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January 3, 2020

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

F. AUGER-ALIASSIME/M. Pervolarakis

6-1, 6-3

Canada - 1, Greece - 0

THE MODERATOR: First question for Felix, please.

Q. How does it feel to be the first ATP Cup match winner in history?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Amazing. Truly feels good to be back on the court. With the injury I had a longer pre-season, was able to train well to get fit, and I just felt like I was doing some good things, practicing well, but the first match you don't know what to expect. I didn't know the opponent, also, so that's a factor that is always challenging when you're a player and so I tried to focus on what I had to do. But I was happy that overall in the match I had a great first set, couldn't ask any better, and I was able to be solid in the second. So overall very happy to be back.

Q. How different does this format feel to your standard tour match?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: For sure you have teammates. You hear more people behind your back, so it's different feeling. I personally like this feeling. It's good to have teammates cheering you on and it's exciting that -- I think it brings the competition to another level that even after a first win you're not through yet. Your teammates got to win or you got to win doubles. So that's also, it's different, it's a different feeling. So it's not done yet. But overall, yeah, it's just a good experience.

Q. What was it like, the team zones, having them a lot closer to you, what was that kind of dynamic like?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I liked it. Personally I liked it. So one time you have to walk further, but it feels really nice when you just get out the chair and you go like straight to the court. You go straight out the back. No, no, it's, I think I like it.

Q. A new one for me too.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I like new things.

Q. How do you think the team format is going to set you up for the first Grand Slam tournament of the year?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: It's good because, okay, obviously, my match today was a bit different, maybe not of the highest competition in terms of ranking, but now you can see Denis and Stefanos playing. You would rarely, you would never see that before. So I think from the start of the year to be challenged with the best players in the world, it's obviously great. I think you can't ask for a better preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year. So, because before you would play maybe 250, two of them, might play a top guy in the finals, but now it's really tough. You play top-10 opponents eventually from the start, so against, let's say, Australia, in two days, playing probably Nick. It's challenging matches from the start, yeah, it's good.

Q. Why were you wearing blue?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, so we had an issue with the T-shirts. I had a Canada writing on the back, which wasn't allowed, so we thought of putting, hide it or whatever, but in the end in my bag I only had blue shirts from the end of last year, so I just went with that. But what matters is if you get the win or not in the end.

Q. Are you going to get back-up shirts? I saw Denis had some red shirts --
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: We don't have a lot so we'll see what we can do. But if I have no other choice then I'll play in the blue for the rest of the tournament.

Q. Quebec color anyway?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, Quebec color, so it feels like home.

Q. Was there much on-court coaching from Adriano?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: So from Adriano not, just encouraging words, fist pumps. But I think the fact that we have our personal coaches, obviously, on the court, I think it's more about that. And we had a few exchanges, maybe three changeovers. We exchanged with my coach. And our deal was I'll chat with him if I want to and if I don't want to then I'll just keep playing. So, and it wasn't a match where I felt like I needed to talk to him a lot. I felt like I knew what to do. Sometimes it's just fun to just exchange about the game while I'm playing because we do it in practice matches and normal practices, but we don't have the chance to just exchange about the game during the match. I think that's interesting.

Q. So you all discussed that beforehand, like, here's how we'll handle it, etcetera?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, we did it for us. I don't know how the others deal with it, but we just felt like sometimes the player might not feel like talking and it can be awkward to tell his captain that he doesn't want to, so I think we decided from the start that it has to come from me and I think it's just more fluid that way.

Q. In previous seasons there's been men's tournaments in four different countries. This week leading up to the Aussie Open, do you think it feels better to have people more centrally located so it feels like the season is actually started en masse, rather than in a scattered kind of way?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I think it's good because obviously we all know it sure is far from the other countries and for them to have this tour like America does or in Europe or like Wimbledon does on the grass, I think it's good to center all the tournaments here, so the fans can kind of feel like -- and even for us -- kind of feel a build-up until Melbourne. And I think it's good, now we have a chance to play pretty much all the big cities in Australia, have the chance to play in Adelaide also, so I think it's good to get that Australian tour under way.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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