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December 31, 2021

Michael Kohlmann

Alexander Zverev

Jan-Lennard Struff

Yannick Hanfmann

Kevin Krawietz

Tim Puetz

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Team Germany

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to Team Germany. Would like to hear from the captain how the preparations are going and how you see your first tie against GB.

MICHAEL KOHLMANN: Preparations are running good. We arrived here since the 28th. I think the arenas are really nice. Courts are fair, are not too fast.

Yeah, everybody is feeling good. Jet lag is getting better. Looking forward to GB. It's a tough match, obviously. We played them last month in Davis Cup, so we know what's coming. Hopefully we are ready to get the same result again.

Q. Alex, you're looking at some challenging matches and different styles in group play against Felix, Norrie, and Fritz. What are your thoughts on those matches? From a planning perspective, do you like the certainty of knowing who you're playing in your first three matches?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, look, I mean, it's not only about me here, but we're here as a team, and we're trying to win. Last year we made it to the semis, beating two very good teams in Canada and Serbia, beating the defending champions in Serbia. I think everybody has to play their part in this team whether we are on the court or outside the court.

I think, yeah, the matches are difficult. I'm playing Cameron Norrie who I think is top 10 now? Is he top 10?

Q. 12.

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, to start the year off against No. 12 in the world, it can only be in this event for me.

It is a great challenge. I will know exactly where I am at after the first few matches.

Q. I have questions for all the team but maybe just one more personally from you. When you finish an already very strong year by winning the Nitto ATP Finals, does that give you momentum coming into the new season or does the break in the offseason erode some of that momentum?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, I won the finals in 2018 and had a really bad 2019. I hope I can change that. I hope I can do it differently. I was a lot younger back then. I didn't know how to handle big titles maybe as well.

So, yeah, I mean, look, I have my goals set. I think I talked about it quite a lot during the offseason, and I'm looking forward to this year, because I think it's going to be a very interesting one.

Q. Jan, you have a very impressive 4-2 record in this event across the first two seasons but you could be facing either Shapo, Isner, or Evans. Personally are you facing your biggest challenge ever do you think at ATP Cup?

JAN-LENNARD STRUFF: Yeah, I mean, I managed to beat last two times good players. Yeah, if we look at the ranking, it's like everyone is ahead of me. So it's going to be very difficult and tough matches, I would say. We have a tough group, and I always look forward playing for Germany. I like to be with these guys. It's just amazing feeling.

Yeah, we did semis last time, so really looking forward to ATP Cup now.

Q. Can you talk about the motivation to try and get out and win your match to put the team ahead 1-0, what that mindset is like?

JAN-LENNARD STRUFF: Yeah, it's very important, because there is just three matches. If you can get the first point, yeah, it's a lot easier for the team. Otherwise you need to win all the other matches.

Yeah, I mean, it's obviously tough, what I said, because the other players are very good, but I take on the challenge and I think we take on the challenge as Team Germany. Yeah, really looking forward to it.

Q. A question for Tim or Kevin just about the spotlight that ATP Cup shines on doubles and how it can often decide the outcome of the tie. Would you like to talk about being a good spotlight for doubles.

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yannick will play our doubles anyway so I don't know why you're asking them (smiling).

KEVIN KRAWIETZ: Yeah, I mean, I think we end up the season very good with the Davis Cup, so we had some good matches. Of course we look after the singles how it goes, and then of course we try to help the team, and looking forward for the ATP Cup.

Q. Yannick, can you talk about your role here and how you're pleased to be part of the ATP Cup experience.

YANNICK HANFMANN: Yeah, I mean, first time for me. I'm a little bit the support player, I guess. I hope nothing goes wrong and the team will play in full strength.

But yeah, I'm excited to be here, to be around these great players and just to be part of Team Germany. Unfortunately didn't make it to Davis Cup, and it's one of my goals to be in these team competitions, because I really enjoy it.

Yeah, so it's just a pleasure to be here. I will try to help as much as I can. If it's not on the court, maybe off the court and keep the spirits high. Yeah, I'm also looking forward to the competition and just to have a good time here.

Q. Struffy, what is the challenge of playing somebody like Dan Evans who can be pretty gritty on the court? And to Sascha, what do you feel about yourself going into 2022? You explained about what happened in 2018/2019, but does it come down to experience going into 2022?

JAN-LENNARD STRUFF: Yeah, I mean, Dan Evans, for me, is a great player. I like to watch his matches, the way he plays. He has a different game style than many players on tour, I think.

Yeah, he's very pumped when he plays for Great Britain. I played him twice, lost both matches, very close, I would say, in Wimbledon in four sets pretty close one, and in Davis Cup back 2019 was a very, very tough match.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to take on the challenge and it's going to be difficult game, but I'm feeling competent, looking to play that match and try to get the win for Germany.

Q. Sascha?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah. 2019, right? Look, I mean, I was a lot younger. I was 21 years old going into the 2019 season. It was my first very big title at the Nitto ATP Finals in 2018. I do feel I'm a little bit of a different player but also I'm a different person, I think. I've had a lot more experience on the court, I had a lot more experience outside the court. I know how to handle maybe the media a little bit better. I know how to handle pressure maybe a tiny bit better, as well.

Look, I mean, after the Olympics, I also played, continued to play great tennis, as well. I hope I can still use that momentum going into 2022, and hopefully have the best season of my career so far.

Q. Alex, you had fantastic last six months. Winning at Olympics, ATP Finals, and semis in US Open, and also winning the most titles, 36 in 2021. How much confidence has it given to you for the new year 2022?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: As I said, I mean, I'm looking forward to the year. I'm looking forward to what's ahead and what's to bring in 2022.

I think, as I said, it's going to be an exciting year for tennis, because I think the last six months, you know, the first six months of this season, Novak has dominated tennis. I mean, he's won all three Grand Slams, won every single big title there is. In the last six months of the season, I think the titles were a bit more split. They were split between Novak, Daniil, and myself. Yeah, I mean, I'm looking forward to the beginning of the season, looking forward to the season in general. Then, yeah, we'll see how it goes.

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