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January 3, 2020

Christian Ruud

Viktor Durasovic

Casper Ruud

Perth, Western Australia, Australia


4-6, 6-3, 10-5

Team Norway - 2

Team United States - 1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Casper, that was quite a performance from you today in the singles and the doubles. You mentioned you were a bit tired going into the doubles match, but what a fantastic result for Norway.
CASPER RUUD: Yes, thank you. Like you said, I think I did a great effort today. We were just one point away from losing my singles and the whole match, so it was very fun for us to come back. I played a very good singles match.

Even if I would have lost 7-6, 7-6, I felt like I didn't do anything too wrong or too many mistakes. I played a good match, and in the doubles we also tried to play aggressive. Those are good doubles players, but we are both, both of us, good singles players.

We tried to kind of beat them in the singles kind of way. We don't come too much to the net or stuff like this, but we managed to win in our own way. Of course we are very happy to beat a big nation like United States.

Q. Popular back home. People are just waking up?
CASPER RUUD: Yeah, I think so. It's seven hours behind in Norway, so they should have woken up already by now. I think there are some guys or people at home following, proud that Norway have beaten the United States in tennis. So I think I will have some calls to do this afternoon by the Norwegian press.

Q. From a personal point of view, I think next up you have Italy, A clash against Fabio Fognini. Are you looking forward to that and build on that after your great result against John today?
CASPER RUUD: Yes, you know, it's another great opportunity and even better player in the rankings. He's No. 12 in the world, I think.

Another great opportunity for me to play against a big player. You know, I think he just arrived last night. So I think, you know, the whole team, we have been there for a week, preparing and trying to come out here prepared. I think we have done very good work, and hopefully that can give me and Norway a little bit of advantage when we play Italy.

But anyways, they are of course a very strong team and we are the underdogs again. We will just try to hope for another miracle, I guess you could say.

Q. Christian, could you explain your emotions right now throughout the tie? Obviously Viktor's first singles but then coming back to combine with Casper to win the doubles. And also Casper's singles, just explain in your words.
CHRISTIAN RUUD: Yes, it's been a great day, of course. Viktor had a tough opponent. I think Taylor Fritz played really well. Viktor has been playing well in practice, so I had hope and belief that he could win that match, but Taylor was difficult.

With John, we know it's difficult, especially to get the break, and I think Casper did a really good job today holding his serve the whole match, and finally getting a break. But also he was, like he said, if he had lost 7-6, 7-6, it would have been a good match. He was returning well. He was giving Isner pressure in many games.

One of the best hard court matches I have seen Casper play, because I think Isner is a really good hard court player. I thought he was playing well today, actually. It was a really good win for Casper.

Regarding the doubles, they have played together in Davis Cup and they are good friends, so it's always fun to play doubles. It's more fun when you win, and they got a little bit slow start but tried to encourage them to give energy and make them play one extra point.

They are of course good on the net, but these guys are good from the baseline. We tried to win, as Casper said, in our game and good returns and heavy shots, and they managed to do it. They played with great energy, yeah.

Q. Viktor, obviously you had nerves throughout your singles match, as you told me. How did you feel in the doubles? Had they settled down by then? Did you feel as though you were performing better?
VIKTOR DURASOVIC: Going into the second set, I was starting to -- I started to loose up. I started to feel a lot better, actually. At one point, I was feeling quite good, actually. I felt like more or less I was playing at a good level, so I'm very happy about that.

Q. Casper, could you just explain your emotions in that second-set tiebreaker against John where you were unable to convert some of your set points but equally saved two match points.
CASPER RUUD: Yeah. You know, whenever you play a tiebreak, any tiebreak but especially against a big server like John, you have to be really focused not to let any points slip away. A mini break, that can do it. Maybe he hits four aces in a row after that. You have to be really, really focused.

I felt like I did. In the first-set tiebreak, he played some very good points towards the end of the tiebreak and clutched it a little bit there.

Then in the second-set tiebreak, I did a good return winner and I had 5-3, 6-4 with my own serve. It was unbelievable point with me coming to the net and he defending good on my overhead.

You know, it was a funny point but not fun to lose it. Then the points go fast, because it's not a player you get to play too many rallies, long rallies with. So you just try to focus on your serves mainly, and whenever you see a chance, you have to try to get a mini break out of his serve.

I guess it was 10-All I hit a good second-serve return winner, and I was able to get the second set after saving two match points, which was a really, really good feeling.

Q. Christian, from a personal and family point of view, if I can take it there, you must be so proud of Casper, but your record, I think you're the most successful Norwegian. You reached a world high 39. Might be under threat if Casper continues to do well.
CHRISTIAN RUUD: Yeah, it is, for sure. When I was his age, I was like 150 or 200. So he's way ahead of me if you look at the age. There is many good players out there so nothing is easy, but he's on a good path.

I hope he will break it soon. I'm happy when he does it. Just have to keep on working. Started the season 2020 with a good win, and hopefully we can get more and he can still move up the rankings. That's our goal, of course.

Q. Christian, I saw you looking at the iPad, stat screen with Casper. What sort of things were you looking at?
CHRISTIAN RUUD: Looking mostly where his serves, but it's difficult with his statistics because he was serving quite a lot wide on the ad court and then suddenly hit four aces in the T.

So we were hoping on the big points he's going wide, but then he kind of changed his rhythm, so it's a little bit hard to read because he can also see what he's doing. So if he sees he's serving to the backhand a lot, he'll probably want to change up.

So it's a useful tool, but it also can confuse you. He was angry with me because I told him he's serving a lot wide, and then suddenly he got four aces on the T. So we stopped looking at it for a few games, and you just have to get the feel also for what's coming. I think you cannot always look at the statistics, because you have to actually play the ball and every ball is different. We like to use it, but you cannot always trust it 100%.

Q. Casper and Viktor, individually, how did you find the team zone? Sort of not walking to the chair umpire's chair but going to the corners of the court and, you know, having advice from Christian and even your teammates?
CASPER RUUD: It was different, for sure, you know. Now the ending of last year was different situation. With NextGen they tried a lot of different stuff, and here they are trying also some different stuff.

So I thought it was a fun thing to do and to try out. You know, I think we should credit the ATP for trying something new. Tennis has looked the same for many, many years now, and they are trying to do some slight changes or small improvements or changes, and I think it's a little bit fun for the players. It's not the biggest deal, but it's nice to have your coach there also. You kind of get that team spirit feeling and kind of like Davis Cup also a little bit.

So I think it was a fun day. You know, the next tournaments and the next months will be without the coach on your bench, so it's nice to get the advantage of it whenever you can.

Q. Viktor, I guess sometimes it was a long walk for you maybe in the singles, but did you welcome having Christian's advice?
VIKTOR DURASOVIC: What do you mean?

Q. As in the team zone, just being able to talk to him and interact.
VIKTOR DURASOVIC: Yeah, for sure. It's always nice to have a coach there and to talk with about what's happening, and maybe the distance is a little far to go each change when you have to go on the other side, but, you know, like Casper said, you know, the ATP is trying something new, and I think it's fun.

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