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September 24, 2021

Casper Ruud

Thomas Enqvist

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Press Conference

C. RUUD/R. Opelka

6-3, 7-6

Team Europe - 1

Team World - 0

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. Can you just talk us through what it felt like making your Laver Cup debut today.

CASPER RUUD: Yeah, thanks. It was a great, fun feeling. Also a bit of a nervous one when we, you know, made all the presentations and, you know, you have the music, you have the video showing on the big screens. You feel the nerves coming in your body.

A little bit extra of course when you play the first match, I think. I think I was luckily able to do well. In the beginning I broke his serve quite early in the match, so that helped me cool down a little bit and play the match with very few unforced errors and unnecessary mistakes. That was the plan all along.

THE MODERATOR: Thomas, a lot of tennis to be played this weekend. How important was it to get that first point on the board this afternoon?

VICE-CAPTAIN THOMAS ENQVIST: Yeah, it's very important. It's good to get a good start, to get a lot of energy in the team.

I have to say I was very impressed about Casper's performance. It's very difficult to play the first match. He never played this event. Like he said, it's a huge event, there's a lot of people, it's a lot of nerves for everybody. The quality of this match he played was very impressive.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You have just explained a little bit what that experience was like, but what was it like to have somebody like Bjorn Borg sitting right alongside of you, and then Thomas is behind you? You have other members of the team that are putting their two cents' worth in and advice for you in this match. It's not like any other match or event that you would have played?

CASPER RUUD: Yeah, no, it's a bit honestly tough to describe, you know, all the feelings you're going through, but they are all good ones, obviously. Borg is the lead captain of the team. He's, like we all know, a big legend.

He's from Sweden. For me, growing up, he was always the big name I grew up watching and hearing. Then, you know, of course the three big ones that came after him, you know, also part of the legend status, but he's one of the first real legends.

To have him on the bench is incredible. It's been I think a little bit of a dream of mine when I watched Laver Cup on TV to have him as the captain, and, yeah, just a great feeling. I have great teammates. Thomas also helping me a lot from the back.

It's just, yeah, a really, really fun experience.

Q. What did it feel like also when Roger was introduced to the crowd in the early stages of the match?

CASPER RUUD: Yeah, no, I think I was at 3-1, I believe, in the first set, and I was about to return. They showed him on the screen. Everyone went nuts, like he deserves. The crowd was going crazy, and it gave me chills. You know, my hair were raising on my arms. You know, I was in the match mode, but still, it's something you can't block out from your feelings.

So that was, yeah, like I said, it gave me chills. Was an extremely fun experience for me. It's great to see him, like I said, on court back in tennis arena. Even though he's not playing, he's always a big part of the tennis world. This event, especially he was one of the guys who made it all happen and started it, so he deserved all the crowd cheer he gets.

Q. I wanted to ask what you thought of the conditions out there. Reilly said he thought it was about as slow a court as he played on. Wondering how you found it.

CASPER RUUD: Well, it's one of the slower hard courts, yes, I agree. Maybe not if you compare to clay, but it's fairly slow. His serve wasn't, you know, I felt wasn't that fast today as it maybe usually is.

You know, because of the serve and also the balls, the way they get after three or four games, they get quite big. He still had one serve at 141, so he still had the power, but it's slow. I think that was an advantage for me today to get a slower hard court.

It's also a bit slippery sometimes. There is some sand that can get on top of the court, and I can imagine for a tall guy like him it can be a bit tough to maybe move around when it's slippery. That could also be a small advantage for me, I think. It was some factors leading in my favor today, but, yeah, I will take it, and it was a good win for me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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