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September 17, 2022

Captain Smith

Andy Murray

Joe Salisbury

Team Great Britain

Press Conference


7-6, 6-7, 6-3

The Netherlands - 2

Great Britain - 1

THE MODERATOR: Leon, do you want to start with your thoughts on today's tie.

CAPTAIN SMITH: It's obviously disappointing for us. You know, we came in obviously with high expectations, but we're out, so we have to accept that.

You know, we have put on I think some really good matches, some great fight. Obviously had some opportunities. Yeah, it's a tough one, but we have to accept it, move on.

But I'm proud of the guys and what they put out there. Really proud of the fans. Still had some amazing moments when these guys won that second set. Again, it's those memories and moments of why they play and it's great to be able to see the fans enjoying it.

But, yeah, wasn't to be this time around.


Q. Andy, obviously it was another really close doubles match. What do you think made the difference out there?

ANDY MURRAY: I don't know exactly what made the difference. Obviously had lots of time to sort of think and analyze it. Obviously I would love to have the return back at 3-All and breakpoint. I hit the tape. I probably hit a pretty clean return but probably should have maybe not hit it as big. Tried to make sure I put it in the court. Then obviously, yeah, first-set tiebreak, we didn't play a good breaker.

We got off to an amazing start in the first set and probably could have gone up a couple of breaks. And, yeah, there are the moments you look back on and think, oh, could you have done better at those moments. You know, but there were also periods in the match where we were under pressure and came up with great points as well and big holds on serve. Obviously behind in the second-set tiebreaker, and managed to get back into it with some good points.

Yeah, it just sucks, because these matches have come down to a few points and they've not gone our way. I have been fortunate to play a lot of these matches over the years, and, you know, come through them. You know, that hasn't happened this time around, and I feel sad about that, because, like Leon said, I think we had the possibility to have a really good run here.

Q. Britain has lots of good doubles players, but none that have really played with each other. Would you like to see an established British doubles pair to maybe make your job a little easier?

CAPTAIN SMITH: Well, we've got a lot of good doubles players. Well, look, obviously if it comes to Davis Cup and you've got a set pairing that's top in the world, you have seen that with a few nations, but I'm just happy the guys are out there at the top of their game irrespective of who they are playing with.

Good options to play with different people like we did here. Yeah, I mean, that's not something I have thought about a huge amount. Just better to have options I think in that way.

But, yeah, maybe it will happen in the future. I don't know. Not much else to say on that one.

Q. How did you find it picking it up as a partnership with only a few days to prepare, given that you hadn't played together since last year's Olympics?

JOE SALISBURY: Yeah, I mean, I think we felt pretty good together. Obviously we played together before at the Olympics. Yeah, we felt comfortable on court together.

Obviously it's not as easy, I guess, as playing with a regular partner that, yeah, you're playing with all the time. Don't know, I guess, what each other is doing as much.

But I don't think that was, yeah, I don't think that was what made the difference. I think both teams we played against have played really well, really good matches, and I think we were not just able to execute enough when we have had chances.

So I don't think that was -- that wasn't why we lost the matches. Yeah, I think we felt comfortable on court together.

Q. How did you find it, Andy?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, look, when me and Joe obviously played last year together, like, my feeling was that we had the potential to play, like, top-level doubles together. I think our games complement each other pretty well. I know obviously, like when you lose, it's easy to say, Well, I don't know -- and I'm thinking the same thing right now, like, you know, should I have played or should Neal have played or whatever, and it's easy to think all those things.

The reality is the teams we lost to are not settled doubles pairs, as well. Jack and Rajeev don't play together. Matwe and Koolhof don't play with each other. Bublik and Nedovyesov don't play with each other. All of the teams that are playing here are not settled partnerships, either.

Yeah, look, obviously if me and Joe played more together, I'm sure we'd be an even stronger team. But I don't think we played two bad matches. We actually played pretty well.

Yeah, there is things we could have done different or better at different moments, but, yeah, I don't think that was the reason for why we lost the matches.

Q. Hindsight is obviously 20/20 vision, but as you sit there now, are you having any regrets about the selection calls you made? Did you consider changing anything up for today?

CAPTAIN SMITH: No, no regrets. You know, we came in with it with some thoughts, and we stuck with that. I think after the first day, you know, the matches that we lost to the USA, you know, were really good matches, high-level matches.

You know, someone maybe had a dip in form or didn't play a great match, then of course that's where it's good to maybe rotate around and do something differently. But I felt, we felt, that everyone was in still a good place after the first day and playing well enough to win today. It just hasn't worked out that way.

As usual, it's one or two points in it, and the match we have lost in the doubles there, you know, you win that match and people say it was a good selection day again. But that's what happens, isn't it?

Q. Clearly disappointing in any match, but is it an added disappointment when it's in front of your home fans?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and obviously when you get to sort of my age and this stage of your career, I don't know how many opportunities I'll get to still be part of this team. We've got obviously a lot of depth now, as we have spoken about, in the singles and the doubles.

Yeah, because of that, it makes it tougher. You know, we had again really a great atmosphere out there again today. I loved all of the chances I got to play here. I feel, yeah, very fortunate that we have had the success that we have had here as a team.

Yeah, just wasn't to be this week. Yeah, like I said, I'm sad about that.

Q. Andy, obviously there is still another tie to be played. I imagine motivation may not be great. Wondering your thoughts on having to play that and if you like the format the way it is? It's not something that normally happens.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I have not met a player that loves playing dead rubbers and dead matches. Yeah, it's difficult to get motivated. Obviously the way that we have lost these two matches as well makes that even tougher.

Yeah, it's a slight flaw with this format in that you have essentially, on the Sunday, on the final day, there is no tennis. Well, there's tennis, but it's kind of dead, irrelevant, the results of it. That's what brings the energy and the passion I think from the fans and the players.

So, yeah, wish we were still alive on Sunday.

Q. With Roger retiring, just wonder if you could give your reflections on what he's meant to your career and to tennis as a whole.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I'd probably rather speak about this when I'm maybe in a better place to articulate my thoughts on that. I mean, obviously he was an amazing player. I was lucky to get to compete against him in some of the biggest matches, in the biggest tournaments, on the biggest stages in our sport.

Yeah, like at the time I probably didn't appreciate it as much, but now, like, looking back, it's pretty amazing. It's incredible what he achieved and also what Rafa and Novak have done, as well.

Yeah, it's a sad, sad day for the sport again. Yeah, unbelievable career. Yeah, I mean, the longevity that he's had. What he did in, I think, I can't remember, I think it was 2018 Australian Open, I could be wrong, when he came back from the knee surgery and stuff was incredible. You know, the way that he played the game, conducted himself and all of those things, yeah, I think all of the players respected him for that.

But, yeah, I'll speak more on it I'm sure in the coming week with Laver Cup. I don't know how much he will be able to play. Haven't spoken to him about that. I don't know. Maybe I get the opportunity to share a court with him in doubles or something like that, and that would be really special. But like I said, I don't know how much he'll be able to play.

Q. Can I just clear up, Louis didn't seem to be there today. He's obviously the doubles specialist at the LTA. Any reason for that?

CAPTAIN SMITH: No, we actually were using him remotely this time. He had done a long trip out in the summer, and we just decided he should go back, rest.

Talked to him this morning on Zoom with the guys. He was watching the matches. We got feedback. We decided to do it a slightly different way this week for him.

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