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November 30, 2021

Cameron Norrie

Joe Salisbury

Neal Skupski

Leon Smith

Team Great Britain

Press Conference


7-6, 7-6

Germany - 2

Great Britain - 1

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the team, please.

Q. Leon, can you just give your reaction to that? I imagine it was very gutting at the end.

LEON SMITH: Yeah. I mean, we finished 10, 15 minutes ago, and everyone is gutted obviously. Have had some good days, but it's a tough day to swallow obviously. Can't fault any of the guys' efforts or the team bench. Everyone gave their best effort.

Let's be honest, the sets could have gone either way on it, and it could have been a different outcome. But it wasn't to be today.

Yeah, not much more to say but that. They gave their best effort. Sometimes it's not enough. Germany, they deserve to go through.

Q. Joe, Neal, it was incredibly close. Did you feel like it could have gone either way at sort of any point there?

NEAL SKUPSKI: Yeah, I mean, we had chances in both sets, in both tiebreaks, set points. I mean, we just didn't take our chance in the end. I mean, the German team, they came up with big shots at the -- they didn't give anything away. They made us play balls.

That's what tennis is all about, putting the ball in the court, and they did it more than us in the very end when it counts. It's very disappointing. I thought me and Joe, we left it all out there today. We are both gutted.

I mean, we can't say a bad word about the team today. I mean, the side, they gave us everything, gave us so much energy. Guys on the bench, Leon, it was an incredible experience, but it just wasn't to be today. Hopefully we'll learn from this and come back stronger.

Q. I was going to say it sounded like even though there were no fans, sounded like both teams were making an incredible noise.

NEAL SKUPSKI: Yeah, I mean, there is a lot on the line. Both teams want it really bad, want to get to the semifinals of Davis Cup. Why not? You're not going to sit in the stands and not cheer for the team because you want to go through. You want to play in the semis in Madrid.

Both teams, especially ours, were so loud. Just gutting at the moment.

Q. Joe, how did you feel about the tiebreak, the second one? Wondered how you felt about that?

JOE SALISBURY: Yeah, I mean, they played well at the end of the second-set tiebreak, but we didn't. I mean, we're 5-Love up, we should win the tiebreak, simple as that.

They came up with some good shots, but we missed some. I had two points on serve. Played two bad points. We lost seven points in a row. There is no team in the world that we should play the way we do that.

So, yeah, I mean, we tried our best but just wasn't good enough. Yeah, obviously we are gutted how it turned out, but also just very disappointed at the level, especially myself. It was just not good throughout the match. I mean, we fought hard, but it just wasn't good, simple as that.

Q. Can I ask Cam, it's been a very long season for everyone, but you in particular, I guess, the amount of singles matches you have played. What will you do now for the next sort of few weeks to try and recuperate? What are your plans?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, obviously going to rest a little bit after this and try and unwind and maybe take a week off. Then do a little block and prepare as well as I can for Australia. Maybe after Australia take a bigger block and do a little preseason there.

Yeah, just my plans, haven't really thought about it too much, but just rest and try and get ready for Australia more than anything.

Q. And your thoughts on the match today? Obviously you turned it around really well from the start, but then he finished really strong.

CAMERON NORRIE: I was really disappointed with my level. I think I didn't serve as well as I did in the previous matches. Yeah, he played some good tennis in some big moments, especially in the third there.

The first set should definitely have been mine. I served for the first. Couple loose points. Had a couple of set points and with chances in the points as well.

Yeah, it could have gone differently. I think I had a good attitude to turn it around and then a chance early in the third, but he played very aggressive in the third set and managed to return well and then serve well when he needed to in the third.

Overall, the week was excellent. Really enjoyable way to end the season, and I'm so proud of everyone on the team. They left it all out there. I don't think everyone was too happy with their level maybe at times throughout the week, but it's a long season. It's a tricky way to end the season, especially on a match like this.

But we all definitely enjoyed it. We're all gutted, but I think for the future, it's going to be good to experience this and definitely going to make me and everyone else want it even more to feel like this. I'm going to remember this.

Great week, but disappointing.

Q. Give us what you want you and your team to take just from this week and going forward, as Cam said, going forward into the future?

LEON SMITH: They enjoy playing for their country, which they do. They were great to be around.

Look, it's obviously very raw right now. We just lost a quarterfinal match, so everyone is going to be gutted. These guys are all top players in the world and got extremely high standards.

So naturally they're going to look at their performances and feel raw just now. But as Cam just said there, as well, it's been a great week. We have thoroughly enjoyed it.

I think Davis Cup weeks, I hope all the guys value them, which I think they really do and have enjoyed it. Yeah, we've got to look positively at some of the things we have done this week and improve on the stuff we can do even better next year.

Now it's important, as you guys have alluded to, now it's time for some rest for these guys. They fully deserve it. We are talking about this week, but it's been a heck of a year for these guys, all three that are sitting here and other guys that aren't in the room right now. Should be so proud of what they have done across 2021.

Davis Cup is just seven to ten days of something at the end of the season which they have pushed so hard and tried so hard to do so well for their country.

We have lost today, but that happens. I think the most important thing for them is what they have achieved all throughout the year. They should be really, really proud.

Q. Joe, you have had quite a Davis Cup debut, the full gamut of sitting and watching one tie and then winning a tie for your country against Czech Republic. I wonder, I appreciate it's very raw, but if you could compare these experiences to your Grand Slam experiences this year and kind of whether you felt there was any real difference on court, whether you felt the moments felt different because of the type of matches they were, if you like?

JOE SALISBURY: I mean, I have loved this week, loved playing for Great Britain, loved being around in the practices, the team room, on the bench and on court in the matches, but yeah, it's a different experience to playing on the tour, playing Grand Slams.

I think it's extra pressure, which often I feel like helps me to perform well and I feel like I have played my best in some of the biggest matches that I have played. But this week that didn't happen. Whether it's because it was a different experience playing for your country, playing for your team and everybody else supporting the team, I don't know. I don't know why really I didn't perform today.

I felt confident going into the match. We felt good after the match we won against Czech Republic, and, yeah, we felt confident going into it. Yeah, I loved competing for the team, but I just didn't perform today, and at the moment I don't know why.

Q. Leon, I know you spoke a bit over the past week about the format and stuff, but it sort of struck me tonight you're saying that the players put in a hell of an effort this week and we are sitting here November 30th and still playing tennis in this season. Do you think this competition is like too late in the year? Just in general, it seems quite ludicrous, as well, that in the month's time we have very similar competition to start next season.

LEON SMITH: Well, I think that's what's being discussed, isn't it? We are waiting for some more information of what might happen. I think everyone knows playing deep into November and December isn't ideal, but, you know, as the guys have just said there, and you're catching us at a moment where everyone is feeling pretty down about losing a match, so it's difficult to put it totally in perspective just now.

But we have had a great week, and it would be a different feeling if we sat here and were about to get on a flight to Madrid tomorrow morning. It is what it is, but just now I think the guys, making reference to ATP Cup, they will have a great time at ATP Cup, as well.

I think Cam mentioned it's a great way to end the year as a team. The guys going to ATP Cup will have a great time to start the year in that format, because team tennis is brilliant and everyone really, really enjoys it.

I don't have too much to say about it. Looking forward to what's happening when things start to get announced in the near future about what happens with this competition next year.

Q. Just who will be the captain for the British team in the ATP Cup? I believe it's Cameron's choice.

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, it's undecided right now. I'm not sure yet.

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