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September 22, 2019

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Thomas Enqvist

Geneva, Switzerland


5-7, 6-4, 10-8

Team Europe - 7

Team World - 8

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Stefanos, I would like you to give your impression of this first Laver Cup for you, what it is to play with teammates and with such great players such as Nadal and Federer, and a little bit of the emotions and experience here.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I feel very overwhelmed by this experience. I kind of want to have goosebumps, but it's not the momentum right now. I might appreciate it even more as time goes by.

Just great athletes, both of them. It's like I got to play with both Rafa and Roger in less than 16 hours (smiling) which is unbelievable.

It just makes me really -- it gave me the opportunity to see from their perspective when they're on the court how they see everything, and it's quite interesting, very unique, and that's what makes them the greatest ever. Their determination, their concentration, their skill, they are 100% in charge.

I feel I could have done things better, just a little bit better. You know, there was this gap today which I felt like I didn't complete, which is disappointing because I feel like I could do better. I had more in my game to add.

Well, I mean, I got a bit stiff. Had breakpoint opportunities in the second set. I usually don't get that stiff. I got stiff there. I need experience in that element.

Q. A question to Thomas, to keep him busy a little bit. The Americans were not happy about what happened today, Nadal replacement, rules. They say that Thiem was already practicing this morning very early, like if you knew it already yesterday that Nadal would have not played.

First of all, I want to say something, what Stefan said there, that he didn't fill a gap. I didn't see that. I would have to say I think Stefanos played a fantastic doubles match. I think the whole doubles match, all four players played fantastically, and there was just a point here and there, so I think it was a high quality match.

I think Stefanos showed that he's not only incredible singles player. He's also good doubles player. That was my opinion.

And having said that, of course you want to play with Nadal (smiling). He's in unbelievable shape. He has won US Open. He won yesterday against Raonic. As we know, the more Nadal plays, the better he gets. So of course we wanted him to play with Nadal.

And this morning, when he couldn't, of course -- he, first of all, was very disappointed. He looked forward so much to play doubles with Roger and also his singles match. He couldn't, and then of course we cannot risk. And then it's just to put in the next player, which we did. Stefanos did really well. Now Dominic is fighting in Nadal's favor.

Q. A question to Tsitsipas. You played with both Nadal and Federer. If tomorrow you have to apply for a doubles in a tournament...
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Why you do this to me? (Smiling.)

Q. ...and they ask you to pick one of them as a doubles partner, you have to be honest. Don't say they are both good. We know they are both good. We know that they're great. But who was helping you, let's say, more? One plays on the right side, the other one... I mean, what would be the choice and why?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Fabio Fognini (smiling).

Q. Don't escape.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: You're putting me in a difficult situation right now, because I actually enjoyed playing with both of them so much. They are both returning -- no, really -- they are both returning unbelievably well. Roger is playing great. Rafa, as well...

Q. If you had to choose.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I have to choose? Okay, I have to choose. Okay. Let me think of it. Such a difficult one.

Okay. Two hours later, I guess. I'll pick... I mean, look, I have been idolizing Federer since a young age, and having him as my doubles partner, it's a dream come true.

Same stands for Nadal because of his energy on the court and how similar -- I really feel similarity with Rafa. When I'm on the court, I feel like we have this Mediterranean connection, I would say, and very emotional, both of us.

But just because I grew up idolizing Federer, and not trying to be like him but trying to take few things that could help my career, as well, I will pick Federer.

Q. Stefanos, if you'd be kind enough to put in a good word for another great who is not here, the Balkans connection.

Q. What I wanted to ask you, this has been a breakthrough year for you. The success came very strong and perhaps quite quickly, as well. There have been some disturbing moments most notably at the Grand Slams. How do you plan to double down and draw the right conclusions from this process in order to make it big in 2020?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think I've got to put a lot of work in and clear a few things up. Sometimes I feel confused in what I should proceed on doing when I'm on the court and playing with the things that work the best in my game, being in charge and having a clear mind of what I'm about to do in crucial moments which define my success, because that's where the pressure points are very important to deal with.

That comes with work. That comes with plenty hours in the gym and putting everything in order in order to achieve doing well in Grand Slams.

I still feel young in my mind, and I feel I have to mature a little bit and toughen up. I feel like I have the game to do well in Grand Slams. I guess I proved myself at the Australian Open in the semifinals.

I just need to do things the right way, save energy. I had four sets at the Australian Open run that I had this year, and I feel like I've got to stay a little bit more professional. As we saw from players that are playing here, they have managed this quite well, closing match easier and spending less time on the court.

Grand Slams, for me, is a marathon in which you have to be mentally prepared to just demolish, destroy each opponent that you have in front of you and not kind of, like, you know, feel sorry for him or anything like that. It's got to be double of what you're usually playing.

That's how I think of it. You've just got to be tough and you have to go out there determined and with right, obviously as I said, with the right work behind you.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about this friendship that you have? We see you guys there backing up, being coaches to each other. Can we go behind the scenes? Are you friends in the evening? Do you eat together, have fun together? How does that feel? Because during the ATP and slams tournaments, it's totally different.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah, it is. We have such interesting conversations with all the guys. The last two, three days I think we didn't have the opportunity to go out together simply because we finished the match way too late, 10:30, 10:00 in the night.

I enjoy the company of everyone, even the coach and the captains. We have great chats. We kind of get to know each other better, and, I mean, it's unbelievable because I see another side of Roger and Rafa when I'm spending time with them which I didn't know existed before.

When you are seeing them in the press conference, they are completely different of what they are outside the press room, which is really nice to see.

We laugh a lot. We have fun. I really wish we could do this more often, because, I don't know, it's nice sharing.

Q. Not long ago you were saying you were still feeling the effects of what happened at Roland Garros with the result over there. So when you come to an event like this, the Laver Cup, and the way you have been part of the team aspect with some of the biggest names the sport has got, how important is that for you as a stepping stone in your career to see things from a different perspective?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, I think I needed the team competition in tennis. I have been doing everything on my own out on the court, and it kind of -- it was needed for me to be part of a union and a team. I'm really glad it all connected and was puzzled perfectly, Davis Cup, Laver Cup in two weeks.

As I said before, it's nice sharing, and my good performance is going to make other people happy in which we share the same goal and the same path/road this week.

I think competitions like this can open up, it can bring new ideas and also give me confidence because -- I mean, it does matter, but I believe I play more freely than I do in other individual ATP Tour/circuit tournaments.

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