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April 5, 2018

Johan Van Herck

Ruben Bemelmans

Joris De Loore

Joran Vliegen

Sander Gille

Nashville, Tennessee

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tell me a little bit about your free time here in Nashville, what you have been up to so far this week.
CAPTAIN VAN HERCK: Not so much. We have been practicing. I think on Sunday we had a day recovering from the travel here. The staff went to visit Broadway, I think. They were impressed by the music that was there, the atmosphere that was there.

Since Monday we are practicing, so we didn't do much of sight-seeing. But maybe later, Sunday, maybe Monday morning. We'll see.

Q. Ruben, you made finals two of the last three years. Talk about this year coming to play the Americans as, on paper at least, the underdogs. How does that change of scenery feel for you guys?
RUBEN BEMELMANS: Like you said, we're big-time underdogs. We have to step on court, we're going to give it all. Yeah, it's a new tie, so everything can happen here.

We made two finals in the last three years, but that doesn't say anything. Now we have to give it all, just see how it goes. Joris will play the first match, then we'll see how it goes throughout the weekend.

Q. I'm aware that Steve Darcis isn't playing here, but how helpful has it been to have him along with the team this week so far? How do you think he can use his experience to bring to the team?
CAPTAIN VAN HERCK: We didn't want him here, but the Federation told us to bring him (laughter).

But, no, I think it's very important as we are in a situation where we are underdogs. We have two newcomers in the team. We have Joris, that hasn't played that much singles.

I think his experience as a player, his experience as a Davis Cup player, a really good Davis Cup player, I think he can help these guys a lot, how to cope with the situation, how to try to best themselves.

That's why Steve is here. He's doing his best to learn something to the guys, no? It's a real plus for us. It's great to have him on the team.

Q. Sander and Joran, you guys are a little bit more doubles specialists on the tour, playing against some of the Americans who prioritize singles over the course of the year. How much of an advantage would you say that is, having played together as a pair?
JORAN VLIEGEN: I mean, you're exactly right. We're doubles specialists. I think that gives us a little more advantage just because we play it every day. Singles players' main focus is singles, of course. They might not have the particular - how do I say this? Let me try to find my words.

I think we feel more confident going on court because we focus on doubles when it comes to doubles. I mean, the levels of singles players are so high, especially in Team USA, that it's a match that starts from 0-0, and anything can happen.

I think in order to complete the match successfully, I think we have to go on court with that mindset, that we have an advantage just because we focus on doubles and we play it every day.

Q. A couple of you have ties to the United States with college tennis. Can you talk about that a little bit.
SANDER GILLE: Well, I went to East Tennessee State, so I went there from 2008 till 2012, which is just a few hours east from here. I came to Nashville multiple times. I'm feeling pretty at home here. I love coming here. I had a great time on and off the court.

It's very nice to be back. It's my first time here for the team. I'm hoping to do well, but it's an extra special feeling to be back in Nashville, to be back in Tennessee where I had one of the best chapters of my life.

JORAN VLIEGEN: Exactly what Sander said. I went to East Carolina, which is in Greenville, North Carolina, also not that far from here. Had the time of my life. Like he said, makes it extra special to come back here to the United States, be able to play for your country.

It's our first time, it's going to be an amazing experience. We're going to give it our best this weekend. We'll see what happens.

Q. Joris, leading off the tie on Friday against John, talk about what it's going to be like to kick it off and try to set the tone coming out? You said you're underdogs on paper. How important is that first match going to be?
JORIS DE LOORE: I think it's going to be a big challenge for me. My second singles match, but this one really matters. I think it's going to be great. Of course, it's going to be tough, but I think in one match everything can happen so I'm going to give my best and we'll see where it goes.

I think it's just going to be a very good and great experience.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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