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November 22, 2019

Leon Smith

Daniel Evans

Paris, France

GREAT BRITAIN 2, Germany 0

EDMUND/Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-5

EVANS/Struff 7-6, 3-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Apologies for the delay. We had an ice bath and some pasta.

Who'd like the first question?

LEON SMITH: That was just me.

Q. Dan, can you just describe those emotions when you threw the racquet in the air and celebrated that victory? Is this one of the greatest wins of your career, would you say?
DANIEL EVANS: For sure. I was just saying the last two days for me after losing was pretty tough. Yeah. So, you know, with Andy not playing and Kyle doing a great job at No. 1, it made it way easier for me to be in such a tight situation, and they was all behind me on the bench.

You know, for everyone who's helped us to all get on court, it was so good to just get the win for them, you know. It means just as much for the guys who aren't on court as the guys on court to win.

Yeah, everything was, I don't know what happened. I just let go and it felt amazing to get through that match. So, you know, to get us into the semis.

Q. Leon, can you just kind of tell us in terms of your kind of decision-making today, sort of when did you make the decision on teams and why did you make the decision on teams? How is Andy?
LEON SMITH: Made the decision last night after talking to the guys. And yeah, it was still the same case last night, and we'll go back and we'll talk about it again. It's going to be late tonight.

But I just, again, thought that where Kyle and obviously Evo are at is ahead of where Andy's just now. That's where it is in terms of how he's feeling and whatnot. And when you've got two very, very good players like Kyle and Evo that are ready to go, then that's what we do.

Q. Can I clarify that? Is Andy physically fit enough to play?
LEON SMITH: Well, he could play, but I wouldn't say he's in his best condition, as he said to you guys the other day. He says that's how he's feeling. So we have to keep talking about it.

And, you, know it's -- I can't say much more than that. It's where he's at right now. We'll have to just keep going each day and see what's needed, or if it is needed, you know. We may go with the same.

Q. Leon, Andy's posted a message tonight on Instagram asking for British supporters in Madrid, asking us if there's any Brits in Madrid because he's going to sort out tickets for them. Can I just clarify, is this a sort of offer of free tickets for the team to try and get some more supporters tomorrow night?
LEON SMITH: I just saw that message, like, four minutes ago. So I don't know. I'm presuming. I'm sort of looking at Steven over there -- any tickets? Yeah, they're looking into it.

DANIEL EVANS: I think he'd have done it if he's done that.

LEON SMITH: I don't know how many Brits are in Madrid. There could be quite a few.

We obviously talk about it. I thought the atmosphere was really good again today. I've got no idea how many people were there; obviously it wasn't full. But I thought the noise still felt really, really good. I think you felt the same, didn't you?

Now, if we do have an allocation that isn't sold out, then obviously we'd like as many people to come and watch. One, for the atmosphere; and two, to keep supporting the event.

Q. Can I just ask, obviously the doubles pair were not needed tonight. From what you've seen so far from them, is there any question of splitting them up or bringing Andy in or whatever?
LEON SMITH: Look, they've obviously -- no, that's a good question. They've played brilliantly. And obviously you know, it's tough to split them up after what they've been doing. So I've not thought about it too much.

I don't think we'll change it. But again, it depends on -- the obvious one you're thinking is if Andy and Jamie play. But I think Neal has been absolutely excellent, as has Jamie. So it doesn't feel like it needs to change.

If you get to a match at 1-All, then, of course, you have to think about things, but it's not really in the thoughts just now.

Q. Leon, if someone had told you when you took over this job, or, you know, even a few years after that, that you would make a Davis Cup semifinal without Andy really playing much of a role, what would you have thought?
LEON SMITH: I mean, yeah -- I mean, the make-up of the team has been extremely different from that first tie in Eastbourne against Turkey. And, obviously, now, look, we've got a really good squad. I mean, the players' rankings are going up. They're all established on Tour. I think it's great.

I really liked seeing how Andy supports the guys as well today. I mean, he genuinely wants everyone to be up in the rankings, doing well, supporting each other. I mean, he really leads by a really good example on that front.

And, yeah, I think it's a good feeling for everyone. We know it's not just about Andy. He's still a massive part of what we do, and of course he's going to be. But it's -- and it gives everyone confidence when people can step up and develop, which they have been doing. It's not just now, it's not just this week. It has been for a long time. We've had some very, very good results and performances from the guys.

Q. Dan, I think -- I struggle to see the score here --

Q. So Spain are looking good. What do you make of the prospect of potentially playing Rafa in singles in the Davis Cup semifinal in Spain on a Saturday night?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, I mean, if that happens, it'll be a great atmosphere, I'm sure. You know, hopefully, we're walking on to the court 1-0 up so it makes it a bit more pressure on him.

Yeah, I mean, it'll be a great occasion. Yeah, it means I've got to go out there and think I can win that match if I play that match. Yeah, I'll go on the court believing I can win otherwise there's no point in walking on.

Q. Daniel, you've been part of the team also in the past. I'd like to know if in this competition, which was very much discussed before starting, if you see any difference inside the team? I mean, this period, I don't know, enthusiasm of participation. Do you realize if anything has changed compared to the previous Davis Cup you played? And if Leon knows about it also, you can tell us.
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, it's -- I think in this format it's a harder competition to keep coming back day after day how it's worked out for us. You know, just -- not just the players get tired, the staff on the bench get tired, and they're doing an amazing job on the bench to support the players.

So I think it's harder for everybody to go day after day. It's emotional on the bench. It's emotional on court, it's draining. And I think you just have to keep coming back day after day. It's a tougher competition, I think.

Q. Leon, if it is the World No. 1 Rafa in the semifinals, how does that affect your thinking for selection? Will that sort of be a bit horse trading a little bit, trying to work out the pairings? How do you approach Rafael Nadal in singles in his home country?
LEON SMITH: In terms of selections, no, I think it's a question of we'll get back and chat about it. So I can't really say much more, but that's the honest truth. It sounds boring, but that's just what it is.

And then how do you prepare for Rafa? You prepare like any other match. Whoever's playing him will have their way of wanting to prepare for it, you know, try and figure out how to approach it.

He's not exactly got many weaknesses. So it's more about how you can prepare. For example, if Evo's going out, get him in the best head space to go and be able to put his game on the court, then that's what we'll do.

THE MODERATOR: Any final questions? No. Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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