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January 3, 2020

Alex De Minaur

Lleyton Hewitt

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

A. DE MINAUR/A. Zverev

4-6, 7-6, 6-2

Australia - 2, Germany - 0

THE MODERATOR: First question for Lleyton and Alex, please.

Q. Alex, terrific fight back. How do you rate that win? You haven't beaten him before. Where did the match turn and why were you able to get over top of him?
ALEX DE MINAUR: This one for me was a really important match. Obviously, I've played him a couple times and I've never been able to get him. And last time I played him in Brisbane was sort of my Davis Cup debut where I lost 7-6 in the fifth leading a break. So look, to be honest, at the start I was getting outplayed. He was on top of me. He was playing at a very high level and then all of a sudden at the end of that first set things started to change. I started to have a couple looks at second serves and make a couple more returns and slowly managed to keep that pressure and eventually things sort of turned around and I was able to take the lead and hold onto it. So very happy.

Q. What did the boss tell you when you were talking to him?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, pretty much that. To stay in the moment. That I was really close to turning that match around, even though I was probably borderline getting a bit frustrated with how things were going. It just felt like things weren't really going my way, but then all of a sudden that sort of that break came through and there it was. The match completely changed.

Q. I know you have spoken over the last year or so about trying to build your power game to match your mobility. Do you think that that win tonight showed you that you're doing that?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, well, obviously, there's, I still think, plenty and plenty of room for improvement there. But what I'm proud of today is about finding a way to win an opponent who was hitting the ball big, was serving better. I wasn't getting a lot of free points on my serve, so I just had to try and find ways to win points out there. It wasn't easy and it was a very good match to sort of start the year, start the new season. It's never easy. You got the added nerves of just a new year and you're playing for your country, so all of that together made it a bit more nerve wracking. So I'm good. I was able to settle the nerves and get a win for myself and for Australia.

Q. What have you noticed improvement-wise in Alex in the last, since you played him last year?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I think his all-around game. Even his movement has gone to another level as well. Yeah, he's certainly getting bigger with his power from the back of the court. But it felt like really slow conditions out there after Nick's match tonight, as soon as the sun went down. It was quite heavy early on. It was probably perfect conditions for Zverev. I felt like Alex had to really try and take it to him and sort of red line to try and win some points early on. Three quarters of the way through the first set Zverev was serving at a hundred percent first serves too. So he wasn't getting a look at too many chances and it was about waiting for that opportunity, weathering the storm as well as possible, and he was able to do that. And, yeah, it just goes to show how a match can turn because he hung in there. The 2-4 game, 15-40, was a couple of massive points and a lot of guys would have given it away at that stage. He was able to dig deep and then regroup and be positive and use that positive energy to be able to turn the match around.

And then in the third set Alex played some of his best tennis. He actually took him on toe-to-toe from the back of the court and matched him with power. He just worked on his game plan a little bit throughout, different speeds and different shots and served a little bit smarter probably as the match went on as well. So, no, that was a bloody good win.

Q. I was going to ask that line. Did you love the way he sort of put him away there when he had the momentum and made full use of that momentum change and, like you said, Zverev tried to come back, but it was just too good.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was a massive swing, obviously, being able to close out that second set. And then we spoke about it at the change of ends about re-setting now. It's a new set. We've got that one in the bag, but he's got to go hard early. Zverev was obviously pretty disappointed losing that second set from being in a winning position and he cracked a racket and we had to use that momentum, stay positive. And the energy, the crowd, all getting behind him and he used it perfectly.

Q. Just get your thoughts on Nick as well. Obviously, a really good night for you guys as a team. What did you make of his performance? It was, obviously, he had a lot on his mind with all the fire stuff. He was pretty emotional about that, but he was able to deliver a pretty good match for you.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's been in a really good mood the last few days even on the practice court for the most part. And, yeah, he had a good energy going out there before the match today and he put on a serving display. He served fantastic. Struff is not an easy player to play. He's improved a lot since we played him in Davis Cup a couple of years ago here. And even in the second set Nick wasn't getting quite as many opportunities, but he bided his time and then, obviously, played a great tiebreak to get out of it. But really proud of both boys. As Alex said, starting off the season's never easy. But for me especially, the way -- he's won his last four matches for Australia. The three that he played in Madrid in Davis Cup and now this one. But the first one against Columbia probably wasn't a name opponent but his last three wins have been against Goffin, Shapovalov and now Zverev. And he's got to take a lot of confidence from that and that's why you do all the hard work in the pre-season.

Q. Lleyton, I noticed you were looking at the screen, kind of the iPad, in the coaching zone. I'm curious what you were kind of looking at and how that played a factor into the match.
LLEYTON HEWITT: It probably didn't play as much of a factor. It was more just serving-wise on big points for me just to keep it in the back of my mind. Both the boys, you know, you kind of just play point-by-point out there, and what's actually happening in those two games. So when I do sit down and they come and talk and both these guys are very different at the change of ends and that's about knowing the players and their personalities. And just in the moment, Nick wants to chat a little bit more randomly than Alex, it's about getting his thoughts, I guess, to himself a little bit and then sort of picking the times to just add a couple of things to him. But I feel like I know both guys reasonably well and how they go about it and what they need out there and, obviously, the energy level of both guys are a little different as well.

Q. Alex, Denis had a good win against Stefanos. That will be a pretty good game on Sunday, you and him?
ALEX DE MINAUR: Yeah, obviously going in this, every match we're going to play is going to be incredibly tough, and especially in the group we are. So it's just going to be popcorn match after popcorn match. So, look, I'm extremely proud of today. I'll do everything to recover and hopefully come Sunday be ready to do it all again.

Q. Alex, what does a win against a guy like Zverev do for your confidence, not only in this tournament, but there's a Grand Slam not far away? I'm guessing it can't hurt.
ALEX DE MINAUR: For me the biggest thing as well is to have beaten opponent that I haven't, that I hadn't beaten yet. He sort of had my number until now. I had lost a couple times to him. I lost a very tight one but then the next ones were a bit more comfortable. So it's just about getting in my head that I'm good enough to match it with these guys. And every sort of top-10 win and high level opponent win I get, it's a bit more confidence in myself and just trying to back myself.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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