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November 19, 2019

Mardy Fish

Taylor Fritz

Paris, France


SHAPOVALOV/Fritz 7-6, 6-3


Q. It must have been extremely tough, extremely disappointing. Your hopes were high, I'm sure. Could you just talk like what happened and your feelings now?
TAYLOR FRITZ: The first set was obviously really small margins, then I just dropped my serve in the second set, had chances to break back, didn't really make it happen. It's extremely disappointing because I felt like I definitely could have won, and it would have been big for the team. The goal is always to put it on our doubs guys because we have the best doubles pair in the world on our team.

It's really disappointing not being able to do it for them. Yeah, I definitely had chances in the tiebreaker, up a mini break twice. I definitely don't typically lose a breaker from that situation, being up a mini break twice. But I just couldn't really make it happen on my serve. So it sucks.

Q. Tough breakers today for the US team. What was your sense of where things turned around?
MARDY FISH: I thought Vasek, it's the best I've ever seen him play. I watched him play yesterday against Fognini, he played great obviously there, too. But Reilly certainly didn't play a poor match by any stretch. He served great, handled the moment well.

That was kind of the goal here coming out for the first time for these guys, our top singles players, and, you know, not having played in this format before and getting a feel for it and getting a feel for this new format in Davis Cup.

And, you know, like I told you yesterday, this is the only format they know. So it was great to be their captain out there and great to be on the bench and nothing but positivity. They certainly tried their butts off and that's all we can ask for.

Q. I know it's been a while, but the Canadians were 0-15 against the US. Played in 1913 for the first time.
MARDY FISH: They've got a great team. They have another great player that didn't play today as well. They're going to be around for a long time. So are these guys. I imagine that we're going to have quite a few battles with them over the years.

Q. Strategy-wise, how does it change having all the games on the same day compared to the old format?
MARDY FISH: You know, two out of three sets helps. These guys are fit, they can play for a long time. They've been training and playing all year.

So, you know, we saw yesterday and obviously today the Canadians were just fine with it. So physically these guys, this is what they do, this is what they train for. So we have a ton of options, which is great. We were looking forward to getting out there and playing the doubles tonight and trying to get it, like Taylor said, trying to get it to the doubles was kind of the goal, the theme going into the week.

And, you know, I had a good feeling about today, we all had a good feeling about the matchups today and how we went about it. Certainly no regrets there of who played. And three tiebreakers, we just came up a bit short.

Q. So when you play Italy, you must try to win 3-0 because 2-1 could be not enough, and Italy's going to do the same. I mean, so what do you expect? Do you think you will play with the same players? Last night Fognini said he hates to play Opelka after he lost to him in the US Open.
MARDY FISH: (Smiling.) We're going to play our best players, for sure, in the best matchups, for sure. Italy is -- this is the toughest group, I think. So there's no easy match period.

You never know. 2-1 could do it as well. Two extra teams there that don't win their group get to go through. So it doesn't necessarily have to be 3-0.

So we're going to go out there tomorrow and try to get the first one, and try to put ourselves in a position to do that.

Q. When you're playing a guy that is as hot as Denis is right now, what is your approach against him?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I mean, I didn't really think, try to think of that at all because it's a little bit different, it's a little bit of a different situation with the Davis Cup with the nerves running high.

Obviously, I got broken first game and then broke right back. The whole first set was -- I mean, the first set really could have gone either way, it's just small margins. Unfortunately, I didn't come up with the right shots at the right times sometimes. And, you know, ultimately that's why I lost.

Yeah, I wasn't thinking too much about his recent form. I was just thinking about feeling out the match and just kind of playing whoever, you know, whatever level he showed up with today, trying my best to adjust to that. I think I did a good job of that in the first set. Like I said, small margins and it could have gone either way.

Q. Growing up you heard about the Davis Cup forever. Talk about the experience going out there for the first time, you mentioned nerves. Talk a little bit about you've had such a wonderful year and can this be a building experience?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Yeah, it's always been a dream of mine to represent my country, and it's something that I do with a lot of pride. So I really wish that I could have, could have come out there and won today, especially when the team really needed it.

Yeah, definitely it hurts much more than -- it's more disappointing than normal losses because you're letting the team down, and I want to provide for the team, definitely playing in the spot I'm playing in.

But, you know, hopefully I can redeem myself in future matches and, you know, contribute to the team a lot in the future. I'm really excited to finally be playing on the team.

Q. Taylor, how do you think the situation compares with playing the Laver Cup and the pressure you felt there versus the Davis Cup today?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I just think -- I think it's definitely given some confidence and experience in these type of situations. You know, I wasn't maybe as nervous as I might have been, you know, going out there today because I kind of have been in the situation before and I trust myself in these big moments and in these team competitions. I think it can really bring out the best in my game, you know.

Today, unfortunately, it didn't. I really wish I could have played a bit better, especially at times. But I think this kind of format brings out my best tennis and focuses on a lot of stuff I'm good at, like being good under pressure and competing and it fires me up to play for the time, like I said.

So I think just playing Laver Cup prior to this gave me a lot of confidence that this type of format is good for me.

Q. A question for Taylor. Talking about the audience, in the arena the supporters were mainly for Canada. Do you think there were something that the Federations or communication about the event in the US went wrong? And since you were talking about representing your country, this is a point that applies also to the ATP Cup in January.
TAYLOR FRITZ: Yeah, I mean, when it comes down to the fans, I think there's just more dedicated tennis fans in Canada, not going to lie. I think the US has so many other great sports; tennis isn't really the focus. And the Canadian fans were strong and they flew out and they came out. I don't think it has anything to do with the Federations or anything, you know.

That being said, the fans that were there today, the US fans, I heard them and they did a good job of kind of fighting against the numbers, if you will. And yeah...

What do you want me to say about the ATP Cup?

Q. In January, we start also the ATP Cup. Do you think the theme of representing your country will apply also to the ATP Cup?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Yes, you're representing your country as well at ATP Cup. The Davis Cup being such a historic event, I really, you know, really want to -- it means a lot to be here. And then obviously focusing on this and hopefully, you know, we can bring it tomorrow and get through the group stage.

Yeah, I'm excited as well to represent my country at the team cup.

Q. And you are playing Italy, I would like you to tell me something about their team, Fognini and Berrettini, what you think about them.
MARDY FISH: I've practiced a lot with Fabio over the years and seen him play. He's a fantastic player, you know. Hopefully -- look, he's a tough out, period.

Berrettini I hadn't heard of before this year. So obviously had an incredible year. He's got an unbelievable game, huge game. So he'll be tough tomorrow. They're a very good team.

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