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March 3, 2022

Mardy Fish

Taylor Fritz

Sebastain Korda

Tommy Paul

Rajeev Ram

Jack Sock

Reno, Nevada

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Sebastian, pretty exciting to see you're a singles player. Talk about your debut here.

SEBASTIAN KORDA: Yeah, it's really special, especially with the group of guys we got here. Pretty special to be representing the United States, especially with this group of guys. We're really good friends. Having a lot of fun.

It's going to be a really cool experience, one I'll remember forever. Great to get the opportunity. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Q. What are your memories of anything your dad told you?

SEBASTIAN KORDA: I know a lot of people that played a lot of Davis Cup, especially Radek Stepanek. He played for the Czech Republic every single year. That atmosphere is awesome being with the guys doing something that's bigger than yourself, playing for your country.

It's special to enjoy it, have a lot of fun while you're doing it.

Q. Mardy, could you give a little bit of a scouting report about Taylor. He's had a good go of it. And Sebastian, who won his first title.

MARDY FISH: Yeah, they bring a ton. Taylor's our No. 1 player here. He's had a great start to the year, as well. Traveled with him in 2017. Every year he's gotten better and better. Every time I see him live, he's improved in almost every aspect. It's good to obviously have him.

He's answered the call every single time, said yes every single time. It was unfortunate to not have him in Italy, but we're happy we got him now.

We have such a deep pool of guys. It kind of makes my job easy and tough at the same time to see who to match up with who.

I'm excited to have Tommy on the team as well. He's a big part of this, as well as a bunch of guys who aren't here, Reilly and Frances, guys like that.

Again, it's a great, deep pool of guys to choose from, which again makes my job hard and easy at the same time.

Q. Could you talk about your Davis Cup experience in 2010.

MARDY FISH: Yeah, we brought about half the altitude that they did there in Bogota, 9,500 feet or so. First time I played with pressure-less balls in a bullring. They threw the kitchen sink at us. We got to be ready.

Look, we just played these guys. We're familiar with them and they're familiar with us. So that's in the past. We can talk about that anytime, but it's about these guys now.

Q. Sebastian, what are your feelings of playing against Nicolas, someone you know?

SEBASTIAN KORDA: I've been really good friends with Nico since I was probably about 14 years old. We would always play in the juniors, always practice together, always travel together. It's really special.

We always dreamed about playing against each other in Davis Cup. Now we have the opportunity. It's going to be a lot of fun. Some great memories together.

Yeah, we're going to bring it. It's going to be good fun for us.

Q. (Question about relationship with Alejandro.)

MARDY FISH: Yeah, when we're out there, you sort of tend to gravitate towards guys from your nation, country, who you sort of grew up with. Alejandro is one of those guys outside of that that you hung out with, not necessarily away from the court, but looked forward to hitting with, practicing with and stuff. He's an awesome guy.

Again, we just played against each other. We played in 2010 in that tie. Just kind of full circle to come back and be captains.

Respect him, respect his game, respect him on and off the court. He's a great dude.

Q. Mardy, what do you think of the setup so far in Reno?

MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, we're really excited to be here, to bring professional tennis, men's professional tennis, here. Obviously been a long time since they've had pro tennis here, period.

We always love going to new places and showing off what these guys can do. Yeah, we jumped at it when we heard that Reno was going to be the spot.

Yeah, we're excited. Obviously I'm familiar with the area or around here, coming every summer. It's a little warmer in the summer than it is now.

But, yeah, we're excited. Everything has been great in terms of the site and the hotel, things like that. It's all real close. It's been great.

Q. Taylor, what do you think of the intimate setting in the arena?

TAYLOR FRITZ: I mean, yeah, I think so far everything has been great. Hopefully being here people are going to be excited about the tennis and we'll get a big crowd out there, we'll have a lot of people cheering us on.

Hopefully they can, I don't know, just get a lot of people in the stadium and it can be a really fun atmosphere to play in in front of like a home crowd.

Q. Mardy, obviously it's been a while since Portland. What would it mean for you to reestablish a winning presence for the U.S.?

MARDY FISH: Yeah, it's why we're here. It's why I'm in this position. It's why I wanted to be in this position.

I was there. I wasn't on the team in that one, but I was there, celebrated with the guys. It's a different role. It would certainly be real special.

Took the job in 2019 with obviously the goal of building a team and sort of coming in at a time when some guys had stopped playing, kind of myself and my era, James and Andy, those boys, the Bryans, then the new wave of guys coming in.

It's kind of a good time to reset as a captain and come in with six, seven, eight guys that we can choose from. Each one of these guys is sort of separating themselves kind of from the pack. They're pushing each other, which is great, which is what we did in our generation, too.

Guys see success that Taylor has or Jack had in 2017, guys want that. It's been fun. It's been fun to sort of build that team chemistry.

Q. You talked about bringing the passion. How much do you have to sell that and how much is just natural?

MARDY FISH: It's natural. I mean, everybody that's up here today has a choice whether to play here or not. This is not a perfect lead-up to a huge couple weeks for them in Indian Wells and Miami. We're playing indoors in altitude. Not one of them has said one word about that in terms of not wanting to be playing in these types of conditions and having those couple tournaments.

That's what we want. That's the passion that we need. We've seen it for most of the countries we play, the passion they have for this competition. These guys are going to match it this week, for sure.

Q. Taylor, to play for the United States, what does that mean? And Jack, you emerged as a young kid from the Midwest, now what does it mean for you to be on the team?

TAYLOR FRITZ: Yeah, it's always amazing kind of playing for the country. It's such a fun week like being here with the team. I've said it lots of times. There's not many team events in tennis. We play an individual sport, so these weeks are always special. Playing for your country makes it more special.

I think we're all truly excited to go out there, play well, kind of just win one for the team. It's a special feeling.

JACK SOCK: Yeah, I've been a part of many different teams. I feel like now it's different hearing 'Davis Cup veteran' on the intro. Felt like I was just a younger guy not too long ago.

No, anytime I get a chance to represent our country, to represent the red, white and blue, I love doing it. To play for these guys, whoever the team may be, for a tie it's always been a blast. I always look forward to it. I love team competitions.

Mardy, a guy I grew up watching. Got to watch his incredible end of his career, now to get to play and compete for him and all these guys, it's always an honor, it's a pleasure.

So, yeah, I'm just looking forward to another fun weekend. We are definitely going to bring the passion, energy, and bring one home to the States.

Q. (No microphone.)

RAJEEV RAM: Well, my partner is possibly better than my other partner here, so I like that.

No, look, they're a great team, world No. 1s, won a couple of slams. We know each other really well. I expect nothing but a good fight and a great match. There's no surprises out there.

Always excited to play next to Jack. He's one of the best players in the world in doubles. Looking forward to a good battle, for sure.


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