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January 9, 2020

Lleyton Hewitt

Alex De Minaur

Nick Kyrgios

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

De MINAUR-KYRGIOS/Murray-Salisbury

3-6, 6-3, 18-16

Team Australia - 2

Team Great Britain - 1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Lleyton, take us through the decision to pair Nick and Alex together. Must have been a tough one given the tough match that Alex had in singles.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, no, it was a tough decision. I knew those guys were an absolute quality doubles team, too. Yeah, I guess weighing up how Alex was going to be feeling after the singles, the kind of kid he is, though, I knew pretty much, I was pretty sure what I was going to get in the doubles.

I have seen how he trained through the preseason. I was pretty confident he was going to be able to go out there and give 100% for us, especially two sets and a super-tiebreak, as well.

And then obviously Nick, the biggest thing for me with Nick was how well he played today. Yeah, and I couldn't really afford to have him sitting on the sidelines with how well he served in the singles.

I knew these two would gel well together, as well. I have been around enough practice sessions that I have seen these two on the doubles court together, and we spoke about it, and, you know, the boys were pumped.

Q. Just on that decision again, was it always the plan to play Kyrgios and de Minaur, or did that come after Alex's game?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I had a lot of thought in my mind, we had spoken about it, I had spoken to these two to be ready if they get called upon. There was always a possibility, and they both knew that.

But, yeah, you have five minutes to decide after the second singles, so up until that, I wasn't -- his match was so epic out there in the singles, I was focusing on trying to help him as much as possible get the win and be 2-Love up. Hopefully it wasn't going to come down to the doubles.

I think the other thing is these boys have played the last few days a lot of big matches under a lot of pressure, as well, and I knew how they were going to react to that kind of pressure, being match points down. In this format, these doubles matches come down to one or two points as we saw.

You have seen it all week in some of the other ties, as well. Yeah, I had a lot of faith in these two.

Q. Alex, what was your reaction when Lleyton said he wanted you to play the doubles?
ALEX de MINAUR: Well, we obviously talked about it, and, you know, I'm going to do anything for the team. I mean, I knew that if I was going to step out on the doubles court, then I was going to make sure that I was going to be fired up, ready to go, and full of energy.

You know, it's just amazing to see what Nick just brings day after day. You know, he's come back from an epic win against Stefanos, and today he just played clinical in the singles and doubles.

You know, I had a match that didn't go my way, but still, I couldn't have had a more supportive person after the match and even on the doubles court. So it was great to be on the same side of the court as Nick, and hopefully there is plenty of more times.

Q. Nick, you have said tons of times how much you love being part of a team, but are these the reasons that you sort of live for, to win a match like that and go through emotions like that?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it was unreal. You know, the adrenaline has kind of worn off and I'm exhausted after that match.

It was awesome. It was honestly -- probably today was one of the best moments in my career, definitely. Just making it through to the semifinal, the first-ever ATP Cup in that type of fashion, was pretty special. The whole team was -- we genuinely care for each other, and they were genuinely just so ecstatic to get through.

Johnny Millman, he was on the bench the whole day today, getting up, supporting both of us. He was almost coaching us at some stages of the match. It was just awesome to be a part of, for sure.

Q. Alex, can you just reflect back on that singles match, which was so remarkable? The atmosphere, the level of tennis that was played by both of you. Can you just talk through that?
ALEX de MINAUR: Obviously it stings a bit. It's a match that I obviously did not want to lose, and I felt like I couldn't have done much more out there. I left it all out there.

He came up with some big points in important stages, especially in that last tiebreak, and I mean, you know, sometimes it doesn't go your way. I have had a couple of matches earlier that I probably shouldn't have won, being a set and a break down, but, you know, this one -- you know, he deserved to win today. I think I got rewarded with this doubles win.

Tell you what, after I got called up for the doubles, I had already forgotten about the singles, and with the doubles win, I mean, it's one of the best days of my life. Not gonna lie.

Q. Lleyton, I know it's hard right now, everyone is pumped up, great afternoon, but in a general sense, this event seems like it's working and it's here for a few years at the very least. Why do you reckon it's working?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Players want to play for their country. There is no doubt about that. Tennis is such an individual sport throughout the year.

So for these guys to get the opportunity to play for their country, yeah, it's pretty special for these guys. I said before we started this event we are very fortunate and lucky that it's in our backyard, and we get the opportunity to play as a team for our country on our home courts.

Yeah, we feel privileged to be able to do that. For these boys to play in front of packed stadiums in Brisbane and now Sydney, it's an unbelievable feeling for these guys leading into the Australian Open a couple of weeks away.

As you have seen, the tennis over the last week already has been fantastic, and we have still got some more quarterfinals and semis and finals to go. Everyone's laid it on the line out there. I think everyone has prepared as well as possible.

I think it's been great. The Australian crowds have been great, as well, for a lot of the other matches that I have seen, too.

Q. Nick, I appreciate that this is your job and your work and what you have to do, but how, for somebody on the other side, how do you actually maintain that calm? And you, Alex, when you're in a situation like you have had with singles and the doubles today as everybody is going crazy around you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Well, I mean, I played some epic matches in my career, so I know that the more level-headed you are in those moments you can think clearly.

We were down match point, and he was pretty angry and I just said, Man, you're fine. And then he hit a backhand line winner. And I was, like, See?

I don't know. It was so much going on. The crowd was amazing. The atmosphere. There was so much going on. I just tried to stay in the moment.

I mean, obviously we had a match point -- we had a match point, and we didn't take it, and I didn't even bother thinking about that again. It was just such an epic match that I was just always thinking of the next point.

Yeah, the stars aligned on that doubles for us. I thought Evo got pretty lucky in some cases in their singles match. Some luck had to go in our way in that doubles. That's what happened.

Q. Nick, you're probably going to face Spain on Saturday night. Wondering whether you think Alex is up to taking on Rafa?
NICK KYRGIOS: Obviously. Stupidist question I have ever heard.

Q. Lleyton? Your perspective on why Alex can beat Rafa?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, you know, he's the 1 player in the world at the moment. You're the underdog going into any match against Rafa, and we all know the intensity and quality he's going to bring.

He brings it day in and day out. It's going to be a good test, though, for Alex to step up to the mark against that kind of player. Alex is playing some of the best tennis of his career right now, as well.

So right now, you know, we just enjoy it for the next probably 24 hours. The boys have to recover as well as possible and do everything right, and, you know, we'll wait and see how Spain go tomorrow night. Then we'll turn our attention to who we've got to play Saturday night.

Q. Alex, you played two matches in a day on the way to winning the Sydney International last year. How does today's back-to-back effort compare to that one?
ALEX de MINAUR: Look, I think this one is obviously more important, because when you're playing for your country, you've always got that added nerves. And it's tougher when things don't go your way.

I was just incredibly proud of the whole team, and everyone out there had my back for the whole match and even after the match.

And when they decided that we were going to play the doubles, you know, we had the full support. Peersy and Guch, they were coaching us on the bench, telling us what to expect and what to be ready for, and, I mean, what happened today was just completely a team effort.

We couldn't have done it with anybody else. So I'm very happy with how things played out today, and looking forward to the next one.

Q. The on-court benches, spectators, atmosphere and everything else. Do you guys see at any way how that could be used on the tour? Just seemed such a great addition to the entertainment. Do you see a way for it to be used...
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I think it's fantastic for this event. I think in the team environment, I really enjoy how the rest of the team is right behind me as well as sitting in the front row there. I really enjoy that, because these guys feed off a lot of their support, as well.

On the tour, you know, tennis, as I said, it's a very individual game throughout the year, though. Yeah, I still love the part of this sport where the players have to work it out for themselves in a lot of the individual tournaments. There is nowhere to hide out there, so they have to work it out.

But I think for these kind of team events, I think it's fantastic. I think it's been great for TV. Yeah, we're down on our end. It's kind of a totally different feel to anything else that I have been part of in that way, and I have really enjoyed that.

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