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February 5, 2016

Mary Joe Fernandez

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Sloane Stephens

Coco Vandeweghe

Venus Williams

Kailua Kona, Hawaii, USA

THE MODERATOR: We will take questions for the U.S. Fed Cup team.

Q. For the players, why is it important for you to play on the Fed Cup team because most of the time you're involved with individual efforts? How do you feel about the team approach?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Well, I think it's very important to represent your country in any sense of the word. So that is why I choose to play Fed Cup.

It's a great honor and a privilege to be out there to represent your country. So that's why I play.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I enjoy being on the team. Coco is very noble, but I have a really good time on the team. It's just a fun time. You don't usually get to do this in tennis. It's a different experience that you don't get to have when you grow up as a tennis player, and you're always solo from beginning to the end. It's a moment where it's a break from that.

SLOANE STEPHENS: I think both of them answered the question already. It's the greatest honor play for your country and be on a team when every week you're by yourself. It makes it really fun. Of course, with girls you actually do like and enjoy being around makes it a good week and makes it a lot of fun.

BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Yeah, I think they hit on it all. It's different than our normal routine. We've had a lot of fun this week. That's pretty much it.

Q. What are some initial thoughts on the draw and the matchups?
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: I think everybody on both teams are used to playing first or second, so it doesn't make that big of a difference.

But we know the other players. Some of them have played them already. We're just excited to start. We've practiced a lot already and we're ready to get going.

Q. As far as Fed Cup is concerned, why is it important in the world of tennis? I think that would be a Mary Joe question. What is the significance of it?
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: I think that goes with your first question. The fact that tennis is an individual sport, you're able to come together as a team. It's rare, but it's unique. You take a lot of pride. It's special. It means that much more when you win; it hurts that much more when you lose because it's not just about you. I think that's why it's important.

I think it's important to grow tennis in countries that don't see it very often, in communities that don't see it very often. It's nice to be here playing Fed Cup for the first time and get new fans, hopefully encourage new children, new players to get involved in the game. This is one way of doing that.

Q. Have you had a chance to get a little ocean time in?
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: Some of us have.

COCO VANDEWEGHE: I love the ocean. Anytime I can get out there, I can't complain. I live in California. This water is way warmer than in California right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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