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September 21, 2018
6-7, 6-3, 10-6
Team Europe - 3
Team World - 1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. There is always a leader on the team, although, you know, you both have significant doubles accomplishments. Jack, of course, more recent. You had big success back when you were in college in 2006. How did you guys work that out today in such a short time span?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, obviously Jack has had a lot of success in doubles. Yeah, I have always felt pretty good as a doubles player. Last few years I have obviously focused more in singles and haven't had a lot of match practice out there.
On a day like today, it was just so exciting to be out there. I was fortunately able to play a few more doubles matches, and I think playing a couple matches in Toronto actually served me pretty well today, because I felt pretty comfortable out there, especially in some quick exchanges at the net.
I feel like especially playing for the first time, which is always a little bit tricky, you know, we gelled really quickly right from the start, I think it was a really good match to get through.
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, like Kevin said, never played together before. Yeah, obviously I have a lot of confidence in the doubles court now. Kind of go out and play pretty loose, have fun.
When you're playing with a guy like Kevin with a bunch of weapons, takes the ball early, hits big return, which helps me at the net, I can kind of move around and be active up there, he has a cannon of a serve which makes my job easier at the net, and obviously great hands, as well, as you saw out there in some of those exchanges.
Yeah, like he said, I think we gelled pretty quick. Got up against two great tennis players. I was happy we were able to pull it out in the end and get us on the board.
Q. Before we believe, please talk a little bit about Lady Kady's game. And when you're facing two of the three best players of our era, what's it like and what does it say about the doubles game that you guys could come through against such competition?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I mean, even though obviously they haven't played that much doubles, just their skills that they bring to the court is always going to be a tough match. If they play a hundred matches against pretty much most combinations, I feel like they're going to come through with a winning record.
I think we played really well today. I mean, we had to to get through. It came down to just a few points here and there.
All in all, I think, you know, we spoke about it early in the week, Roger talked about this being a showcase for tennis, and what great matches we had today throughout. And ending with that sort of match in the doubles court, I thought it was fantastic tennis. The crowd was amazing. I feel like they were really behind us.
Even though you have such icons on the other side, I think they are showing a lot of respect to obviously Team Europe, but I feel like being out there, we've got a lot of support, which I think is great, great to see.
Q. Jack, what's been the success for your doubles? You're winning tournaments with different players and playing with Kevin Anderson first time today. Looks like you're playing with Nick tomorrow. Why, as a doubles player, do you have so much success with different partners as opposed to some guys can only play with one or two guys?
JACK SOCK: I don't know. I don't play the most conventional doubles, that's for sure. I play a little bit of singles out there. Plus I'm fairly comfortable at the net. I don't mind being up there, being active, trying to finish points.
I kind of stay back and play a little bit of singles, hit a lot of forehands which makes some guys uncomfortable. They don't see that sort of ball with RPMs and the spin. It's a little bit tougher to volley, I'd say. It's kind of like being on the other side of Rafa when you're at the net. The ball is dipping quick and moving around a lot.
It makes it a little bit uncomfortable for the guys that only play doubles all the time. But I don't know. Honestly I just have a lot of fun out there and I play loose, which helps me to play better. I try and incorporate that in singles a little bit, but for now it's working on the doubles court.
Q. How would you describe or characterize this thing on the bench when you're falling down on each other, embracing, kind of, what was going on there?
KEVIN ANDERSON: You know, I think it's a great team environment out there. And obviously, you know, these guys have played, know each other very well. They played each other last year. We know each other very well. We spent all year together. It's a time where we are playing for a team, you know, not just us.
Being on the side, it's a different perspective. It's completely different. You know, we are having just a really good time out there. You know, if it showcases in some, more celebrating or whatever it might be, it's just because we are really passionate about it and we are all enjoying ourselves here and trying to egg each other on.
Q. Who came up with it? What was it exactly?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I don't know. I don't think anybody was sort of preplanning anything. It definitely happens on the spot. I don't think anybody is going to bed thinking what's going to happen tomorrow.
As I said, everybody is just having a great time out there. It's a terrific atmosphere and environment. We are all really excited to be here.
Q. Since you brought Lady Kady with you, you talked previously about how she's helped you kind of get quickly past a loss. Obviously you don't have to deal with that tonight. But just in general, what is the benefit of that animal and that one that loves you unconditionally, not that other people don't, but how that helps you just as a person and your mentality?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, it's been great. Obviously we travel all year round pretty much. I have been really fortunate that my wife's traveled with me. You know, we got really involved in our local dog rescue where we rescued her from about 18 months ago.
We didn't really think things through too much, but as it turned out, she was great. She was at the whole match. Kel said she fell asleep during most of the match. We are really lucky to take her places. Just having her on the road, it gives us a sense of being home. Obviously she doesn't care winning or losing matches.
It sometimes gives you some good perspective. There is a lot of emotions out there, but I think there is something about, you know, just having that sort of home environment. And, you know, she's pretty much our little baby right now. We have definitely been very lucky with her.
Q. It's been well documented, some of the tough struggles you have gone through over the years on the tour. We know how grinding it is. Just talk about, I don't know, the joy of this event, the pleasure of it. Does that sort of help you in the rest of the tour? Just talk about that.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, there are so many ups and downs you have as a tennis player. I remember Roddick saying the lows are never as low as you think they are, and the highs are never as high as you think they are, either.
For the most part, I just try to keep as positive as I can. I talk about sticking to your process. Obviously it's not always going to go your way. There is going to be tough times. It doesn't get any easier.
But I feel like if you can just take care of the things you can take care of, more than that you can't do. I think coming into an event like this where it's just a completely, quite different from our usual tournaments we play all year round, as I said, it's been, you know, great for me to again see it in Chicago, but being part of a team event which hasn't happened to me for the last few years, I'm really excited and really happy to be part of this event this year.
Q. Jack, given the earlier outcome today and then where you are now...
JACK SOCK: What was that?
Q. It's gone, it's over. To be able to finish out today the way you did, how important was that to you and how satisfied are you right now?
JACK SOCK: Personally, it's more for the team. I grew up playing team sports. Kevin as well. Played on a college tennis team. We are not in that environment often. We are playing with our family and team that's with us on the road.
But when you're playing for other guys and other tennis players you're with year round, it stings a lot. You know, I'm almost more gut wrenched in some of these losses. And last year when I played Rafa and that crazy end of that match, as well, it hurts more. You get back in the locker room, and obviously the guys are trying to keep you positive and keep your head up.
But it stings a little bit more because you feel like you let them down. And so to rally and play some good tennis tonight with Kev and get us on the board definitely feels good, but I'm more happy for the team than myself, for sure.
Q. Jack, you have been showing some love today for the Chicago-based sports teams, Bulls and Cubs. What jersey will you wear for Saturday and Sunday?
JACK SOCK: I cannot tell you (smiling). It's a secret. But go Royals.
Q. Kevin, what was it like to a kid coming from South Africa coming to the University of Illinois and the Midwest? Just talk about that experience.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, it was quite a whirlwind for me. I didn't really know too much about the whole college setup up until my last year of juniors when coaches started calling and recruiting me.
Just coming from South Africa, the more we looked at it, it was a great option for me for a host of reasons. Logistically it helped me develop my game further.
I came in January, and things happened so quickly. The season starts, so it was not too much time to think about too many outside factors. Fortunately, you know, I got on so well with everybody on the team. The Illinois tennis community is so tight. And two-and-a-half best years of my life, really, it was a lot of special memories for me.
Obviously it's very different culturally and took some time adjusting with that. I think when you get on with the people and the relationships you make, I think that really helps that process really quick. I met my wife my freshman/sophomore year of college, and all my best friends are pretty much my college teammates. We were very close, and I think that helps sort of those big adjustments you have to make.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports