September 15, 2022
5-7, 6-4, 7-5
USA - 2
Great Britain - 1
THE MODERATOR: Leon, do you want to start with a brief summary of the three matches today, please.
CAPTAIN SMITH: Thanks for staying so late, first of all.
Really, it's a tough tie because we just lost after an extremely long afternoon, evening, early morning. It obviously doesn't feel great right now.
But I think the matches were extremely high quality. Certainly if anyone paid five for a ticket, they certainly got their money's worth.
No, the guys fought extremely hard, both teams. All very, very good players. I think we spoke about it beforehand, we thought the matches would be 50/50. In this tie it turned out that way. They got a couple of them their way, the 50/50s.
I can't praise the guys enough for putting in maximum effort, which they did, which contributed to really good tennis.
Yes, we're battered and bruised right now, but I'm extremely proud of what our guys put on today.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. From what you've seen today, Leon, how confident are you that you can still progress from this group?
CAPTAIN SMITH: That's certainly the aim, isn't it? It's still going to be tough because the other two nations are strong. We said that before this tie. I think a lot of the matches are 50/50, including the ones that are coming up.
All the guys played really good matches, so it will take a lot of recovery tomorrow. It's obviously good that we've got a day's grace between our next match, which is good.
But, yeah, look, we've got a terrific bunch of players. They're playing really well. So, yeah, our aim is to qualify. It will start again on Friday.
Q. Andy, can I ask what is your opinion on playing matches so late? It seems like it's not a kind of unusual occurrence anymore. We see tennis matches going on till 1, 2 in the morning fairly regularly. Do you think that's okay or do you think it would be better if they were earlier?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, look, it would be better if they were earlier I think for everyone involved. I don't think it's ideal for you guys. I don't think it's ideal for the fans.
That match that we played there, there's probably half of the people in there at the end of the match that were there at the beginning. It's a bit of a shame because, well, they missed a great match. It's not probably because they didn't want to stay. If you got children here, you can't stay with them. You got to get a bus or train home. Can't do it.
For the ballkids and things like that, it's inappropriate. Yeah, the players are still able to go out and compete. I mean, we're still playing really well. But, yeah, it's not ideal for the U.S. team to come back and play tomorrow. They're probably not going to be tucked up in their beds until, I don't know what the time is, probably 3:30, 4:00 in the morning by the time they've done their recovery and managed to sort of calm down after a tie like that.
Yeah, it's not ideal. It's not just here, obviously. We've seen it obviously at the US Open even just last week. It's something that tennis needs to sort of have a bit of a think about. I don't think it looks that professional.
Q. Andy, how did the atmosphere differ for you compared to the other Glasgow Davis Cup ties you've played, given the lack of music at the change of ends, the circumstances under which you're playing?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was different. It is understandable obviously with what's happening this week. But it was, yeah, like at the change of ends and stuff, a little bit quieter or going onto the court or...
One of the things about the ties in Glasgow, when the Loch Lomond song was played during the warmups and stuff, I remembered those moments, you get goose bumps when all the crowd is singing it, as well. It's really special. I love that.
I thought the atmosphere was still very good during the match and everything. The crowd did a really good job. But, yeah, little things like that can just help a little bit when the days are so long, as well. It's not easy for a crowd to maintain an amazing atmosphere for 10 hours, you know? Not easy.
Q. Leon, I just wanted your opinion on the conditions. It seems quite slow. In the past as captain you used to have a choice, used to make it how you would like it for the team. Now it seems organizers are trying to make it the same across all the four venues. I think Bautista Agut in Valencia tonight said it's extreme conditions there. What are your thoughts about the conditions here?
CAPTAIN SMITH: It's better coming from the players. I'm not the one hitting tennis balls. But the feedback is clearly it's a very slow court because of the abrasiveness, the amount of sand that's in the paint mix.
Yes, it is universal across the other things. We did inquire whether we could play around with the speeds of the surface as host here. That wasn't the case, which is fair enough obviously. I think the ball is obviously a heavy ball, which is slowing things down further.
Yeah, I think it's a combination of obviously the abrasiveness of the court with that particular ball. It is a really slow surface.
Q. Andy, as someone who has played on the tour for 15 years, do you have any thoughts on it?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think it was pretty slow. It's not always that easy to feel the speed of the court in doubles because a lot of the points are quite quick, quick fire.
But the balls, they get huge. Like when me and Joe are warming up for the match, after a few rallies, the balls are just big.
Yeah, when I played some singles points and stuff, I mean, all the players said it, Cam, Evo, I felt that. I don't know how Joe felt about it. I mean, like Joe said before the match, we're going to receive first because that means we'll play one less service game with those balls. They're going to be so heavy, we'll get to serve with the new balls at 4-3, which should help.
Something that we even thought about before the match.
Q. Joe, how was it playing against Rajeev today? Did you feel like you had to adjust your game at all or keep him guessing?
JOE SALISBURY: Yeah, I mean, it was a bit strange I guess at the start. But once we were playing, it felt like a normal match. I think we're not worried about, yeah, who's on the other side of the net. We're just competing hard to win the match.
I think we didn't change tactics too much. I mean, obviously playing a different side than normally when we play together. Yeah, I mean, we had a few things that we wanted to do when serving against him, and knew some stuff that he likes to do.
Yeah, ultimately it came down to the team that executed better. I thought, yeah, we got off to a strong start. Obviously he definitely got off to a slow start. I thought the rest of the match he got stronger and stronger, yeah, played really well.
Q. Andy, we know how much you love playing on home soil. Does it hurt a bit more to lose a match, close one, playing in front of a home crowd?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's obviously disappointing. I mean, it was always going to be a really tough match because they're both top players. Joe knows that, playing with Rajeev. And Jack Sock, a lot of people consider him to be one of the best doubles players in the world, which I think is the case. He can do stuff with the ball that not many players can.
Yeah, it was disappointing because we could have won that match. I know we were only a couple points away right at the end. Also in the second set, I was serving at 3-1, 30-15, I think maybe if we get through that game, maybe we go on to finish the match.
But things turned around quickly. Yeah, the only positive from tonight is that usually you lose a Davis Cup doubles match, it can lose you the whole tie or whatever, you're knocked out of the competition.
But with the new format, obviously we got two more matches. We need to sort of try to look at the positives from today. I think everyone played a good level from what I watched. Evo played a good match against Tommy Paul. Cam did really well to come through his one against Taylor. Me and Joe played well enough to win today, but just weren't able to quite get over the line.
I think we're still in a good spot to qualify.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
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