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January 8, 2020

Tim Henman

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

(Recorded by ATP audio.)

Q. Good to be with you again. As we get into the business end of the inaugural ATP Cup and Great Britain qualifies to the quarterfinals, did you think you all could do it to get at least to the quarterfinals?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, I think definitely when we looked at the group coming into the event with Belgium, Bulgaria, Moldova, we felt like that was a good opportunity, some tricky matches in there.

You're never quite sure how it's going to unfold. I think after our first day having had a couple of match points in the doubles and losing 2-1 to Bulgaria, we were pretty disappointed, but we knew we had to bounce back.

You know, I couldn't be more pleased or proud of how the team responded. Put in two great performances. You know, as is the case sometimes, you need a little bit of help, a little bit of luck, and we got that from Belgium last night so delighted to go through on top of our group.

Q. A little bit of luck, as you were saying. It was suggested to Steve Darcis that you should be buying him a bottle of Champagne because they won exactly the way you needed them to win to get you into the quarterfinals.
TIM HENMAN: I think they should have received their magnums of Champagne by now. We were keeping an eye on that last night. We were at dinner.

Again, you know, you wouldn't necessarily have said the match would have unfolded the way it did. Steve Darcis, who played so well against Cam Norrie, different story, didn't play so well last night, but likewise, Grigor Dimitrov I think had won eight out of nine against Goffin, and Goffin was able to find a way.

Very difficult to predict. The doubles was close, as well, but it went in our favor.

Q. Australia in the quarterfinals. What are your initial thoughts on coming out against the home side?
TIM HENMAN: Really excited about the opportunity. I think we go in as underdogs, and they have got home-court advantage and will have the crowd on their side, but I think we're already excited about that.

I think we have talked about it and know that we've got to concentrate on the way that we play and, you know, the good things that we have done in the event so far but appreciate that we're coming up against a world-class team, and we're excited by the challenge.

Q. I think the players from both nations have a lot of respect for one another, and there has always been a very healthy rivalry between Australia and Great Britain. You see that carrying through?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, definitely. I mean, whatever the sport, whether it's, you know, cricket, rugby, union rugby, league, or tennis, there is always a good rivalry and good amount of banter that goes with it.

So Lleyton Hewitt, the opposite captain, is someone I have known a long time. He's been a huge presence in the game on the court as a professional and now off the courts in Australian tennis.

So it will be great to catch up with him. They've got a great team, great characters. We're excited by that opportunity. I sort of feel that this is another scenario of nothing to lose and lots to gain.

Q. You and Hewitt had a rivalry. Ten times you all played. Could this be the start of another new rivalry as captains?
TIM HENMAN: I'm pleased that you say it was a rivalry on the court. I only beat him once. I'm not sure it was that much of a rivalry.

No, it will be great to catch up with Lleyton again. And, you know, hopefully my captaincy is a bit more successful than perhaps my play was against him.

Q. Let's look at the two singles matches that would be on the cards with the Australians with Alex de Minaur, who will probably come up against Dan Evans, and Nick Kyrgios up against, I'm assuming, Cam Norrie. What are your thoughts on those matches?
TIM HENMAN: Yeah, very different types of matchups. I think when you look at the No. 1 players,

de Minaur and Evans, I like that matchup. I think Dan, the way he's played, you know, in the previous matches certainly against Goffin, he played fantastically well. And he needs to play at that high level, he needs to keep the patterns that work for him and look to be offensive, proactive, serve well, hit his targets. If he does that, he's got a chance.

Likewise, if it's Kyrgios against Norrie, you know, a lot of that match is in Kyrgios' hands, the way that he plays. You know there are going to be ups and downs. When there are downs, we have to take advantage of that. And I think with Cam's resilience and how good a competitor he is, he's always going to have a chance.

Q. Last question. This is your first stint as a captain of a British tennis team. How have you enjoyed it? Are you coming back for more?
TIM HENMAN: Well, I think I have said on a couple of occasions now I'm going to do it twice: the first and the last time. (Smiling.)

No, I have had a blast. I have really enjoyed it. I think that has been twofold a lot about the event and a lot about my team.

You know, who knows about things moving forward? We've got to concentrate on the job against Australia, and hopefully we can progress. If we don't, I'll still look back and reflect on a very enjoyable couple of weeks in Australia.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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