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January 10, 2020

Dusan Lajovic

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

D. LAJOVIC/F. Auger-Aliassime

6-4, 6-2

Team Serbia - 1

Team Canada - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How comfortable did you feel out there, and the importance of getting that first point on the board for Serbia?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Yeah, I can tell that I was feeling much more comfortable today than the whole time in Brisbane. I felt pretty relaxed and positive on the court from the first point.

We started off pretty well, really high intensity rhythm. I was feeling that it was not something that I'm uncomfortable with. Then I was just waiting to one of us start to open up a little bit and push a little bit more, and I was able to do that first and crack him in the first set.

And I think that was the key today that the one who stayed longer on this high level was the one who could prevail in the end.

Q. What was your plan going into the match, considering that Felix has had a very good last 12 months and has really risen in prominence?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Yeah, we saw a couple of his matches from Brisbane, and he was feeling a little bit uncomfortable with the forehand on the court. We heard that he changed the racquet. It might be it. And changing the racquet is always tough in the beginning.

And today you could feel that, especially when he had a little bit doubt in the forehand and when the result was tight, he was a little bit losing it, I was able to use that.

But in general, the goal today was to play my game aggressive and not let him take over the advantage in the court. I think I was able to do it.

I was very well tactically preparing the points, and I think this was also one of the good things that I was doing on the court today.

Q. Looking around the stadium today, there were probably dozens of Serbian flags and they were all excited. Does that ever get old, getting to play in front of that sort of atmosphere?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Well, I doubt it. I doubt it. Because the energy that they bring, it's unique, because if you look at the overall season, there is no one place where you have as many Serbs as here, because we don't have any tournaments in Serbia.

When you have them in stadiums, it's usually the minority of the fans, and here they are the majority. So I think that this feeling cannot get old. The more they pump you, the more energy you feel. Just thinking about it, I can just get the goosebumps now.

I think it really helps us a lot here in this ATP Cup, and I hope it will be like that in Melbourne, as well.

Q. Do you think that sort of helps you start your season on a high note where you have all these matches in front of those fans?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Well, yeah. This is the first time that we have this kind of event before the Grand Slam, and you start on the maximum intensity right away from the first match. It's different than playing a regular tournament, and I think that it's a good thing.

The season is long, so you have to keep on this intensity the whole season. It's not going to be easy, but for the start of the season, I think this was my best start in all my career.

Q. And you were talking about pretty specific tactics. Did you by chance use any of the strategy room or anything like that?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Well, yeah, we looked over the statistic iPad points, but at this level, you know subconsciously what the other guys are doing, and then there are not so many unknowns in the game of tennis where you have top 100 guys who play every week the same tournaments. So most of the time you know what who can do what and what you should do to counter it.

But just knowing is not enough. You have to do it on the court. I mean, when you're able to do it, it looks like this, but this is maybe 10% of the time during the year.

Q. Nick Kyrgios has often said about team events and how much more he enjoys them compared to the regular tournaments. What do you feel about that? And do you think there maybe is a place for a smaller version of this leading into each of the majors?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Well, trying checking that in the ATP (smiling). But I love playing for my country. I love playing the team events, even though I'm big introvert, I would say.

But I was able to, through the years, to find my way around lots of people, and I have come to have a lot of friends on tour and a lot of close friends from my country, so I'm feeling very comfortable in the locker room around them and this kind of atmosphere where we are all together for a couple of days before the tournament and the tournament starting. Everybody is pushing each other. It's definitely one of the good things that don't happen so often in our sport.

If we could make an ideal scenario, I think it would be better to have more team events, but, you know, the main point of tennis is that it's individual sport, so I don't think that too many changes in this way is good or bad, but there should be a diversity, of course, and balance, as well.

Q. And if you had to compare this to Davis Cup and the way it was in Madrid, what would you...
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Well, yeah, it's a little bit different, because Serbian fans had to travel to Madrid, so there was not as many as here who live here and it's a big community.

But there are a lot of similarities. Here there are almost no dead rubbers, because even if your team lost, you can still play for the ATP points, which is a big benefit, I think. And this way I think is that one thing that gives extra to the ATP Cup than the Davis Cup in some of the matches.

On the other hand, there are some different things about entering teams, and if you don't have a second player, then it's maybe not the best matchups in the big stadiums, but it's the first year and there are a lot of positives. I would say more positives than negatives.

And in comparison with Davis Cup, they are very similar, but as I said, that one benefit in the ATP Cup I think gives that energy that we see on the court.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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