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September 19, 2019

Bjorn Borg

Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Geneva, Switzerland

TODD WOODBRIDGE: Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome. My name is Todd Woodbridge. I'm here with the broadcast team this week. It's a pleasure to have you all here on this third Laver Cup.
For some of you that haven't been here before, just a reminder of how the format works. It's a unique format that includes three singles and a doubles on each day.
The first day, each team can win one point with a victory. The second day, they win two points. And the final day, win three. Of course what we have seen over the last two Laver Cups is that format really keeps everything alive and has created a magical final day.
So it is essential that we look at how the teams play out. One of the key things, especially from my perspective, is how good the doubles has been and how much that has turned things around as played the first match on the final day.
I believe our team's ready. It is a great honor to welcome the two-time Laver Cup champions, Team Europe, led by their captain, Bjorn Borg, in for the first player press conference of 2019.
THE MODERATOR: We have two microphones floating around so everybody can hear your questions.
For this, we will have the first part in English and then have a couple of questions in French and probably another couple ones in German.
All right. Your questions, please?

Q. This question is to Rafa and Roger. Concerning your longevity and career, the money and fame are great, but how do you keep love of the game central?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, good question. I'm not sure. I feel like it almost is just there or it's not. But of course you want to make tennis fun. You want to have a good team around yourself that can motivate you when you're feeling down.
You want to practice with the right guys and spend your life with the ones you enjoy yourself with, you know. And maybe for me it's the balance between playing some but not overplaying so I don't burn out.
I don't know. I always love playing tennis and it's always been there for me.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, hello. Well, for me is all about passion, no? About what we are doing. And at the same time, we know that it's not forever. So just try to enjoy every single moment that we are able to keep playing.
For me is always the same. I had more or less the same team since all my life. Works for me. Helps me to be motivated when I need it, and they know me that well that they know when they can push and when they need to give me some more calm.
And at the same time, I love playing tennis. My real goal is just try to play as long as possible if the body holds.

Q. Roger and Rafa, obviously you have been asked a lot about the Grand Slams, the kind of race between you for Grand Slams. I know you have answered that question. I'm just wondering while you have been together here the last few days, has this subject come up between you at all, or is it a bit of an elephant in the room?
ROGER FEDERER: That's all we have been talking about. (Laughter.)
No, we haven't spoken about it. I don't know. Maybe behind our backs they have been talking about it. I'm not sure.
No, I mean, this is not stuff you really talk about. I think I'm generally happy for Rafa for winning in New York and winning all the other ones that he has and all the Frenches he's won.
I don't know. It's just a massive respect I have for Rafa, what he's done, and Bjorn, what he's done at the Grand Slam level. Djokovic, Sampras, you name it. These are things you can't really control other than when you face each other you try to stop the other guy, but that's also not the point. The point is try to win for yourself and your fans, your team and everything, and try to have your best career.
No, we have not been -- I don't feel like it's an elephant in the room. We have not been talking about it, but Rafa maybe has a complete different answer. I'm not sure (smiling).
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, honestly, even if Roger is next to me now, I answered the same hundreds of times, no?
I think we are doing our way. I am doing my way. I'm not going to bed every day and night think about I need to win, you know, a number in particular, no?
I just try to enjoy the tennis. Tennis is not only Grand Slams, by the way. Of course Grand Slams are so important, but I don't take that way. I just try to give me opportunities to compete well every single event. And at the same time, as many Grand Slams we are able to achieve, Roger and me, Novak, all this generation, I think makes our era of tennis a little bit more special, no?
So at this point, of course there is Roger, Novak and myself, that we have achieved a lot. That's a special thing for the last 15 years. So let's see what the things can keep going with something that difficult to know. Honestly, today we are thinking about the Laver Cup more than nothing else (smiling).

Q. A question for Bjorn. Two years ago in Prague, we saw Roger and Rafa team up in doubles for the first time. What are your thoughts for doubles this weekend?
CAPTAIN BJORN BORG: Well, so far that's the only doubles we won so far in the previous years.
CAPTAIN BJORN BORG: It's a good possibility. We have a lot of players here, six players, seven players. So we are talking about it, who is going to play doubles. Doubles is very important every day. I mean, especially, you know, to get those points even in the doubles.
But it's a good possibility they can play.
ROGER FEDERER: We need to improve that record.
CAPTAIN BJORN BORG: We have to improve our record in the doubles. We have to win a few doubles this time, this weekend.

Q. From a British perspective, we are quite excited about Andy Murray coming back to the tennis court this autumn potentially in the new year to the Australian Open. A question to Roger, Rafa, and Mr. Borg, can you talk about Andy and the desire and the determination he's showing to come back and what your hopes are if indeed you end up playing him at some stage before the end of your career?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for me, after all the pressures that he went through, that he's trying that hard to be back shows that he really is very passionate about this sport, no? And shows a big love for tennis and for his job in the same time.
Is great news, is great news that he's healthy, especially for him but of course for tennis. He's one of the most important players on our tour for the last 10, 12 years. So will be great if he's able to feel himself healthy and ready to play at the highest level again, no?
Let's see. I wish him all the very best. Happy for him that he's playing again, and I really wish him all the very best.

Q. Stefanos, it's a big opportunity to come into a Laver Cup team. When you look across the lineup like that, what do you hope to get out of the experience from such great champions you're with? And also getting on the court for the first time tomorrow.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, I would like to say it's an honor joining such important players in our era, being part of this unique celebration, I would call it, celebrating tennis, celebrating the two different continents, for example, rest of The World and Team Europe, getting the opportunity to face each other, prove to one another who's better.
So what I'm aiming this week is getting experience, learning from all of you guys, and, yeah, playing good tennis, because this event is really important. I think there is plenty of good tennis to be played, and people obviously expect a show and we're here to give it to them.

Q. Roger, maybe I'm the only journalist from China, so my question is any opportunity to move Laver Cup to China?
ROGER FEDERER: Why not? Not in the Europe year (smiling) but the other years it's completely open and flexible. But you've got to ask the Laver Cup people.
I'm sure they are looking into it where it's going to go for the next decade or so. Sure, why not? China has been a good place for us players. You know, the tournament in Shanghai and Beijing have been big. It's growing there, as well, with other tournaments there coming now. Also on the women's side. Tennis is definitely making a nice move.
Yeah, I'd be happy to see the Laver Cup go into China at one stage. I'm sure there are other countries and cities that really also would like it in the future, and I'd just like it to be in a place that gets really super excited about hosting the Laver Cup like Prague, Chicago, and now also Geneva has shown, so hopefully that would be the same in China if it ever goes there.

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