February 1, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Jose, please tell us how the preparation has been going with the team, something about your first tie tomorrow against Russia.
JOSE ACASUSO: Yeah, we were for 14 days in quarantine, but the last two days we practice two or three hours a day. Russia is a very tough, tough team. They have the two players in the top 10. But I trust in our team. We have a really good team. We're ready to play, to fight tomorrow.
Q. Diego, we talked to some other teams. They talk about how much they really enjoy the team environment that the ATP Cup has. Just talk about the dynamic, the relationships with the rest of the Argentinian team.
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: Yes, I mean, this year it's going to be different because we are not in Sydney like the year before. It's a different tournament. We're all together here, same lockers, players are playing other tournaments and ATP Cup. We are sharing a lot of moments but not the same as last year.
It's always very nice for us. We were playing as a team for many years right now. We always enjoy to be together, play on court, play for our country. I think that is the difference when we play as a team.
I think everyone here enjoy a lot when we walk on court and play for Argentina.
Q. Diego, talk about playing Daniil first when Argentina plays Russia, your thoughts going into that match.
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: I'm not very happy to start against Daniil (laughter). I finished last year against him. It's going to be tough tomorrow because he's playing his best. It's going to be tough.
For me it's also a good preparation, good first match. I think I have more chances in the first match of the year than maybe when he take rhythm.
He's one of the best right now on tour. Russia has a great team. Also with Rublev, the doubles. It's going to be tough. I think for us, it's a good preparation, good start of the year. We are going to be there to fight every point.
Q. Maximo, what has been something that you have looked forward to coming back into Melbourne, now that the team can go around a bit more freely now that you're out of quarantine?
MAXIMO GONZALEZ: After quarantine, we enjoy the city, be together. We have some dinner together, like a big group. I think it's important to have some freedom, no, after one year. We can enjoy the city, make some tourist. I think that is good to be back in the normal life.
Q. Jose, what are your thoughts on who you're going to play second singles?
JOSE ACASUSO: Guido.
Q. Your thoughts on coming up against Rublev?
GUIDO PELLA: Personally it's going to be tough even if I were in the same conditions as he is, but I was on lockdown for two weeks. Couldn't even breathe fresh air for five minutes. So it's going to be very tough match, especially because is the first match of the year.
I didn't compete in the last five month, so it's going to be tough. He has all the pressure for that match, but I will try to do my best. I am playing for Argentina. That's a big situation for me, for all the rest of the team.
I'm just here for trying to do my best and get the best preparation for the coming tournaments.
Q. The stands won't be full, but there will be some crowd. Must be nice to be able to have an atmosphere on the tennis court again.
HORACIO ZEBALLOS: Yeah, yeah, for sure. It's going to be a nice sensation. Especially here in Australia, the people, they always are very kind, nice people. Yeah, for sure we going to enjoy every match every time that we jump into the court.
Q. Diego, last year, even though there wasn't a lot of tennis played, it was such a big year for you. To repeat that again this year, do you think there's a little bit more pressure on you or there's less because you've achieved what you did last year?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: I put a lot of pressure on me just myself. I'm trying to improve every year. I did the years before. I was not thinking about the ranking, just to improve something and try to keep doing what I feel is good for me on court, outside the court.
It was working for many years already, so I'm trying to repeat, be focused, still doing the same, practicing hard, be ready for a new year. Obviously it's different goals and different situation, but I'm really enjoying. I'm going to try really hard to be there for a long time.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports