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January 2, 2020

Boris Becker

Andreas Mies

Mats Moraing

Jan-Lennard Struff

Alexander Zverev

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

THE MODERATOR: We'll have the captain introduce the players.

BORIS BECKER: On my left is Sascha Zverev, Jan-Lennard Struff, and Kevin Krawietz. On my right, Andreas Mies and Mats Moraing.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Do we have a first question, please.

Q. Sascha, this was your choice, I believe, for captain of this team. How did you make your decision to pick Boris? What went into your thoughts there?

BORIS BECKER: I always wanted to know that question too.

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: First of all, I've got to get something off my chest. Didn't you tweet out at London that I should get banned by the ATP tour.

Q. No.

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No, that wasn't you? Okay. Yeah, I mean Boris, we talked, we talked all summer, I think, about the ATP Cup. We talked about the opportunity of teaming up and kind of going together to Australia. Obviously, we have a good team. We have top doubles players in the world. We have myself, Jan-Lennard, Mats, who are great singles players. So we want to give ourselves the best chance to win and I think Boris can play a big part in that. He can play a big part in what he will say on the bench, the energy that he has. I mean, he is one of the most iconic sportsmen in German history. Not only in tennis, but in sports in general in Germany. So it was an easy decision for me. The moment Boris said yes, it was just moving forward to the, obviously, he would have been the best captain that we can have in Germany. No? Good answer? Do you approve?

BORIS BECKER: Keep talking. Keep talking. (Laughing).

Q. Boris, what were your thoughts when you heard that Sascha picked you?

BORIS BECKER: Honestly, I'm always honored when I can represent my country as a player and as a coach. I think we are a fantastic team. We have good team chemistry. I think that's our trademark. We like to be with each other representing Germany, and I think that that was the case the last couple years in Davis Cup, and it's the case in the ATP Cup. And when Sascha asked me, I said, it took me three seconds to make the decision, and I was happy that all the rest of the team has joined us.

Q. Jan, I'm curious how you think the team zones will work out in the back of the court, having the team a little closer to you on the bench. And also, on-court coaching, what you think that will bring to the event.

JAN-LENNARD STRUFF: It's new. I think, I was looking at the space for running. IT looked a bit short, but, yeah, hopefully, no one is running into there. But, yeah, it's new aspects, and I think it's good to try them and let's see what it brings us.

Q. Sascha, do you expect to face a much improved Alex de Minaur? Obviously, he's a lot, a couple years ago you faced him in the Davis Cup, but he's had a rapid rise in the rankings since. Do you --

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Of course he's improved. Everybody of the youngest has improved. Back then he was an up and coming young guy and now he's Top-20 in the world. So, yeah, it's different, but we played a lot of, I think, good matches with Alex. I think that the Davis Cup match here was the best one that we played. I mean, 7-6 in the fifth set, we played, I think over four hours. So that was a great match. And after that we still played a lot of times. I think we played three, four times after that, which I always quite enjoyed. But, yeah, it's going to be a very difficult match. I expect it to be very difficult for the first match of the season. It's not easy against him because he's not somebody that will give you a lot and I will know exactly where I stand after that match.

Q. Jan, on Kyrgios, he's, he can be a bit unpredictable on the court. How do you, is that, is it hard to match up against someone like that where, I'm not sure, do you know what to expect when you take the court with him?

JAN-LENNARD STRUFF: Yeah, in general it's tough to predict what he's going to, how he's going to play. But he's always at his best when he's playing for his country and so I predict him very, very strong. And for him and for me, it's the first match, so you don't know where you stand. So two years ago he beat me, like, 4-4-4 pretty easy here. Even though I played a good match, he was just as strong. I managed to beat him in Madrid last year -- actually, yeah, last year. And, yeah, it's going to be a tough match for sure, with the crowd here as well. I hope we get good support from some Germans maybe find a way here. But, I mean, we beat Australia here in Brisbane two years ago, and I think we can build up on that confidence and go out and fight for every ball.

Q. I'm curious, obviously so much attention on the singles matches, but doubles and -- could come down to doubles, obviously, a lot of the time. Curious of your guys' thoughts about that and how you, the reigning Roland-Garros champions, could play such a big role in that.

ANDREAS MIES: Yeah, I mean, when we played the Davis Cup in Madrid that was a similar situation. We had two singles and one doubles after that and we weren't in that situation yet that we had to play the deciding doubles. But, yeah, we're used to that format, and if it comes down to the doubles, we're ready for that. We had a good off-season and we're happy to be here. It's a big honor to play for Germany again and, yeah, we'll see how Australia will play in the doubles. But, yeah, we're motivated and looking forward to the first match.

Q. Sascha, all the traveling you've done in the off-season with going around playing matches with Roger, how has that affected your preseason?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Just, I had a week less of holiday, that's how it affected my pre-season. And, yeah, I mean, still I think I had a good off-season. It was a little bit different. It was shorter this year, for sure. I only started playing tennis a week ago, pretty much, so I don't have a lot of tennis practice yet, which I will build up still. But, yeah, I feel good. I feel pretty fit again. But physical was never really my problem. It was in the beginning of my career, but in the, I think, the last one, two years it's never been a problem. I know I can last matches, I know I can play longer than most guys. So for me I need to get my tennis back a little bit and kind of have a fresh start as well. Just, obviously, the last year, yes, I finished No. 7 in the world, I had good tournaments, but it was still not the year that I wanted to have and I hope I can kind of improve this year.

BORIS BECKER: We were joking before, because he's played Roger now so many times in a row, that the opponent is not Roger Federer tomorrow. So I will inform him in the morning that you're not playing Roger today (laughing).

Q. Mats, what is it like for you being here for a week knowing you probably won't play. Just what how this affects your schedule and your preparations?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: He's been playing the best out of all of us, by the way. Nobody has beaten him in a practice set yet.

MATS MORAING: No, I have a great practice week here. Maybe, I hope not, that anybody gets injured, but I'm ready to play. And I'm just enjoying it, having good practices and everything, and I'm looking forward to a good week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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