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February 10, 2019

Captain Rinaldi

Madison Keys

Danielle Collins

Sofia Kenin

Nicole Melichar

Asheville, North Carolina

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Danielle, your first Fed Cup experience on the court today. You got the best of it and the worst of it. What is your immediate takeaway of this experience?
DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah, you know, I thought I did as well as I could in the singles and the doubles. I brought my best, despite whatever the circumstances were, being down.

I have really loved being a part of a team, playing in a team atmosphere. Going to college for four years, being used to that, it's nice to go out on the court and being able to look over at my teammates during the matches.

Down in the singles, I was looking over at Nicole, she was firing me up. Looking over at Madison, Sonia. Everybody is so supportive of each other. I think that's one of the biggest things.

Even though we lost today, we've built a really great bond with each other. I think at the end of the day, that's what we're going to remember the most, is not so much the winning and the losing, but the relationships that were developed at Fed Cup.

Having good leadership with Kathy, having a close relationship, all of us are very close with her and Lisa. It's been a really special experience. It wouldn't be possible without the coaches' efforts. Makes us feel so important and special.

Yeah, I think even though we didn't get the result we wanted today, I think it's a really great experience. I wish I could have done more. I wish we could have come out on the other end with a win. We're here now.

Q. Kathy, when did you decide to stick with Danielle in the doubles? Did the way she closed out the singles match impact that?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: It did impact that. We saw her fight. We had the momentum. We wanted to ride that momentum. We just saw how well she was striking that ball, so we went with that.

Q. Kathy, in general the teams are getting tougher, do you think, these days?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: Well, yeah, I mean, I think they are tough. Ashleigh Barty is very talented singles and doubles, as we saw. She really helped her team here. They had some good young players. I think Priscilla Hon played extremely well in the doubles.

That match could have gone either way. It was just a point here or there. That could have been our match. I can't ask for any more than what these girls gave this week and today. They left it all out on the court. That's all the captain can ask for.

Q. Maddie, I know it was hours ago, but you started out really strong. What happened after the first three games, do you feel? Did she pick up her game or...
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, she obviously started playing a lot better. I got nervous. It's always different playing for yourself versus playing for your country. No matter what, it's always nerve-wracking. It's a different pressure you have to deal with. I didn't handle it very well today.

When you lose and it's yourself it's disappointing, but you move on a little bit easier.

Q. Win or lose, what do you take away knowing that you're that much more Fed Cup tough when you go out there again?
SOFIA KENIN: I mean, the experience has been amazing. I'm honestly really grateful to have been here, competed for my country. It's obviously tough to lose. It's harder when you lose for your country than if you lose for yourself.

I'm just going to take the experience that I've had. We all bonded amazing here. That's what we're going to remember. Yeah, it's just great memories.

Q. It's harder to lose with your country involved than just yourself, how do you prepare yourself for that and handle it?
DANIELLE COLLINS: I think when you're playing on a team, you have great people supporting you, it's still nerve-wracking, like Maddie said. When we're playing really strong opponents, in situations where we're not just out there by ourselves, we're representing our whole country and the team.

I think it makes it a little bit easier with the bond that we have and knowing that everybody has our backs, everybody is there for us. We win together and we lose together. I think at the end of the day, that's the biggest thing.

Q. From the first ball in the first rubber, the tie could have gone either way. When you walk away from it, how do you look at the individual matches? What were some turning points?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: As Danielle said, we win together, we lose together. It's not individual matches. When one person is down, we have other people to pick each other up. That's having each other's backs. That's being a team.

Looking back at it, we could have won that match, as well. Credit to Australia. They played some big points well. That's just the way it went. But we're going to learn from it. These girls are gaining experience by playing under these circumstances.

I think it's their first home tie, for these three. As Maddie said, it doesn't get easier when you play for your country. It means something. You're playing for other people. So they're going to gain a lot from this experience, take that into the next time they represent the U.S. in Fed Cup play.

Q. Nicole, what did you feel was the difference in that doubles match? Also as a top doubles players yourself, what makes Ash so great in doubles?
NICOLE MELICHAR: Honestly, I think it came down to a few points. It really could have gone either way. We had some break chances, some that we didn't take advantage of. But also credit to them, Ash came up with some big serving.

I mean, we fought for every point. Sometimes a reflex here and there can really make a difference. Ashleigh, she's a good all-around player. She serves well, returns well, volleys well. There aren't too many holes in her game. So that's why she's been successful both in singles and doubles.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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