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September 22, 2017

Alexander Zverev

Thomas Enqvist

Prague, Czech Republic


Prague, Czech Republic

22 September, 2017

A. ZVEREV/D. Shapovalov

7-6, 7-6

Europe - 3

The World - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congrats for another hard-fought point for the Team Europe. There has been quite a domination for you guys in these tiebreaks today. What's the secret? Is it like the magic of Roger and Rafa cheering you on from the bench or what?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No, I mean, I felt like in Marin's and Tiafoe's match, I felt like Marin was maybe the better player the whole match, and then in the tiebreaks it all came together.

During my match, I felt like on my serve I was coming through pretty easily except this one game where I had break points against me in the first set.

So I always felt like, okay, I was very close of getting the break, I was very close to getting his serve broken. Then I didn't do it, and I always felt in the tiebreak, going into it, I always felt like I was playing better than him a little bit.

That helped a lot. And, you know, maybe a little bit the experience, as well, you know, maybe Marin against Frances, you know, Marin is the older guy. He's a Grand Slam champion. That helps a little bit. Obviously John and Dominic, anything could have happened. You know, it was a great match. Both players I think played very well.

So was ours. I'm just happy to get the third point for Europe.

Q. You had a bit of banter with the crowd at one point. I think somebody shouted out "Rafa," and you said it was Roger who the camera was on. Just because this is not a rankings event, but it's also not an exhibition in the conventional sense, is it a bit of balance you have to strike there how much fun you have with the crowd and how much you're concentrating on the matter at hand?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No, I mean, I think all the matches have shown that this is a completely serious event and that we all want to win, especially us for our continent. You know, you can see by how close the matches were and by how intense we all were and how intense the bench was, it shows how serious we all take it and how much we all want to win.

It was a fun moment with the crowd and then it was back to serious. I think both of us, we didn't joke around or anything like that. It was a full-on serious match.

Q. Were you aware of the World bench and all their activities whenever Denis won points?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, I saw the sliding and whatever, the push-ups that they did. I have seen that. I had a smile on my face a little bit.

They are all great guys. Nick is an entertainer. We all know that. The Americans, Jack and John also are great guys. They are having fun. They are trying to cheer on.

But at the end of the day when we are all out on court, this is maybe even more special than a regular tournament. This is the most fun I have had at an event with all those guys, you know, with Roger and Rafa and Marin and Dominic and Tomas and Fernando and all the team captains, having the dinners together, listening to the stories that they have been through, just being part of it was amazing so far.

I think everybody is taking it completely serious. At the end of the day we want to win.

Q. Apparently Roger came and gave you some advice at some stage. Were you surprised that he started to do some coaching you at one point?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No, I mean, as I said, all of our goals is to win. Roger and Rafa have done that with Dominic in the previous matches, and when somebody sees something we could do, we said that before that we want all the advices that we can have, because this is a team competition where we have so many great players and great players see different things.

I think that's what Roger did. Roger gave me great advice. I went Love-40 in that game. I kind of won the match with my backhand return, which was that challenge, we had to replay the point. It was a great help from him.

Q. A couple of things. A few of you guys have talked about the stories and things like that that the more mature players have been reciting. First thing is is there any one story that has stood out for you? And also, this aspect of the other guys giving you all advice and things like that during matches, can that be of benefit on the regular tour for you guys?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, even when Marin and Dominic were playing, we were discussing things about the opponents that we see maybe what they do on break points or important moments, something like that, which, you know, sometimes you don't realize, and that obviously can help in a match situation next time you play someone like that, or maybe if you play Sunday against them.

It's obviously great, because every player sees different things, and a lot of the things are quite similar, but still, there are things that everybody picks up and it's great sharing them.

Q. What about any aspect on any standout story?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Oh, there has been a lot. Rafa and Roger have been talking about I think the Wimbledon final that they played in 2008, the Wimbledon final before that they played, as well, those kind of things.

Also, all around, other subjects, not only tennis, other subjects that they have opinions on. It was quite fun.

Q. People talk about the Borg/McEnroe rivalry and Roger/Rafa. Do you get the sense that you and Denis could have a similar rivalry over the next 10 years?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Look, I mean, we played two times so far (smiling). The other guys played 60, 70 times?

Hopefully. Hopefully one day we can have. I know we are both very hard-working and quite talented. We want to play the sport. We want to win the biggest titles as much as we can.

So hopefully this will be a long-lasting rivalry. Of course with me and Denis and then obviously Dominic, hopefully Nick and other guys, as well.

Q. Back to training, coaching, again, we can see that John and Björn have different styles of coaching.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, different.

Q. Are you the type you need more tips, you need more things to be said during the match? Is the style of coaching different from training or during the match?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, look, I think Björn is a very smart guy and he understands that a lot of us, we don't know each other very well and maybe saying too much is not a great thing, but obviously if something's coming from him, he's a legend of our sport, we all listen. There is no doubt about that, and we all appreciate what he says to us.

Björn and John are very different. I mean, me and Björn were sitting quietly maybe discussing a few things, and John takes the racquet of Denis and showing him how to hit a backhand or forehand and starts doing swings next to the bench. And we are looking at him, That's a bit more intense than we have it on the bench (smiling).

Both of them are great guys, but Björn has been fantastic for the team, as well.

Q. You and Nick are obviously pretty good friends and have been for a little while now. In talking to Nick yesterday, he made the point that rivalries really don't matter to him. He's just happy to go out and play. Doesn't matter if it's a long-standing thing that might exist, as with Federer/Nadal. But it seems maybe a rivalry is a bit more important to you. Would that be right?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think, look, the greatest players of all time all have rivals, have rivalries with each other, John and Björn, Roger and Rafa, Novak, Andy, those guys come in, Pete and Andre Agassi.

You know, they all had rivals. We are too young to have rivals, because we played only a few guys three, four times of the young guys. But hopefully in the future, in like 10 years' time or 12 years' time when you ask the questions, we can say, Yeah, we had a great rivalry, and hopefully it can continue.

Right now it's too early to say that we have a rivalry with any of us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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