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September 10, 2020

Mate Pavic

Bruno Soares

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference


7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. First of all, for each of you, how does it feel to win a Grand Slam together?

BRUNO SOARES: Well, feels amazing. A Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. That's why we practiced. That's why we play.

For us, amazing. We had a little bit of rough beginning of the year tennis-wise, some injuries, some tough losses, and then it's crazy world.

But to get back straight on and win a Grand Slam, it feels pretty good now. We put in a lot of work last week. We lost first round. I was coming from some tough 15 days of having Corona, so I didn't get much practice before coming here. I wasted my practice for 15 days.

So it was good that we could put a lot of work before the slam. Pretty special to have this trophy with us now.

MATE PAVIC: Yeah, like Bruno said, Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. It's always a special feeling. To be honest, it does feel a bit strange because of the circumstances. But still, we had a very tough tournament, very tough five matches.

We got back from tough first two rounds. You know, we were down a break in the third. The opponents were serving for the match second round. So we got back from all of those situations, building up confidence throughout the matches, playing better and better.

Now we are here with the title, so we are extremely happy. Another Grand Slam title, and we are now looking forward already to Europe, next tournaments.

Q. Bruno, when you guys got together last summer, did you expect this to happen so quickly within a year?

BRUNO SOARES: Yeah (smiling). I thought we could play really well together. I was very happy when we partnered.

But it was a long road. We had some very tough losses. I felt like for long period of time I thought we were playing very good tennis, and we just couldn't get couple wins in a row.

But end of the year when we had our first great week winning Shanghai, unfortunately Mate got injured the week after, so we couldn't really keep the momentum.

Same thing beginning of the year, a bit unlucky with injuries and a couple losses. Always believed in the team. You could see like the matches that we were connecting and playing well. We know they can be continuing on.

I think this is the only thing. It's the feeling you've gotta have. You have to believe that if you're playing well you can win any tournament, can beat any team.

That's what happened this week. You know, it was a very tough draw. We missed being seeded for one spot and ended up playing a great team that was runner-up last year.

I mean, five very tough matches. So I think this proved that, you know, being patient and working hard, it paid off for us.

Q. Mate, as you guys got into the match, it seemed toward the end of the first set you guys were returning a little bit better than them, you have had more chances. How did you see it tactically?

MATE PAVIC: Well, to be honest, I think we played much better the four matches before this. I think they did, too.

I would not say that the quality of tennis was extremely well, maybe because we were all in the final maybe feeling the pressure a little bit.

But I think tactically they played well. We played also well. So it was tough for everybody to return well. I think, like you said, by end of the set we started returning better. We had couple of breakpoints before the break, and then we played a good return game, you know, 6-5.

Serving well throughout the match. We were holding our serves pretty easy, so I think in the end, you know, we managed to keep the quality of the game.

Q. Just now you have to turn around and go to a Masters 1000 that starts pretty quickly. I guess when are you guys flying out? What's it going to be like to keep the high of winning a Grand Slam but then getting ready for another big tournament?

BRUNO SOARES: Yeah, we both flying out tomorrow already to Rome. Not much time to celebrate now. We're going to have to hold the celebration for when we have a couple days off.

It's tough getting there. We have to do all the protocol, got to get tested, stay in the room, all the things that it's quite new now in these tournaments and switch from hard to clay.

But I think it's just using the energy, using the momentum, using all the vibe that we bring from this event and taking it in.

But not going to be seeded. Probably going to have another very tough draw, and then have to start to dig in deep the moment we arrive in Rome. Everyone forgets and it's a new week. Not much time to celebrate. Putting the work again, and hopefully we get some time to celebrate after.

Q. Congratulations, guys. Bruno, I hadn't heard about you having Coronavirus. What was your experience like with that? How much did it affect you physically?

BRUNO SOARES: Yeah, I didn't post it or anything. I kept to myself. It was all right. I didn't have anything -- I had a blocked nose one day when I was back in Belo, and I was feeling a little bit weak, decided to get tested. I was getting tested anyways twice a week the month before coming here.

I tested positive, isolated myself 14, 15 days isolated. Nothing, no symptoms. So just basically waiting for a negative test to come. Got lucky. Got it right after 14 days.

But the one thing -- it wasn't tough on me, but the one thing that was tough is 14 days without doing anything and then you just come straight here. You know, the air is not really there, the conditions. So it took me a while -- even though I felt I played a decent match in Cincy, but toward the second set I started feeling like it was tough to breathe and things like this.

But I was just very happy, to be honest, to be playing here. Because after all the preparation and everything that I did, to miss because of one or two days was going to be tough. But luckily everything went well. I didn't have anything. So it was just quite okay on me to have it.

And, I mean, just a little bit of the peace of mind that you don't really have to worry about walking around, and I think this is pretty good.

Q. For both of you, you both played in Grand Slam finals before. Did this feel like a Grand Slam final today, or did it feel like something totally different?

BRUNO SOARES: For me, it felt -- the thing is it's an interesting feeling. Not the final, just the whole thing. It's a different feeling. But at least for me, when I got out there and just the vibe back home, the tension, the media, you know, my friends, everyone around, you could see it's a special moment. It's a Grand Slam.

So for me it actually felt the same. Like walking on court, I had the same goosebumps to be in a Grand Slam final again. Winning, same feeling.

So, I mean, it's strange situations, but trophy is the same. Grand Slam title. This is going to be with us forever. For me it's the same feeling.

Q. Mate, how about for you?

MATE PAVIC: Yeah, like he said, it's a bit strange feeling, you know. You don't play with a crowd. Nobody played in six months prior to this, but, I mean, we had five tough matches. I think we even had tougher matches than we usually do in normal Grand Slam of a bigger draw, because sometimes the draw opens, favorite lose or whatever.

So it was just eight seeded teams here, so from the beginning we had extremely tough matches. So, I mean, Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. We had to work hard for this one.

Q. What do you think of the plans for the French Open to have fans on-site, which will be very different from here?

BRUNO SOARES: Well, I mean, I think if they manage to have them away from the players, they said they're going to have three zones and things like this. So I'm assuming the fans going to go straight to court or it's going to be separated from the players.

I don't see it as a problem as long as they can manage to have players far from the fans. I mean, I think when we are playing, it's all right, you know. I mean, here if you look around outside courts, there is always some people there watching. Other players, people that work here, there is always someone around us.

So I don't think it will increase the risk if you manage to keep people away. But, I mean, this year everything is new so it's tough to say. I mean, they are working with the health department, so I'm assuming they're going to do all the protocols that they believe is going to be the safest to run the event.

For us, it's just going there and try and be safe again.

Q. Same question to you. Would you feel safe at the tournament with thousands of people there?

MATE PAVIC: Well, yeah. I feel safe. I think -- I hope so. I think they're going to do a good job. Like Bruno said, they're going to put certain zones and keep the fans away from the players, and I think it's not a bad -- I think it's not a bad idea or bad thing to have some fans on the site.

Obviously it's going to be limited. I don't know what's the number exactly, but I think, I hope so, and I think everything is going to work well.

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