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January 6, 2020

Dennis Novak

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

D. NOVAK/G. Pella

0-6, 6-4, 6-4

Team Austria - 1

Team Argentina - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was quite a gripping match. Talk us through it and how you felt playing that match.
DENNIS NOVAK: I felt not really good in the beginning. It was a huge different, like two days ago, the conditions.

I mean, the first set looks quite easy for him, but it was -- I got two breaks, the first two, where I had 40-Love and 40-15. If I make these two games, it's 2-3 instead of 0-5.

Yeah, then after the first set I went to a toilet break with Thomas, and I came out and change a little bit my game and fought back in the game. I think at the end I played really good tennis.

Q. What did Thomas tell you during that toilet break?
DENNIS NOVAK: It was a rough speech, I have to say (smiling). But, yeah, actually he just told me to start moving better, hitting the ball, go for it, not waiting for him to miss.

And, yeah, that's what I changed. I think I stepped in the court, and I played some really good shots.

Q. With that first set, as you were suggesting there were some opportunities even though it was 6-Love, were you getting concerned not being able to get those opportunities and then to have to try and rebound after losing a set with that sort of a scoreline?
DENNIS NOVAK: Yeah. Actually, the guys on the bench, they told me that it's not so easy as it looks like, so I tried to get in my head that it's a close one and I can turn it around. And that's what I did.

Q. Obviously your first match, even though you didn't win, you showed pretty well for yourself. Is it something about this event that brings your best tennis out of you?
DENNIS NOVAK: On one side, yes. But on the other side, I played also the last four, five months, I played really good matches against good guys. Didn't win them, but I was close.

The important thing for me is that I keep playing the same level, except the first set today, against these guys. And I can see that I can beat them. Hopefully I can stay like this and perform like this.

Q. Mostly at this event you're playing players who have pretty substantial rankings who are playing tour events. Does that help you sort of show to yourself that you can compete and beat those guys?
DENNIS NOVAK: Of course. I think for me it's easier to play against a better-ranked guy than a worse-ranked guy.

But, yeah, it brings -- of course it's good to have some matches like this. If I would have it week by week, I think it would be also better, and that's what I try to make. Then I have matches and practices like this all the year.

Q. What's it been like learning from Thomas? Because he had said at the start of the week that of course he's going to help you guys, but you guys also know what you're doing, but he seemed very into it in the team zone, when he went to your bathroom break. What's that been like for you to learn from him?
DENNIS NOVAK: It's really important. I mean, he has so much experience. He was an unbelievable player, Grand Slam champion, No. 1. He's really a legend in Austria. It's an honor to have him in the box.

We can learn really, really much things from him, because he was a really hard worker. He knows how to react in different situations when it's tough. He knows what to say.

So, yeah, it's really important and really nice.

Q. Is there any advice in particular that sort of stuck out to you?
DENNIS NOVAK: No, not really. He's talking a lot, so a lot of information is coming to me (smiling).

It's nice. I mean, he's so into the game, so emotional, and he just wants the best for me.

Q. You said that he's emotional and you could see how much it means to him. Does that mean a lot to you that he's giving that emotion for you to help you?
DENNIS NOVAK: Of course. That shows that he really means it like this. So he's not making a show or something or he just focuses on one player or on the doubles. So he's really into every guy on the team, and that's really important.

Q. Usually when you play a match and you get a big win, you get to celebrate, you get to relax, get your massage, whatever it is. But I'm sure now you're going to run out and watch your close friend. What's that sort of whirlwind like for you?
DENNIS NOVAK: Yeah, I was already at the physio. I had, like, half an hour, 40 minutes I was already.

But now, yeah, try to get out, support Dominic, get the win, and hopefully we have a 2-0.

Q. You just said Thomas talks a lot. Do you mind that? Do you prefer to have somebody talking a lot? Or would you rather be a little bit more quiet and not so much talk? Because Thomas has always been able to talk a lot.
DENNIS NOVAK: Actually, I prefer when somebody is talking a lot, but maybe in some situations I prefer a little bit less. But I know how he is. I know how he talks and I accept it, and he means it in a good way. So it's okay for me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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