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January 2, 2020

Apostolos Tsitsipas

Alexander Skorilas

Petros Tsitsipas

Markos Kalovelonis

Michail Pervolarakis

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from the captain.

APOSTOLOS TSITSIPAS: Can I introduce? This is Team Greece. Let me start introduce you the players. Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No. 1 of our team. Michail Pervolarakis is the No. 2. Markos Kalovelonis is the No. 3. Petros Tsitsipas is the No. 4. And Alex Skorilas is the No. 5. And so me, the captain, Apostalos Tsitsipas. No number yet.

Q. What does it feel like to get Greece at this level of competition in team tennis, as Greece as has not been in Davis Cup World Group for a long time, so what does it feel like to be on this stage with sort of other big countries of tennis? For anyone. Yeah, sure, Stef, go ahead.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, I think so many countries that have tradition in tennis and we specifically, we're getting there as time passes. To see Greece participate in this event, I think it's just extraordinary because there are obviously countries behind us which, I guess, which have maybe not that high of -- sorry, not so many high ranked players, which -- but I think it's an opportunity for us to be in the spotlight, for all the players on our team to see how it is to be playing at that level. So it's an opportunity to witness and to see and to understand how -- and also, for the people back home to get to -- I think they feel a lot of pride that we participate in this event. And I'm very happy that, obviously, with my results I did well not just for me, but also for others. I created this opportunity. And I'm willing to learn from them because I think there's plenty for me to learn from them, and also, I hope the same stands for them.

Q. Stefanos, how confident, how is the confidence before this tournament after such a successful 2019?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It's good. I feel pretty much the same, I guess. I improved during my pre-season. I feel like I've added a few elements in my game. Obviously, ups and downs, you can't be consistent all the time. I'm going to try to be consistent as much as possible. I'm going to try to be even better than I was last year. But in the back of my head I've concentrated on having a consistent balanced well-planned year with not many ups and downs. And it's going to be quite challenging, but overall I feel good with my tennis, with my body. I'm not -- I'm injury-free. I don't feel pain anywhere, which is good. I hope it remains this way. I'm really pumped for 2020. I think that the opportunities are there, new doors to open, in a way.

Q. Do you feel that the next generation is closing the gap with the top-3, those big-3 names?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I mean, yeah, they are still there. They are doing really well. For us, for me, at least for me, it's very challenging to go out there and compete against them. I feel like there's something extra to chase after when I play against them. Plus I get to learn a lot when I play against them. I feel more of a complete player. I feel, I kind of compare them to me to see what works for them and what should I work on more, and they're just super humans in a way. But I'm trying to get there myself and I'm going to keep trying to do my best because I feel like I can surpass them, I can be better. So it's just a matter of time, patience, and dedication on what I do. Maybe some questions for the other guys. I don't want to be the only guy answering here.

Q. I was going to say for, like, audiences, there's this big Greek, sort of population in, like, Brisbane and all of Australia. And I think you called for everyone to like come out and support you guys, all the Greek fans. Have you felt that since you've been here?
APOSTOLOS TSITSIPAS: Yes, already we had an invitation to the Greek Club. We spent the New Year at the Greek Club. It was already the atmosphere.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think it's called Club.

APOSTOLOS TSITSIPAS: It was called Club. Not night club, but it was Club. Not a night club. So it was, yeah, it was -- the welcoming of the people was just very warm, and they make us feel already that the support is going to be there for all of us. And the messages we received from the other places of Australia, like Melbourne, Sydney, a lot of Greek communities as well, it's, I guess, it's really important for the players and for the team to give the best.

Q. For anyone, what do y'all think of the team zones, being in the back of the court rather than close to the net, and what do you think that will add to this event? Anyone can feel free to answer.
APOSTOLOS TSITSIPAS: What do we think?

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: What do we think of the team zones?

Q. Yeah, the team zones, so that bench near the baseline, that's where, like, the team can hang out and cheer you on. They're a lot closer. I'm curious what you think that will add to the event rather than maybe closer to the net posts or something like that.
MICHAIL PERVOLARAKIS: Obviously. Tennis is an individual sport. You always feel alone on the court. Having your teammates, your coaches, everyone that are close to you when you sit down, I think it's going to be very helpful for the psychology of the player and also for tactic purposes. Having a coach on court and giving you some information, tips, feedback about your game, it's really, really good and really important.

APOSTOLOS TSITSIPAS: Now we have some new things. I don't know if you heard about it. We have the analytics on the side, analytics in the box. We have, the coaches have tools that they can use during the matches. I think that it's very, very important for the players and for the coaches to have all this data. And also, we have, like, we call it the tactic room, I think, which is also very important because the coaches and the players can prepare better for the competition, and that's what it's all about professionalism. And I think starting from this tournament it's really impressive how well it's organized and prepared.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: You guys, if you have anything to add you can speak up.

ALEX SKORILAS: Yeah, it's really exciting for us to be near the players and near our friends to support them. And for sure we're going to feel better because we can add more excitement in the game and we can pump them more. And I think this is very good for us also.

APOSTOLOS TSITSIPAS: And not only pump them, probably you can play as well.

ALEX SKORILAS: Yeah, I hope so.

APOSTOLOS TSITSIPAS: Everybody has to be ready, because nobody knows who is going to play then. So the team is ready and I guess the preparation was --

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I think tennis is a very introverted sport that's how I would describe it.


STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: We need something like this for a change. You feel alone when you're out there.

APOSTOLOS TSITSIPAS: So team competition, definitely, it's a unique thing and actually I used to say always that tennis is not an individual sport, it's a team sport, just sometimes we don't realize it and that, because a lot of people that are behind the scenes, they are hidden somewhere in the boxes, in the court. And then at the end, if you see like the top players they have like 10 people around them and they're preparing. That's for me is a team sport. So it's very important to have all this team competition and then we can see all these heroes that are hidden behind the scenes to make this sport more excited.

Q. Canada first up, they made the Davis Cup final early in November, it will be a tough one first time, are you looking forward to it?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: The Davis Cup in November you said? Which one?

Q. Yeah, Canada made the finals.

Q. Yeah.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, we're trying to get there.

Q. But I'm saying, like it's a tough one first up for you, especially you against Denis, it should be a good game tomorrow.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. They more experience with something like this. They played with each other much more. They made finals in Davis Cup recently. So I guess that gives them a small advantage. They know each other a bit better.

But for us we are, in a way, as upper-comers, newcomers, I don't know, call it however you like it. Most of the guys, I don't, they're not familiar with most of the players here, so we can use it as an element of surprise, I think. We all play well, I think the differences are in just details, we all play tennis, we all know how to hit the ball, how to run to the ball. I've played with all of them, they can all play in my rhythm. I'm not surprised because tennis is a sport where you can just, it's all decided in small details, as I said before. So, yeah, in a way it's pretty equal, it's, I think we just have to surpass our mental strength, be wiser than them and use our strengths and the way you approach the game a bit more reasonable, I would call it, yeah.

Q. Stefanos, to follow-up, you said, we kind of feel like we're the new kind of new guys of -- paraphrasing what you said -- but do you kind of feel like you guys are the youngest team here, maybe a chip on your shoulder, kind of like, we're looking to go out -- maybe a lot of people don't think, hey, Greece is going to win, but you guys can make some noise and stun some people here?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Sure. And I also want to reach out to the great Greek community here in Brisbane to come and watch us play. I think that will give us extra strength, an extra will to do even better and motivate us to make us feel like we're playing at home. So, for us, that wouldn't make things worse, for sure.

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