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February 3, 2021

Mischa Zverev

Jan-Lennard Struff

Alexander Zverev

Kevin Krawietz

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Team Germany

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk about the first match.

MISCHA ZVEREV: I mean, I think it was tremendously important because the first match of the year, I mean, I think we played in Turkey, but still, to me this was like the first match, first big challenge of the year. You're in Australia and you start off playing against, like, incredibly tough opponents. Milos is not ranked in the top 10 but he's a dangerous player no matter what his ranking is. Playing in Rod Laver Arena, yes, it was maybe not packed, but you still feel like, okay, this is what we trained for the past couple months, and he performed incredibly well.

Q. How do you feel with today? It was so tight, it could have gone either way.

JAN-LENNARD STRUFF: Sure, I played him three times before, lost two, and I'm very happy to have tied against him, and it was a very tough match. He was serving really good in the first games, and it was very tough to put the ball back in play. But I managed to stay good in my service games, and I'm very happy with the win, and I'm very happy that I actually won. Yeah, unfortunately we didn't win in doubles, but now we need to focus on tomorrow's match against Serbia, which will be hopefully a good day for us.

Q. Sascha, your thoughts going into playing Novak. Do you see it as being different each time, or do you reflect back on some of the previous matches?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, you definitely look at some of the things. I think we played a very good match in London a couple months ago, which went his way, but yeah, it's the beginning of the season. I think we both played a typical kind of first match of the season, both against Denis -- still, it's going to be interesting. He's still the world No. 1. I think this is the court he feels most comfortable on in the world, so I think beating him here is definitely the most difficult place to beat him.

But yeah, I've got my team behind me. I hope Jan is going to play as well as he did today and maybe we'll go up 1-0 before I step on court, and I'll do everything I can to give Germany the win.

Q. What do you feel you really need to do against him, besides winning the last point?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think generally when you play Novak, you have to step up your game, same way when you play Roger or Rafa. Really have to go for bigger shots. Really have to at some stages also be patient. You have to learn how to manage yourself in a way. I think that's very important. Against him, you know that you're going to run a lot. You know that he's going to take initiative of the point that he can. You know that he's going to change direction the most that he can, especially against tall players like me. You know, those are all things that are common against him, and he does them the best anybody does in the world, and I think I've got to step up my game tomorrow even more.

Q. Sascha, one of the special things about this event, I guess, is all the time you get to spend with the guys on either side of you, and I know you guys hang out during the year, as well, but I saw your little video at the arcade. How much fun is it to get to spend all the time with them, and who was winning all those games?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: First of all, I'm unbeaten in those games, just so we have that very clear. I'm still unbeaten. And that's a daily thing kind of. We do that every day. We go to that same spot. We play Mario Kart about 20 times until we leave and go to sleep. But it's a lot of fun. You're not only competing for yourself -- I told the guys before we stepped on court, you play for each other. You play for your nation. You play for each other. Every team member here is equally as important. Doesn't matter who's on the court. And I think that's what makes it special and that's what makes you want to fight even harder than you do in regular tournaments. You know, last year we went out in the group stages, this year we definitely want to make it past that, so who knows how far we can go.

Q. Mischa, you've spent a lot of time watching your brother and I'm sure the other guys, as well. But is it sort of different just from watching you in the team zone, like the way you were reacting with Jan and his tight match, is it different to be there and be a part of it and in there with the guys?

MISCHA ZVEREV: Of course it's special because honestly, I've seen a few of Jan's matches, but I wasn't as involved obviously because now we're in the same team. Even though we're friends, it's very, very different because here you're one item, so everyone loses, everyone wins. So when he plays I get very emotional, as well. Like I think you can see it. Like my dad is rather calm. His coach is relatively calm, as well. But I don't mind showing my emotions, my expressions. It's great because like he's someone that likes to look at the box. He has some kind of communication, and it's fun to like be part of whatever is happening there.

Look, when you win, everything is just so much more fun, and luckily today was a very good day. But like I said, in the end the result is one thing. I think it's very important that we leave this week even better friends, like as a stronger item, as a strong team, and we look forward to whatever is in the future.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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