Leon and the coaching team have been watching their practices. That was kind of what we thought was going to happen. So that's good that we were prepared for that.

I don't know him extremely well, but I've watched some of his matches this year. I saw him play at the US Open a bit. I saw some of his match against Wawrinka. I watched some videos of him playing in the Davis Cup before.

I know his game a bit, but actually I don't know the Belgian players that well because I've never played against any of them except Goffin, and I only played him one time.

It's quite a strange situation to be in. Whoever had played the first day, I would never have practiced with them or played against them, so it doesn't change much.

Q. Kyle, I was wondering what sort of the biggest stage and hottest atmosphere you've played in front of before this? Have you been trying to visualize in the last few days what it's actually going to be like in front of 13,000 people packed around the court?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, well, this is definitely going to be the biggest crowd I've played in front of. Probably the biggest occasion. The experience I've had close to that is probably in Paris in my first round when I played a French guy in front of a loud French crowd. That's my experience in that regard.

But, yeah, this will definitely be louder, a lot more people watching. It a new experience for me. It's something I'm going to have to learn as I go through the match.

But it's a good problem and it's exciting.

Q. Leon, you have had tremendous support throughout the campaign and will do so again. What does it mean to you and your team that a thousand plus fans are going to be coming over during what is an unusual travel week?
CAPTAIN SMITH: We've been fortunate, as have the Belgians, to have home ties. The ones we've had this year in particular have been very, very special. The fact that we're in the World Group, the fact we played a couple of those ties in Glasgow in front of supporters that don't get to see the brothers too much. I think at Queen's it was terrific as well. I think last year in Naples, when we went there, we had a good traveling support that came out.

I know the situation has been difficult for everybody who are making the travel plans, but I know they wouldn't miss it because they've watched us so passionately throughout this whole campaign. We'd love to have more fans coming. It's a shame in many ways that we can't get more tickets.

But the ones that do come, I know they're going to support us as well as they have done, especially that Stirling Barmy Army who are pretty sensational at what they do.

They'll still be heard, although I know the Belgian fan are terrific at supporting. I remember when they played us at Braehead, 2012, whenever we played them, they had a small band of supporters. They were very, very good. I'm sure it's going to be a great atmosphere.

Q. Andy and Leon, can you sum up how important this is overall for British tennis short-term and long-term.
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know, to be honest. I really don't know. I think all the players and the staff will know how much this means to all of us. I think all the fans that have turned out over the last few years and all of the home and away ties know how special this run we've been on has been.

But I said it the other day: it's not us to capitalize on that success, that's up to the governing body to do that. Hopefully they can.

Q. Andy, you've been involved in lots of big finals, big occasions in your tennis career obviously. How does this compare in terms of your own level of excitement and anticipation?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I'm pumped. There's nerves there obviously. That's really a positive thing. When I'm not nervous is normally when I worry a little bit. It's obviously a big opportunity for all of us.

But I believe that we prepared as best we can. I trust everyone in the team from all of the staff to all of the players. Everyone's played a huge part in getting us here. I think everyone should be excited about the prospect of playing in a Davis Cup Final. Hopefully we can play well and win at the end of the weekend.

Q. Andy, here in Belgium a lot of people see this final at Belgium against Andy Murray. How do you cope with that pressure? The biggest enemy, will it maybe be the audience?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I think if you look at it that way, they're actually putting a lot of pressure on their own players in the other matches, to be honest.

I'm happy to take as much pressure on my shoulders as is needed. I've been in that position I think a lot of times in my career. I think I will be able to deal with it okay.

But, like I said, I also believe in all of the players in our team. Everyone, when they've been asked to, stepped up and performed extremely well in the Davis Cup. Kyle has a lot of weapons on the court. He has a lot of firepower out there. It's not going to be an easy match tomorrow for David. I've practiced with Kyle the last few days. He's playing extremely well.

Yeah, I think looking at it as Belgium versus me is actually counterproductive to them if that's the case.

Q. Leon and Andy, the roof here contravenes Davis Cup regulations. They've gotten special permission. It's 10 feet lower than the Wimbledon Centre Court roof. What are your thoughts on this?
CAPTAIN SMITH: I didn't know the exact specifications of that before I came here. It didn't take long to look up and realize it's pretty low.

But that's up to the ITF to work with the host nation and decide if that's fine. Over the course of the weekend, we'll see how many times it actually disrupts play, then we can probably comment on it more then.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I don't see it as being a major problem, to be honest. I mean, it might appear that some of the lobs that you hit are high, but from the top of someone's racquet up to where the rafters are, it's probably, I don't know, a good 15 feet or so. It seems maybe even higher than that.

Shouldn't really affect any lobs.

Q. Has it had an effect in practice? Have you hit any girders?
ANDY MURRAY: Some of Leon's forehands have ended up in there, but none of us I don't think it's affected really (laughter).

CAPTAIN SMITH: I'll get one back later. That's good (smiling).

Q. Andy, you had a very consistent year on a personal basis. Do you think there are aspects of the team environment which have benefited or helped improve your game?
ANDY MURRAY: I think maybe, yeah, as a person it helps you. I think throughout the rest of the year you have to be quite selfish. But I think obviously when you're playing as part of a team, your job is more than just about preparing for yourself. You want to try to help the team as much as you can, whether if that's on the sidelines watching and supporting the matches, or if that's making sure when you're practicing that you're not just concentrating on yourself and what you're working on but also trying to help the other players in the team. Yeah, just giving support as much as you can away from the matches, as well. Trying to be a good teammate.

Yeah, I could think as a person, not just this year, but I think over the years of playing Davis Cup, I've kind of learnt my role a little bit better.

It's really up to the guys to say whether I've been a good teammate or not. I don't know. I try my best to be that. But, yeah, I would say they're the things I've probably learnt over the years of playing Davis Cup.

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