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September 21, 2018
K. EDMUND/J. Sock
6-4, 5-7, 10-6
Team Europe - 2
Team World - 0
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You're 23, and when you heard your name in the lineup for the first day, what was that feeling like for you?
KYLE EDMUND: Go out to be playing a match obviously is an amazing opportunity. But, yeah, to be obviously, first of all, involved in this event is great for me. I think the experience I get from here is something I'll always remember and hopefully benefit me as a tennis player.
Yeah, it was the other night got told, Grigor, you're starting, and, Kyle, you're following him. So knowing, you know, that you're going to represent your team and Europe and, you know, be responsible on the court for getting a win for the team, it's, you know, something you're looking forward to, exciting. Just want to get out there and play in that amazing sort of spectacle.
To come away with a win and do your part for the team is something I'm very happy with.
Q. Jack obviously had the momentum after the second set, but you were so steady in the tiebreaker. Did you tell yourself something after that second set to be ready?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah. I mean, some of the guys, as well, were helping and saying, you know, You're playing good tennis, just a few balls in it, very close margins.
I think the whole match I was playing at a good level and I had the balance, you know, pretty spot on and had my opportunity in the second. So it was one of them, going into the third, it's like what did I do in the first set to get where I was? And I was playing very well but very solid, not taking too many risks but putting a lot of pressure on with margins.
Going into the third set was just that: being aggressive, which is my game, and really asking a lot of questions. There was a run in the middle sort of the start to the middle of the tiebreak there where I got a lot of momentum, and I was playing very well.
Q. We're taking fan questions on the Laver Cup Twitter. Lynn was wondering, what do you think you'll learn this week from your teammates and captains?
KYLE EDMUND: It's tough to know. Maybe that question would be better answered at the end. But as I said, the whole experience, just being amongst the guys and getting to know them a bit better is definitely something you'll take away.
The spirit is great, very relaxed. Everyone has been very professional with their preparation and taking the event very seriously and wanting to win and discussing tactics and stuff.
But, yeah, I don't know my teammates as well as I did coming in, but now I know them better. I think the level in terms of the players of our team is world class. For me to be in a world-class environment as a tennis player can only help me and, you know, hopefully at the end you learn little tips from whoever helps you and stuff.
Q. Obviously Andy Murray has been very important in your career. Here we have Novak and Roger. My question is: Why do you think in tennis, for so many years, the top three or four have just had this stranglehold, and there are so many great young players but there hasn't been a breakthrough? If you can comment on that.
KYLE EDMUND: I mean, the guys play a very good level. They are very professional. But what they do, which shows in their ranking, is that consistent week in, week out. There are players out there that obviously can beat them and have the level to beat them, but what those guys do is they do it every week and they don't have -- they barely have any dips. That's what really shows is the consistency to do it.
And also, the top guys are big match players. When it comes to the big matches, they produce their best tennis, and I think that's the key why they are winning slams and top-of-the-world rankings.
Q. You're obviously used to playing team events and having a captain with you on the bench when you're playing a match. What's it like actually having three or four other guys coming down and talking in your ear and throwing suggestions at you? Is it distracting at all?
KYLE EDMUND: Not especially. I didn't find it distracting. Of course those guys are also tennis players, and they are experienced. They are aware that when you do say those things, sometimes they don't want it. So the guys are very sort of, you know, calculated, not too much information but encouragement and help.
The player is out there to play and do his thing, and we all have trust in that player. But there is nothing wrong with encouragement. Some advice, at times an outside view can help, because when you're in the match you're very focused.
So the balance was very good for me. Not too much. And also, the advice that is given to me from, you know, captains and players, can't get much better. They're all top of the, you know, world rankings. And BjÃƒÂ¶rn and Thomas have been right up there winning lots of tournaments. They know what they're talking about (smiling).
Q. Kyle, you have obviously started cementing yourself way more this year and getting more used to the whole environment. But at times, are you still pinching yourself the way things are going? A new endorsement from today, having somebody like Borg sitting beside you, being on a team with Roger, Thomas, Novak, Sascha, et cetera. At times are you pinching yourself with the way things have gone this year?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I think it's also that balance. This year has been sort of that step-up year in terms of that. A bit more media attention, off-court stuff, expectations. But that's obviously a good thing you're going in the right direction.
It's a balance of -- I would like to think I, you know, am quite grounded and don't take things for granted, like you said, being next to BjÃƒÂ¶rn and being on a team. Some of the guys are legends in the sport and the other guys are very good tennis players.
I do pinch myself. It is like what an amazing opportunity to get to be here and also playing in that arena.
The other side of it is I have to look at myself and believe that I do belong here. I don't think you can be in an environment like this if you're tiptoeing around, and you really have to be confident within yourself and believe in your game. So it's getting that right balance of knowing to be humble and also knowing when to be confident about yourself in the right moment.
Q. Tagging on to confidence, Kyle, we talked about the big four, their talent unquestionably physically, but it's the mental side also that really brings them the edge. When you think about Roger, his positivity, Andy talks about fulfilling potential. Rafa is talking about having the right motivation. Novak talks about belief. Are you aware of those subtle messages and that all comes from within, and do you find yourself being more positive with yourself in terms of the way you talk?
KYLE EDMUND: What, recently, or...
KYLE EDMUND: I don't know about recently. Even when I was younger, you always try and be positive. It's just I think as you get older, you learn a bit more and you gain confidence with the level and the environment, as well, and you improve.
I don't know. I wouldn't say I have been any more positive. You're always positive, but you see where your level is as you go up the rankings, and as you get older you're a bit more wise.
Yeah, I mean, the Australian was a big step forward for me in terms of that. But as the year has gone on, it's been little steps that's helped me. Some backward steps but mostly forward.
But, yeah, this week, you won't get too many more weeks like this where it's right at the top of the world tennis stage and a spotlight on you in that stadium and the players around you. It's, you know, great to be here in terms of that mindset of being confident and believing in yourself.
Q. You said a moment ago about tiptoeing around. Wondering if being able to spend time with this level of players and champions helps you maybe strip down a bit of, you know, whatever may be an intimidation factor, other things you may have in a competitive situation with them moving forward?
KYLE EDMUND: What do you mean, like -- like am I intimidated before or I'm more relaxed around them?
Yeah, I mean, it's more just knowing them better. When I have spoken to, say, Novak or Roger -- maybe Sascha I have spoken to a little bit more in the past. I know his training quite well and obviously same age group. It's more just like, Hello, how are you? Not too much detail.
But, yeah, being here, you just talk about more subjects, get to know them a bit more personally. Talk about families, you know, siblings and stuff like that. Not myself, obviously. But, yeah, it's just something you don't get to -- it's nice to get to talk to someone and you get to know them. As a tennis player, your job is around them week after week but you don't really know them.
Those are the things that help you feel comfortable with them. It's been really good. There have been a lot of jokes and stuff and good chemistry.
It definitely does help. I mean, I wouldn't say you're intimidated, but the respect level for them is huge and I don't think that will change in this week. You continue to respect them, but you just know them a little bit better.
Q. Two very different questions. If you could boil it down to one piece of advice or one funny comment, is there one that you could share with us? And could you just talk a little bit about Andy? A hip injury is a very tough injury. Movement is real important. Do you think he can return to the very top? What is your assessment?
KYLE EDMUND: Well, the Andy one, I mean, it's very tough to answer, because you just don't know what he's actually feeling because you're not inside his body. It might be very sore, but he's pushing through it but it might be okay.
Of course any injury like that where you need surgery, it is tough to get back. But I don't know myself, touch wood, as much, but you can definitely be sure that Andy will give it his absolute best in terms of the commitment to getting back and giving himself the best chance in terms of preparation and rehab.
I know he takes it very, very seriously. You speak to his trainers a little bit, they are putting in the hours in terms of trying to get him ready.
So, yeah, only Andy will really know where he's at in terms of level. And the other question?
Q. One bit of advice.
KYLE EDMUND: From this week?
Q. Is there one specific bit of advice you got from one of the top players you can share with us that was meaningful to you?
KYLE EDMUND: Not so much advice. I mean, more just getting to know them has been great. When I have been on court obviously practicing -- I have my coach here, so will always be chatting to him and stuff. It's been interesting talking tactics with those guys, because you're always playing them and they are obviously talking about you. So talking tactics about Team World, you know, and a bunch, a group of us is very interesting to see the mindsets of top players and what they think and what you think.
I have really enjoyed that side of it. But, yeah, there were bits of advice in the match. There was a microphone, so you probably heard it.
Q. In terms of team tennis, you have Davis Cup experience. How does this experience compare to Davis Cup in terms of your level of nerves and apprehension coming into it and the chemistry in the team.
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, it is similar in a way sort of how the week goes in terms of -- I don't know. You're chatting as a team. When you're on the road, you're obviously just with your coach and your trainer, but there is a whole group of guys having dinner together and stuff. That's similar.
I mean, the preparation is sort of similar, you know, wanting to get ready, sort of doing a few off-court stuff, wanting to do your bit for the team, as well, you know, taking it very, very seriously. And the guys want to do really well.
That's why it was great to do my bit today. A little bit different just -- I don't know. You sort of know -- well, I know my Davis Cup team just better, because I have spent time with them. There might be a bit more banter there and you know them. For me, this week it's been getting to know them for the first time, some of them.
But, yeah, I don't know. It's tough to say. It is similar. It's very much you're playing for a team rather than for yourself, and you want to do your best with them. But, yeah, I mean, the Davis Cup final was definitely amazing, the noise there. And this has got to be up there with one of the best sort of places I have played and the atmosphere.
So, yeah, it's sort of similar. Just a few things are different. It's easy to say it's different, isn't it? It's a different event, you could say.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports