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September 20, 2019

Fabio Fognini

Bjorn Borg

Geneva, Switzerland

J. SOCK/F. Fognini

6-1, 7-6

Team Europe - 1

Team World - 1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. To Björn, Ciao. Nice to see you.
CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: Nice to see you.

Q. What is your comment about this performance of Fognini with the first set that went in that way and the second set when he was up? I heard that you were giving him some advices. Which were they? Because we couldn't hear well exactly what you were saying and what he was answering.
CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: Well, if we start from the beginning, first of all, it's very difficult to come in and play Laver Cup for the first time. Laver Cup is a very serious competition, as everybody knows. And to come in to play for the first time, it's a lot of pressure. It's a lot of things around you outside the court.

Regarding the match, Fabio, you know, he tried 100%. He did what he should have done. I think he was a little bit unlucky in the first set, though, because he had two games Love-30, had one 15-40, and then one Love-40, so I think if he win maybe one of those games to break him, I think it would be a completely different match instead of 6-1 in the first set. So a little bit unlucky there.

In the second set, Fabio came much closer and it could happen anything in the second set, actually.

But Jack, he played well. He played well in the important points. He served well. He made some huge shots in the very important moments in the match.

But I think anyway in the beginning it was very important for Fabi himself, if he could break him in the first set, I would see the match completely different.

Q. Fabio, can you just expand on what Björn was saying on how tough it is to play an event like this for the first time? And to be on the same side and the same team as people like Rafa and Roger and Björn sitting next to you on the bench, what's that experience like?
FABIO FOGNINI: Well, I think it was great. I mean, is something that honor, for sure. That's it. I mean, I just try to speak how was the situation.

Of course I was a little bit tight at the beginning because I was feeling in the first match was really tight until the end, and then we was lucky. And fortunately we won the first match with Dominic.

And, you know, I was practicing really good, really feeling really good during these three, four days before the competition. And now it's normal of course that tension is coming up. That's I think part of our sport.

So I was imagining so-and-so, especially as they say, the first set was probably, I don't know if we can say the key of the match, because I had a lot, a lot of chance. I have Love-30, Love-30 again, like Love-40, 15-40 again. If we can talk about the match, I was feeling that I was returning better on the first set and really bad on the second, because I was knowing that I have to go in or I have to go out, I will stay in the middle and say, Well, if you go in, you have to go in 100%. If you go out, you go out 100%.

So I was putting this kind of maybe negative, and I was returning really bad on even whole match. But the second set was really tight. Until the end of the match I was feeling that more I was playing good he was playing better than me.

So I was knowing him, in this competition, I mean, everybody, Rafa, Roger tell me that he's playing really good, so I was knowing that he was playing really good.

But at the end, I try. I try 100%, and it was not working today.

Q. Fabio, Roger and Rafa came sometimes to the chair and tried to support, to push you. Did it help you or was it maybe even extra pressure?
FABIO FOGNINI: I mean, is not extra pressure. If somebody like them and Björn close to me say something, I have to open my ear and just listen (smiling). I mean, it's not happening like every week that I have this kind of possibility to try to understand people that they made -- I mean, how you say, the legend of our sport.

I'm lucky. I'm lucky to be here. Let's say I enjoy every moment. And now of course I be, I am a bit angry, especially as they say because of the first set, but other hand, you know, that's the competition. So it's 1-1. We have two matches in front of us tonight, and of course we're going to try to do our best.

Q. A question to Mr. Borg. In German we have a word that say too many cooks makes for a bad meal. So when, you know, like three or four people talk to a player who should have a clear mind, can this be a distraction or causes unusual situation?
CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: No, I think it's only positive vibes. You know...

FABIO FOGNINI: It's not my sister talking (smiling).

CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: First thing Roger or Rafa coming down and speak to Fabio, they know him better than I do, because they play him millions of times for so many years. They know the other players how they play.

So it's very important to have them there. Crucial points, crucial situation during the match, it's very important. I think that's the advantage for Laver Cup that, you know, the players can be involved and everybody is there.

I'm sure for Fabio it's no discussion. It's more like, you know, listen to them, but still he has to go out and play his game. But it's always nice to hear other things. That's only -- I see only positive things.

Q. Fabio, when Roger and Rafa came out there on that change of ends, looked like Rafa was really in your face. Was he talking to you in Spanish? What was he saying? Because it seemed like you had a little bit of a smile on your face after they left.
CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: They were talking about which restaurant they're going to go to. I'm joking (smiling).

FABIO FOGNINI: No, I mean, as I say before, I mean, they are coming to support me and try to tell me something that outside maybe they saw in a different point of view. As I say before to him, it's not my sister. Them talking about tennis. They are two guys that everybody know those two guys.

And we was talking about my return, because I was saying that I was feeling really bad on my return, especially on my backhand. He try, but I say to him that I was not seeing the ball. I was completely -- I mean, it was strange, because normally I think one of my best quality, return well. I mean, most of the balls I put on court.

And I was did it I think in the first set more than the second. Today I think that was quite bad that kind of part of my tennis, but, you know, that's the sport.

CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: We know how Fabio can play, but Laver Cup is a completely different thing. It's a team thing, and it's very, very serious and very prestigious. Everybody wants to win. So it's a tough situation.

Fabio did a great job, a great job. Like I said, it could be completely different match if he win maybe one of the games in the beginning of the first set. Could be completely different match.

But the match ended. So go on. And he played well. Sock played well. So it's nothing to say.

Q. Björn, you're pointing out many times that the first set was so important. Still, in the second he was up. So there was a chance also to, you know, to forget about the first set and go on. So what happened in second set in your opinion that could have...
CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: I think even in the first set, he lost the first set, but still, he knew inside that he was closer than 6-1 in the first set. He could have won the first set. But still, he felt like even more pressure in the second set, because even if he was up all the time to the tiebreaker, but he felt pressure all the time.

If he had won the first set, would be completely different match, but still in the second set he felt pressure every time he has to serve and, you know, tough to break. But he felt more pressure in the second set, even if he, you know, could have won the second set. The feeling, that feeling is not a nice feeling to have.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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