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April 23, 2017
Saddlebrook Resort, Wesley Chapel, Florida, USA
THE MODERATOR: We'll start with Coco. She's got a flight to catch. Then we'll have her pop out, okay?
Q. Coco, can you just talk about the day in general, winning singles and coming back and winning the doubles? What kind of day was it for you?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: It was an amazing day as a team. It shows that every point counts in this event, and we all came together when it mattered most. That's what you expect out of a Fed Cup tie.
Q. Did you know you were going to play doubles this morning? Wasn't Lauren originally in there?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Well, I was only focused this morning on my singles match and getting that point done. And then if it came upon me playing doubles, I was ready to play.
Q. Can you just talk about the excitement you're feeling about being in the final. Haven't been in since 2010; haven't won since 2000.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Who is they?
Q. The USA.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Oh, the USA. Well last time I was in a final I was with B. Mattek Sands playing my first tie, so it's kind of like a Throwback Thursday right now. But it's great to put us through into the finals.
It shows how hard we all worked to get to this point and how much we deserve to be here. That's the bottom line: We deserve to be in the final.
Q. Coco, when you fell on your back at the end at match point there, talk through your emotions.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: It was elated, because I was kind of starting to choke a little bit. I was like, What the heck? I can't hit a forehand anymore. It's going a foot long.
But it was great. I made a lot of first serves and B was all over the net like she usually is and kind of carried us through and was definitely team leader in that doubles.
Q. You've won Fed Cup doubles matches with Bethanie before: Against Australia, against Poland. You represented the U.S. with her at the Olympics. You Indian Wells together. How does this compare?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: The other doubles points didn't matter in Fed Cup. We had already clinched the tie.
But Indian Wells was super special. It was first time playing together and it was great time. We had a really fun time playing that.
But this one was really exciting, and it really shows the tennis aspect of doubles. It's great for everyone to see that doubles is an intricate part of the Fed Cup and also in tennis in general.
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Word of day "intricate."
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I couldn't spell it for you.
But it was great to be put there with one of my really good friends and to kind of share this moment. This is what we play for. We play for the opportunity to clinch the U.S. to the final.
Q. We've seen the camaraderie all week. What makes this team so special?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: The team is super special because we all care for each other. We all care to put what we have on the line for each other and for USA. At least that's what I bring out to the table, and I kind of expect that from all my other teammates. They have been doing that as well.
Q. Congratulations, ladies. Quick question: How did you get over your nerves today? What were you thinking in your mind today?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Well, the first thing that goes for me when I'm nervous is footwork. My footworks gets quite a bit sloppy.
But I was just trying my hardest and picking my spots, and thankfully I got to serve at the end. I can trust my serve to go in when it needs to.
Q. Coco, can you just say what your schedule is going into the French?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I am hustling to Stuttgart currently, then I have Madrid, French Open. That's it.
Thank you, guys.
Q. Kathy, not too many Fed Cup captains make it to the final in their debut. Actually I think Mary Joe did. Talk a little about that.
CAPTAIN RINALDI: Well, obviously we're building off what Mary Joe started. It's been an unbelievable couple of ties for me. Coco said it well: These girls are amazing. It's been a lot of fun it's super special. It's something that I'll never forget.
Looking forward to the final.
Q. So what do you like about the role and what maybe don't you like so much about the role?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: About the role?
Q. Yeah, as the captain.
CAPTAIN RINALDI: I love everything about the role. I knew what I was getting into, and I love it. I love the girls, the competition. Yes, at this level you always have little bumps in the road or what have you, but that's part of it. And I like that part. I like the challenge.
When you're working with great, tremendous athletes and tremendous young ladies, it's very rewarding.
Q. Maybe the other girls, just something about making it to the finals, feelings on that. Anyone?
SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, it's a great feeling. I think it's really special to be a part of a team and to be a part of a winning team is even better.
But these girls are so amazing. This is my second Fed Cup, and I couldn't ask for better experiences. It's just humbling. Gives you so much pride playing for your country.
I mean, all these words keep coming up, but it's true. These girls are amazing. They've got my back and I've got their back. It's really cool.
Q. Lauren, going back to the singles match earlier today, how would you evaluate your performance? What were the biggest positives you can take from it?
LAUREN DAVIS: Yeah, I think my opponent played some really good tennis. She came out really strong. Had a really successful Fed Cup debut.
I think I let my nerves in the beginning get the best of me, but I gave it all that I had and that's really all I can ask for out of myself.
Q. You each might have a different answer to this, but the Fed Cup seems to be very noisy with a lot of audience participation. I wonder how this affects your play. If you're not used to all that noise and it's right up until your serve, does it affect you in a positive or negative way?
LAUREN DAVIS: It's actually really cool having that, because we don't have that at any other tournament. Just the atmosphere and the excitement of it all definitely pumps you up a lot.
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: I think it makes a difference, too, home team vs. away team. But even when I played some of the away games, you just kind of pretend they're cheering for you.
But either way I think it's cool to have fans supporting whichever team like that. Either way, it's great to see tennis fans out there getting loud. I personally like it.
SHELBY ROGERS: You can hear the trumpet for a couple days.
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: I know. I'll be dreaming about that trumpet.
Q. Kathy, have you had active conversations with -- I won't bother with Serena obviously with the circumstances - but with Venus throughout this year? Do you think she might be available for the final?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: Well, we just won this and haven't gotten that far. Yeah, I've spoken to Venus and Serena. They've been extremely supportive. We've had great communication with all the players. That's part of it as captain. I care about these girls more than just Fed Cup.
I'm thinking about them for the long run and the big picture as well. You know, that's great thing about American tennis right now, the exciting part, that we have so many players. These girls have been absolutely amazing. It's their goal to win a Fed Cup title and I know that.
It's actually tough to pick a team because we have so many great players, and I've known them since they were so young. I believe in all of them.
Q. Bethanie, you're awful quiet over there. Your reaction to being in the final?
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Quiet? Whoa.
Q. For once.
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: Well I don't have my like partner in crime over here. Kathy. Kathy is my spirit animal. (Laughter.)
It's amazing. I mean, I think the best way to describe it is our reaction after the match. You know, November is still kind of far away so we have a lot of tennis kind of in between then, but we're going to celebrate a little bit today and enjoy the win.
Q. Kathy, talk about the venue here and also about the crowd?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: I would love to talk about the venue, because Saddlebrook, Mr. Dempsey and his family and, Kevin O'Connor have just been absolutely amazing. They've gone above and beyond for Team USA and for the Czech Republic team.
It was spectacular. The atmosphere, the stadium, the hitting partners, the accommodations, the food. You name it, it's been just a tremendous week. We've actually had a lot of fun in Tampa, as you know. I'm sure you've seen our social media with the Busch Gardens and going to the Tampa Rays baseball game. We've enjoyed the spa here at Saddlebrook. Wendy was absolutely amazing there and they went above and beyond for us, too. We've just had a tremendous week. I can't speak highly enough. I played here when I was younger - and I think we had the doubles championship here one year - and it's so great to be back, because Saddlebrook has a rich history of tennis.
I'm sure the girls will say the same about Saddlebrook and their hospitality.
Q. As somebody here stated before, you never know what's going to happen in Fed Cup. I think many of us thought we would be hosting the final, but as we know, Belarus. Talk about having an away final.
CAPTAIN RINALDI: Yeah, we've been very fortunate to have two home ties. That's what Fed Cup is all about. You just never know, do you? So we're looking forward to it. Wherever it is, we're going to be there and we're going to be a team and we're going have each other's backs and we're going to compete.
It's a really special week. I really try to make it a special week for these girls because she deserve it. They're taking time out of their busy schedule; they're committed to Fed Cup and representing the United States. They take great pride in that, and it should be a special week. Being in a final is a special week.
Q. (Regarding Belarus.)
BETHANIE MATTEK SANDS: I have not. Add it my list of countries.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports