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December 31, 2021

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Denis Shapovalov

Brayden Schnur

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Team Canada

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to Team Canada. Felix is not only the No. 1 player but also the captain. Unusual preparation because we know that Denis just got out of isolation. What are you going to do between now and your first tie against USA?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, first, we're happy Denis is out in time, for sure. I mean, yeah, it was tight, almost, you know, he didn't make it. So we're happy he's out before the first tie.

Then, yeah, I was captain by default. Peter, our captain, not being able to make it for personal reasons. Yeah, I think we still have our group. We have also Steven Diez coming tonight and we're ready to go. Denis had a good practice this morning, and I think we're ready to go. For sure we're pumped to start the year well and compete on the first day on the 2nd.

Q. Obviously being captain, throughout the year tennis players have to focus on themselves. What do you think it will be like watching Denis and focusing on your warmup? How much have you thought about that?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Not much is going to change. I think it's similar to team events we have had either in Davis Cup or ATP Cup before. I think, you know, the position of a captain here personally doesn't play, you know, a huge role or huge part, there's not many big decisions to make in reality. I will be watching Denis' matches but when it comes time to prepare for mine, I will. That's the best we can win is just focusing on what individually we have to do and try to win every match we play.

Q. How much fun is it to start the year with your friends from your country?

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: It's a cool event. I love this event. I love that they brought it back. There was a bit of uncertainty at some point with COVID and if they were going to keep doing it.

I'm really happy that they did. I think it's good for the sport and it's good for us players to start the year this way.

Q. Denis, you play a lot of doubles throughout the year, too. ATP Cup there is chance to play singles and doubles. How much does it help that during the year you have had the experience of playing sometimes both?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, well, doubles is pretty important I think in these events. Obviously it's the decider. So it's great to have, you know, three, four guys that can play doubles and play really well.

Obviously playing throughout the year helps a lot, but we've got great players and everyone can play doubles. I think we've got a lot of variety on the team.

Q. Brayden, how nice is it for you to spend your first week of the season around some of the best players in the world?

BRAYDEN SCHNUR: Yeah, I mean, it's fantastic obviously to hit with these guys and practice with them and be around them and see what they're doing. Obviously, you know, feel their ball and play with them every day is a huge opportunity for me, you know, to be here. That's exactly what I wanted.

I started my preseason a little bit late. So, you know, getting here, I just felt it could be great preparation for me heading into the year, and any opportunity I get to spend time with these guys and be around them. I mean, this is the next generation of top players, so I'm so grateful for the opportunity and just eager to just keep improving myself.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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