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November 20, 2019

Leon Smith

Daniel Evans

Neal Skupski

Jamie Murray

Paris, France

GREAT BRITAIN 2, Netherlands 1

A. MURRAY/Griekspoor 6-7, 6-4, 7-6

HAASE/Evans 3-6, 7-6, 6-4

J. MURRAY-SKUPSKI/Koolhof-Rojer 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Who would like the first question?

Q. Neal, I thought you played really well on your debut today. How was that as an experience and winning the tie as a whole?
NEAL SKUPSKI: I thought me and Jamie played well today. It was a great debut. But at the end of the day, it's not about me, not about Jamie; it's about the team.

We got the win today and we were able to go again tomorrow against Kazakhstan. Hopefully we can have the same result and progress through to the next round.

Q. In terms of your career, it must be quite a special moment, so much pressure on you, the first time in this competition, the deciding rubber is doubles. It's quite a big deal to win that match, no?
NEAL SKUPSKI: Yeah, I mean, I think it's...

JAMIE MURRAY: Take the glory, mate, come on! Do it! Come on!

NEAL SKUPSKI: No, it was a tough situation to go into, but we have prepared well, we've put the preparation in, and it's obviously shown on the court today.

But yeah, I thought it's not just me that played well, Jamie played great today. And then hopefully we can keep the performance up tomorrow.

Q. Leon, a very long day. What are your thoughts coming off the court?
LEON SMITH: It was a long day, yeah. I don't know how you describe it. Quite a lot has happened. Obviously, Andy somehow managed to win a match when he's obviously not feeling at his best, is he? But he found a way against a guy that, you know, swung free. Some people are like that, aren't they? Some people go out there that maybe don't have much experience and don't shine in that occasion but that guy did.

I was proud of how Andy managed to find a way. It obviously proves a crucial rubber win for us.

I think Evo's match, we could have been sitting here in a straight-sets victory and that would have felt great. Just a matter of points away from that. But it wasn't to be.

Credit Robin as well for the way he's fought and he's come back. He's obviously pushed himself very hard the last couple of days as well. He's had a couple of very good wins, very good wins.

And then the doubles was obviously a great performance. Delighted to see Jamie play that well. He showed a lot of big experience in playing. It was not easy playing in the deciding rubber. And, of course, what Neal has managed to do I think is great. It's not easy doing what he's just done, it's not easy.

In the big moments you think about, you know, 6-5 down in the breaker there and he kept composure on the forehand to keep the ball, good trajectory. I think it's wonderful.

And ended up, I thought it was a really good atmosphere. It was a hell of a long day but it was a really good atmosphere. And it felt, as Paul said to me around the umpire's chair, this was a proper Davis Cup, and it did.

Q. Was the screens thing annoying?
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, it is annoying. It happened for us -- against us, three times it happened. Twice the guy missed his first serve in the second set, and the third time I hit an ace and then it was a let.

So it's just one of those things. It could happen -- I've played a match before where that's happened. But that's the problem with using LED lighting at the back of the court. Me personally, I would never choose to do it because we play every week when those lights are way too bright, you're trying to play doubles, the ball's coming 100 miles an hour at you and you can't see because it's so bright.

Today was a good setup but there's a lot inside there where it's annoying and it just makes it harder to play.

Look, we did really well to win today. It was a really tough match against a really good doubles team. We knew it was going to be a battle.

It was a strange day because obviously, I mean, it was a really long day, but of course Andy somehow found a way to win, like he's done so many times in his career. And then we were feeling great.

Obviously Evo played a really good match, got himself into a position to win. We were like, Okay, it's going to be 2-0. Our match doesn't maybe have the same pressure and then an hour later we were playing and it all comes down to that match. You feel, Okay, on the first day we could maybe be out of the competition if we don't get through.

So I think, you know, we did a great job to stay focused and played to a level that we did. And of course, for Neal to do that in his debut I think was really impressive. And you know, we're looking forward to getting out there again tomorrow.

Q. Leon, I know you'll say you'll see in the morning, but at this point, is there a doubt, do you think, over whether Andy can come out again tomorrow?
LEON SMITH: I'm sure we'll have a conversation about that tonight. I think that's something that will happen. I've been sat on my backside for a long time since he's finished so I haven't had a chance to speak to him or talk to anyone yet. I'm presuming he's pretty --

Q. Has he got a bit of a cold?
LEON SMITH: He's been coughing a little bit. I don't think it's anything more than just a bit of cough, to be honest.

But I think clearly after a match like that he's going to be feeling tired, isn't he? And yeah, I think there will be a conversation about that tonight.

But like I said to you guys the other day, I think we've got really good options in the singles. If it's Evo and Kyle go out tomorrow, if it's any other combination of the three, then I think we've got great options.

It's another tough day tomorrow, isn't it? Two quality singles players they've got so it's going to be difficult.

Q. Leon, Andy said he's not sort of in the shape that he wants to be and that he wasn't feeling particularly good going out on the court. Did you think about not playing him today?
LEON SMITH: Yes. But when you've got Andy in the team when you're trying to look at this competition as a whole and not to necessarily win one match but also to get going, get some momentum going, to be used later in the competition as well. You know, we thought based on, you know, in practice, based on obviously he's won Antwerp. Okay, it was a number of weeks ago, but it's still suggesting that he's going to be the right thing to pick as the No. 2 player.

And I wouldn't just base it on that one match today. He hasn't played a match for five weeks. It's still part of a process coming back to where he wants to get to.

But, yeah, you wouldn't have predicted he'd have been that long today. That's the thing. We're watching him play practice sets, practice is practice, but it's a set-all with someone like Goffin, who is 11 in the world.

You look at all these different things and it points to, yeah, let's use this match today, I think it was a good one. Who knows, it might still work out.

Q. Leon, just looking at the length of matches today and the Australia tie, by my calculations, if it takes as long as yours, it will finish after 5 a.m. Do you think the idea of staging two ties on one court in the same day is something that will have to be looked at?
LEON SMITH: I think, like anything in this new format, they're going to go through things and they're going to have to assess that. Because clearly -- even I didn't know what time it finished last night, but I guess it was --

Q. 2 a.m.
LEON SMITH: -- 2:00. Even that's not ideal obviously, because as everyone knows, by the time you've done all your stuff that you need to do afterwards, you're looking at 4:00, 4:30. And even if you're on the night session of that, it's not ideal either.

Yeah, the only conversation I've had with like Gallo from Kosmos or even Jamie Delgado, Delgy, who's doing stuff for the ITF, are very open to what can get better, what can we talk about, how can we move it forwards. It doesn't surprise me there'll be some things that will come up and you go, Maybe they need to address that for next year.

Q. Leon, have you heard about the situation with Canada awarding a 6-Love, 6-Love walkover? I just wondered if you were the Canadian captain in that position, what would you think you would have done?
LEON SMITH: Look, quite honestly, I'd have wanted our team to go out and play. That's the nature of this competition. I don't know what's happened with their team actually. I mean, I guess, is Felix injured or can't play but he's named in the team?

Q. (Off microphone.)
LEON SMITH: Yeah, I mean, they've done a great job -- I mean, Vasek has played unbelievable again in Davis Cup. And that obviously has taken its toll a couple of days in a row. But again, that's something that they could look at, isn't it?

Maybe not just take four, take five, so you have options. To give a 6-Love, 6-Love, it's not ideal in the group stage, is it, when it's going to come down to that? Not just that group, but everyone else is looking at it.

Look, I don't know their situation. If it's bad luck injuries, so be it. But I would have thought we would do our utmost to get our team out and fight, get games on the board.

Q. In general, what is your opinion about the facilities? There are not many places that have three covered courts. It is usual to play in the summer, but what is your opinion about the court or the place?
DANIEL EVANS: Go on, you go.

JAMIE MURRAY: I think the facilities are good. I mean, from a player perspective, I mean, we have everything that we need to go and perform our best level. I mean, I don't think anyone can really complain about that.

Obviously, the scheduling will need looked at because for the guys playing the evening matches, it looks like it's going to be a pretty brutal week for them.

But, you know, it's the first year under this format and they were never going to get everything perfect. But as a player playing here and being here for a week now, like, we have everything we need to get out on the court and play our best level.

Q. Dan, how tough was that loss for you today mentally, or was it kind of okay because the team won sort of thing?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, it's difficult to lose, obviously in a winning position. But as you said, the boys had to go out there and then it's my job and everybody else's job to get behind them. Unfortunately, they have to be getting ready when I'm playing.

So the job is to back everybody in the team and it's, you know -- I can't sit in the changing room and be annoyed. I have to get back out there and I've got another job to do, and support the guys and get them through. And yeah, I thought they were unbelievable out there, especially to come back from a break down in the second.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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