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February 1, 2021

Vincenzo Santopadre

Matteo Berrettini

Fabio Fognini

Simone Bolelli

Andrea Vavassori

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Team Italy

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tell us about your experience as a captain and how you see the first tie against Austria.

VINCENZO SANTOPADRE: First of all, I would like to say it's my first experience, so I still don't know how it will be. I can say that I'm really happy about this because it's something really exciting.

I'm happy that in this team there are four guys that are very nice guys, all of them. I think we will have a nice experience together. I hope will be long till the end. I hope so.

Tomorrow is, of course, a tough match. Like every tie, it's tough. We know we have a strong team. We are ready to play. We want to play.

I think starting from tomorrow we'll know everything.

Q. Matteo, your thoughts on this week for ATP Cup, your first match? What are you thinking at the moment?

MATTEO BERRETTINI: Like he said, I think we are all really excited to play, really excited to come back and play with crowd also, as well. It's been a long time. It's going to be nice. It's nice to play with a team.

Unfortunately last year I couldn't play. I was injured. But they had a great experience. I'm really looking forward to play my next match. It's going to be a tough one. Dominic, I mean, we all know he's a great player.

Like the captain said, we're a strong team. We're good friends. It's going to be nice.

Q. Suddenly there's a lot of good talent in Italy. What happened over the last several years to produce so many good players?

MATTEO BERRETTINI: Actually, I mean, I don't know hundred percent. I can guess a little bit. I think thanks to these two guys in general and the guys a bit older than me, they were kind of wishing us to get better. We were watching them and we were inspired by them. They're still doing great careers. I think it help us to figure out how to do it.

Once we got there, I think we are, like I always say, helping each other to get through our limits. One week he's winning a tournament, the next week I'm trying to win my tournament, at least my best result. I think it's really healthy competition.

Also I guess there are certain generation and certain times where it is easier. There are more players in general. It's a lot of things, but these things are the most important one, I guess.

VINCENZO SANTOPADRE: I think Matteo, I agree with him. There are two elements to me. One is that we were lucky that there were and there are still players like Fabio, Simone, Seppi, the others that they were really good for the youngs, the young players. I think also Italian Federation organized better things, more tournaments for youngs. These two things to me were the most important things.

Q. Simone, what did you enjoy most about playing in the ATP Cup last year?

SIMONE BOLELLI: ATP Cup, we had a great experience last year, a very nice competition. Is like a Davis Cup but you can enjoy more with the guys that are playing on court. You're more close to the guys. You're on court practice. Is a very nice competition.

I hope this year we're going to play good, as well. Last year we didn't go through the quarterfinal, but we had a good three matches. So we'll see tomorrow.

Q. Fabio, obviously there's going to be crowds unlike the last year. How important is the crowd aspect, not just on creating an atmosphere but for when you're playing and hitting the ball, moving? Does the crowd play a factor?

FABIO FOGNINI: Yes, I think always because, I mean, especially in this time it's good. Since when we start again to play, I start late, but we play in a bubble. You know what I mean? We stay in quarantine. We did every time testing and everything.

I mean, it's something that is strange to say, but is look like that we are outside something. We're lucky we are here after 14 days of quarantine. We're lucky again we play again with the crowd.

My opinion, the player that I am, the person that I am, I feel I need them because, of course, sometimes I'm a bit crazy, I do something special in every sense, but I really enjoy.

Q. So much of being in a match and playing is the sound of a ball...

FABIO FOGNINI: Yeah, I think it's different. Is different because we practice today in John Cain Arena. The sound is a bit different. When you do something, I mean, how you say, is not...

Q. Normal?

FABIO FOGNINI: ...normal, exactly.

But I'm happy. I think everybody are happy because here you lucky that no cases. If you really looking around the world, the situation, it's really bad. We are lucky that we are here and we play with a big crowd on court.

Q. Had you a famous relationship with an Italian restaurant in New York. Do you have one in Melbourne, as well?

MATTEO BERRETTINI: Not yet. Hope to build it, like this year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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