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November 10, 2017

Kathy Rinaldi

Coco Vandeweghe

Sloane Stephens

Shelby Rogers

Alison Riske

Minsk, Belarus

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Team USA.

Q. Yesterday evening, did you enjoy something about our history, your impressions of yesterday evening?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: Yes, that was an incredible evening. We really, as you could tell, enjoyed ourselves. We've enjoyed our entire week here thus far because everybody has been so welcoming and so great to us.

Last night was definitely a highlight. Thank you.

Q. CoCo, you've been No. 1 on the team all year. How do you feel about starting off the tie? I know you haven't played any of the girls before.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I can't really speak on any of the matchups because, as you said, I haven't played anyone on the team.

But it's a great honor to play alongside these girls through the whole year, and to kind of put the cherry on top, make it to the final, compete with them this coming weekend.

Q. Talk about starting the tie.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: You play a match, you win, you lose. You just try your best. Doesn't matter if I play first, second, not at all. I'm out here for these girls, to compete as hard as I can.

Q. Do you think it will be tragic when your team loses?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: Well, we know we're going to have a very competitive weekend. We look forward to it. We're here to win. We're here to compete. We're going to put our best foot forward. We're going to have each other's backs and compete as a really tight-knit team.

Q. Sloane, are you looking forward to getting back and playing for your country in Fed Cup again after such a long time since your last tie?
SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, super excited to be back. It's my first tie with Kathy, so I'm super excited to be playing under her. I haven't played since last year in Hawaii.

Really looking forward to getting back on the court. I'm excited to be here for a final. Just hoping to have a great weekend.

Q. For the players, have you ever read the biography of Maria Sharapova, her book? Do you think in the future to read a biography about yourself?
ALISON RISKE: I actually have not read Maria Sharapova's autobiography. I can't say I would read my own autobiography. I definitely would try to write one maybe, if I ever had something worthy enough.

Q. Shelby and Ali, talk about playing doubles together, in case that's a live point, how important it will be.
SHELBY ROGERS: Alison is such a great girl. We have a lot of fun. We've had a good time in practice this week. This team is absolutely amazing. We've had a fantastic week so far. So, yeah, super excited for the weekend.

ALISON RISKE: I agree with everything that Shelby said. She's an awesome person. The rest of this team is fantastic. We are in this together. It would be an honor to play with anyone on this team in the doubles. Hopefully we all have the opportunity. It will be a good weekend for all of us.

Q. For all the players, can you explain the difference playing for your country, playing Fed Cup, compared to a regular match on the tour. How is it different? Do you feel more pressure representing your country or are you able to play like any other match?
ALISON RISKE: I must admit, I think there's a little bit more nerves involved just because you want to do well for your whole team, you want to do well for the captain. It's not just about you any more.

I think for myself, there is an added nervous excitement whenever you play a Fed Cup match.



Q. Kathy, talk a little bit about the challenge ahead. They say there's going to be a sold-out crowd. People on paper would say your team is the favorite, but in Fed Cup it's hard to say there is any favorite. They do have a home crowd.
CAPTAIN RINALDI: Yeah, I mean, obviously the team has done extremely well this year. They've earned their way into the final. They played some great tennis. They have some young, talented players. They have the home crowd with them. That's something that we look forward to.

We played two at home. It's a challenge. This is what we've come here for. This is the opportunity. Any time there's an opportunity, there's nerves and there's excitement involved.

We're here to win. We're here to compete. We're here to have each other's backs. We're going to be there for one another this weekend.

We're excited. We're excited to be here. It's been a tremendous week so far. Let's go Team USA.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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