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January 31, 2021

Peter Polansky

Milos Raonic

Denis Shapovalov

Steven Diez

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Team Canada

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Peter, how do you feel about the upcoming tie against Serbia on Tuesday?

PETER POLANSKY: Yeah, I feel pretty good about it. I think firstly it goes to show how strong this event is. Last year we played them in the quarterfinals, they ended up winning it. Now we're playing each other again, round-robin, right back at it.

I feel good about it. We've got a very strong team here. This whole event is going to be a lot of high-quality matches. It's going to be a fun event.

Q. How did you end up being captain of the team?

PETER POLANSKY: It was decided by vote. The players voted for me. Pretty simple (laughter).

MILOS RAONIC: It was a national election (laughter).

Q. Was it going to be one of the four of you, one of the players?

PETER POLANSKY: I'm not sure, like, exactly how it worked with bringing other people in. It was up to Denis, the highest-ranked player, to decide who he wanted. That was me.

Q. Look ahead to the potential of playing Novak in this event.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think it's exciting. I had a great match against him last year. I feel confident. I feel like I'm playing really good tennis in practice. Of course, it's the start of the season so there's really not many expectations. You just kind of go out there and see where your level is at. I'm excited for the match. I think it's going to be a great week ahead of us.

To me, it's really fun to be back out here playing, competing, especially with this group of guys. It's events like this that I enjoy the most. I'm really excited.

Q. You didn't play this last year. What did you hear from the other guys about what it was like?

MILOS RAONIC: Well, first I watched it last year. I was in Doha at the time. It looked like a lot of fun. It looked like the crowd was really into it. I think probably, and we spoke about it last night, it was probably even a bit more exciting because of the consistency of the crowd than what Davis Cup was a few months earlier.

I'm happy and eager to be here. Happy to play alongside these gentlemen.

Q. What is the plan for doubles?

PETER POLANSKY: I'll answer that. I'll decide that before the match. Captain's choice. Might play myself, might play some of the boys. We'll see (laughter). Twitter will know first.

Q. Peter, if you play, who is going to sit on the bench?

PETER POLANSKY: Yeah, I think it depends which match.

MILOS RAONIC: There's a ton of Canadians in the crowd, they'll come down.

PETER POLANSKY: There will be a lot of selection. Depends which match I play for or who I replace. Regardless of which guy is sitting on the bench, it will be good. We have good camaraderie.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: We're all right there.

PETER POLANSKY: The other players are literally right behind. Regardless who sits there, it's all good.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It's all good (laughter).

Q. How are you generally feeling?

MILOS RAONIC: For me, always a little bit of a longer break is a good thing. It ended up being a lot longer. Sort of doubled the off-season that we're used to. I was able to train. I was able to train without any physical issues. I'm excited about starting up now.

Q. Who is looking after the dog?

MILOS RAONIC: Girlfriend. Dog is looking after us probably (smiling).

Q. You decided not to play Delray. Were you in Florida?

MILOS RAONIC: No, I was in The Bahamas. It just felt like, I don't know, with what was going on in Florida, felt a little bit too risky. When they put out the protocol that you can't leave for 10 days, at any point, you're not making it in time to get on the flight to come across. I felt like there was a little bit maybe too much to lose.

Q. Not getting any match play at all before this with the precautions...

MILOS RAONIC: It's been that kind of balance constantly. I was supposed to play World TeamTennis last year. I had to make the same kind of decision. When you see first what the protocol is in case you do test positive, how long of isolation, what is expected of you, do you have a chance to do another test to refute the first positive, all those kind of things. You make a decision, like, does that overflow into the real events you hope to focus on.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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