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February 19, 2021

Joe Salisbury

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference


6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations on your doubles today. Can you just take us through what happened during the match.

JOE SALISBURY: So the men's double I'm assuming you're talking about?

Q. Yes.

JOE SALISBURY: Yeah, I mean, it was a tough one. Yeah, very tight match throughout. I mean, we, yeah, got off to a bad start, were broken, 3-Love down. Yeah, we didn't play a good service game.

Yeah, I think we were a bit frustrated about that, and I think it was good that we got kind of back on serve straightaway. That definitely helped a lot.

Then, yeah, we played really well the rest of that set. I'm sure they were pretty frustrated that they let that lead go. But, yeah, then we kind of felt good. Yeah, really got into the match after that.

Then the second set was really tight. I think we both weren't serving as well as we can, so we had a few tight service games. I especially had a few kind of close ones, which we managed to hang on to which was good. I felt like they were a little bit on top in the second set.

But we knew if we got it to a tiebreak we'd have a great chance, like we have and done in a couple of the other matches is we've kind of upped our level and played really well in the tiebreak.

Yeah, it was great. We managed to get through that in two sets.

Q. Well done. Was it awkward anyway playing another British player in such a big match?

JOE SALISBURY: No, I don't think so. Yeah, I mean, obviously we really wanted to win. It was the semifinal of a Grand Slam, so you're going to want to win, yeah, just as much whoever you're playing against.

I think obviously we want to -- yeah, Jamie and I wouldn't want to beat each other, but yeah, I don't think there was any kind of added motivation, because it's motivation enough playing the semifinal of a Grand Slam.

Q. Obviously on the verge of a second Grand Slam title. Were you 18 months ago thinking you'd be this close to two slams so quickly, and now you're kind of on the verge of potentially winning multiple slams? How has that kind of changed your targets for your career? Are you seeing yourself as someone who can go on and win five titles at this level? How is your general thinking on that front?

JOE SALISBURY: Yeah, I mean, I think this time last year or 18 months ago, I think you said, I wouldn't have expected it, no. I think I knew it was possible but maybe didn't think it would be so early on in my doubles career.

So, yeah, I knew it was a possibility. I mean, I haven't really thought about what I would like to achieve in my career. I definitely, yeah, I think after last year when we won I knew that I could win lots of Grand Slams and hopefully, yeah, that's the goal.

Yeah, obviously wanting to win tomorrow and make it multiple Grand Slams. Whether it can be many more, I don't know, but obviously that's the goal.

Q. Congratulations. You spoke in the past about it, but just talk about the setbacks you have had, like the glandular fever and chronic fatigue, and you had some issues with your height growing up. Can you encapsulate what you had to put up with, the adversity to get to this point now on the cusp of a second slam?

JOE SALISBURY: Yeah, I mean, obviously that was a long time ago, 10 years ago now. But, yeah, I had glandular fever for a year when I was 15. Some injury troubles after that, so didn't play too much between sort of 15 and 18 when I went off to college. So that was kind of, yeah, I needed that to go to college and kind of build my game up again.

Yeah, I have had a long time playing since then. Yeah, after I stopped playing singles, that was 2016, and just focused on the doubles, which I knew I could do better at and be more successful. Yeah, so it's not really an issue, any of the troubles I had back then.

Obviously it was quite a long time of not playing that much, but, yeah, it's not an issue now.

Q. How much of an issue was it or how difficult was it with Rajeev being in hard quarantine? When was the last time you practiced together before kind of this tournament? I guess you didn't get to see each other presumably during the offseason?

JOE SALISBURY: No. No, we didn't. I mean, the last time we were together on court was the last match we played at the Tour Finals.

So, yeah, the first time was after we got out of the quarantine here. Yeah, it was tough for him, obviously not ideal being 14 days without being able to practice or get out of the room at all, physically and mentally tough.

Yeah, I think he dealt with it pretty well. I think of all the people for it to happen to, he's not a bad person. For it to happen to, I think it was better it was that way around and not me in the 14 days and him out (smiling). I think I would have struggled a lot more.

I mean, one of his best qualities is that he just hits the ball so well. He hits it clean. I think it only took him a few days when he came out to be feeling like he was hitting okay. It was more just physically how his body would hold up.

So, yeah, after a week or so he was kind of feeling back to normal, and obviously now we have had nearly a few weeks, so, yeah, he's feeling good.

Q. Well played. I was going to ask you something similar, actually, about your experiences in lockdown. But against Rajeev's experiences, it put a little bit of perspective for you, did it?

JOE SALISBURY: Yeah, exactly. I mean, I was lucky with everyone else who got out to practice. There was quite a few people who weren't allowed out during those 14 days.

Yeah, and for me, I didn't find it too bad. We were out for five hours a day, getting to practice a few hours, in the gym for an hour.

So, yeah, obviously it's not ideal, but it's kind of we are having to adapt to different situations I think knowing that it's, yeah, we are doing it to play a Grand Slam, to be out in Australia where lots of people haven't been able to get home or have to quarantine. Most people had to quarantine 14 days without leaving the room, so I guess we were lucky we could get out for those five hours.

Yeah, I didn't find it too bad. Obviously I had it a lot better than Rajeev, but he's coped very well with it.

Q. You mentioned that Tour Finals loss a few minutes ago. How was that experience coming off such a disappointing close title loss where you had something quite big in your grasp and going into the offseason? Did you find yourself dwelling on that? Are you surprised you have come back this year and started so well and there was no kind of knock-on effect from that disappointment, I guess?

JOE SALISBURY: No, I wouldn't say I'm surprised. Obviously it was a while ago now, three months ago, I guess. Yeah, I'm not sure which way was kind of easier, whether it would have been better to get straight out there playing after that or have a break.

I think it obviously was a very, very tough loss. I think in some ways it was good to have the break off of that, because I was -- yeah, I had a couple weeks off so I wasn't playing, kind of doing other things to take my mind off it.

But, yeah, obviously that stung for a little bit. But, yeah, now starting the new year, we haven't really thought about it. Obviously we learnt what we could from that match, but it's not been on our mind at all this year.

Q. You're not quite prolific on social media, Joe. You don't have a big Twitter following. Is that something that doesn't appeal to you? You just love the sport rather than the fame side of it?

JOE SALISBURY: Yeah, no, I'm not big on social media. To be honest, I don't use Twitter at all. I have an account, but I literally never go on there or post anything. I'm on Instagram. I use that a little bit but not too much.

To be honest, I don't like that side of it, and I don't really like kind of posting things about yourself.

I think obviously in some ways it is good to kind of build your brand, but it's just not really something that I enjoy doing. I don't think it's healthy to be using it a lot, especially, yeah, especially for players.

I think the bigger your sort of profile becomes negative, it can become -- even coming off from sort of the mixed doubles I just played, I had probably over a dozen sort of very sort of negative comments of just basically abusing, getting abuse or commenting on photos and sending private messages. Yeah, not very pleasant stuff.

So I think obviously the more you're on it, the more that can be a factor, I think the more negativity you can get. That's not the main reason I don't do it. I just prefer not to spend too much time on it.

Q. A lot of players will come off court, look at their phone, and it can be quite (indiscernible) if you just lost and you got people criticizing you from all corners of the world on your mobile?

JOE SALISBURY: Yeah, definitely. I think most people deal with it okay. Obviously there are some things that, yeah, could get you down a bit, but you know it's just -- I mean, I think it's mostly just gamblers who obviously are betting on you, losing money.

And, yeah, it's often some of the messages can be quite amusing what they put, but, yeah, it's not great. I mean, obviously ideally I know in a lot of other sports, as well, they are trying to sort of do something about it, kind of these anonymous accounts that can just send whatever, post whatever they want and send messages.

Hopefully, yeah, that will get a bit better and kind of be able to crack down on that a bit.

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