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November 13, 2022

Alicia Molik

Storm Sanders

Ajla Tomljanovic

Samantha Stosur

Priscilla Hon

Ellen Perez

Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Emirates Arena

Team Australia

Press Conference

B. BENCIC/A. Tomljanovic

6-2, 6-1

Team Switzerland - 2

Team Australia - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations on a great week, and commiserations on today. Alicia, could you first just give us an idea how proud you are of the team and what your thoughts are over the whole week, basically?

CAPTAIN MOLIK: It's been phenomenal. I'm incredibly proud of this whole team, including the extension of the staff. Because we have put in not just great preparation, but I think, you know, we have had our eye on the prize the whole time while we have been here.

We pride ourselves, as Australia, to go into battle and really fight out there. It was, you know, a difficult day for us today. At times you have to give credit to your opponents, but we really showed our fighting spirit.

I think also what worked in our favor was the versatility that we've got within our team with options, because in this format, when there are so many matches, you know, you need to trust all five players.

That's sort of, you know, something that I was really content with from the beginning of the event, that we could really switch things up, which we did at times. It took us to the final, and the other team were too good. Simple as that.

Q. Just a word on Storm today, because it looked from where we were sitting as though it was kind of heroic, really.

CAPTAIN MOLIK: Oh, it was. I mean, an example was the crowd, when Storm went up to receive her medal, the appreciation from the crowd, the crowd know their tennis, they know a great fighter, and she left everything out there.

I think they could also feel all the ups and downs and the pressure situations. Jil was feeling it, as well. Storm hit ebbs and flows and managed to pull it way back all the time and claw her way back.

Great representation of her level and where she's at in her singles. It's obvious to all of us how good she is in her doubles by her ranking. Her level was just incredible, and as a team, to get ourselves to this his point, the final day, we want more of it. We are pretty hungry for it for another opportunity next year.

Q. I don't know if you saw them presenting those BJK jackets to the Swiss, kind of iconic, Masters green-jacket type accolade in the future, what are the chances of an Australian team wearing those in the next few years?

CAPTAIN MOLIK: Well, it would be nice, wouldn't it? We've got blue in our flag, so it's probably inevitable at some stage. But I think it's a great concept. I think it's a great tradition for the Billie Jean King Cup. And also to have the iconic Billie Jean here as well to present the team.

You could see the smiles on the Swiss faces, their team, you know, a pretty proud moment for them, not just to win but I think to be playing in this era where Billie Jean is supporting their team. It's phenomenal. I think it's a great concept, and I think it will live on for a very, very long time. What a great initiative.

Q. You got to the semifinal, final in the last four years. Next time winning it?

CAPTAIN MOLIK: Yeah. That's the plan (smiling).

Q. Storm, it looked as though BJK were saying you were amazing out there. What was it like meeting her, and how inspirational has been the whole week for you? Is it a game changer for you?

STORM SANDERS: Yeah, it was amazing. Yeah, Billie Jean King said some nice words to me at the ceremony and also wanted just to congratulate me on my wedding on Saturday. She was more interested in, yeah, my wedding, which was really, really nice.

But yeah, it's been a phenomenal week from everyone on the Australian team, the players and the staff. Yeah, I mean, personally I left everything out there today. I have literally nothing left in the tank right now. But it was so much fun and, yeah, even though we didn't quite get the win today, I'm just so proud of our team. It was so much fun.

Yeah, we are hungry for more, like Mol said. Next year. Let's go.

Q. When you had those injuries, what exactly were the injuries? Looks obviously the ankle this time. It was adductor yesterday? Is that right?

STORM SANDERS: Yeah, just a bit of everything, to be honest. Just fatigue and that's okay. I mean, it's the last day of the season. It's been a really long year for me, and it's all stuff that's manageable. Just obviously feeling after playing, I think that was my seventh match this week. Yeah, quite a long -- and today way a long match and obviously high-pressure environment. Obviously Jil was also feeling that.

No, I'm a little bit spent today, but, yeah, it was obviously a lot of fun. Yeah, I gave everything, and I couldn't ask our team to do more than what we did this week. It was an amazing experience for all of us.

Q. Ajla, could I just ask, Bencic was playing out of her skin, wasn't she, today? Was there anything you could do about the sort of form she was in?

AJLA TOMLJANOVIC: Yeah, I probably could have, but it's over and, you know, I wish I could have a do-over, but it's tennis. You can't. At the same time, you just feel like I wanted to do a lot more for this team, especially, you know, after Sam and Storm did all that.

But, yeah, it just wasn't meant to be for me today. It stinks, but like Mol said, this team has so much potential. I do believe we are going to get the big one at some point.

Q. Sam, as the elder statesman of the team, what was your take on it all? It's been an inspiring week for you?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, absolutely. I think it's all pretty much been said by the others, but, yeah, we are very proud of ourselves, again reaching the final twice in three years. You know, there is so much upside still to this team. We've got a pretty young team besides me. These guys will be around for a long time to come. Absolutely so proud of every single person who has been here this entire week.

We give it our heart and soul every single time we step out on court. That's all you can ask for. Finalist is great, but yeah, we want one more.

Q. Do you want to be involved with this team from now on?

AJLA TOMLJANOVIC: Yes (smiling).

Q. As an elder statesman or...

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I'd love to be part of it forever, but yeah, that's probably not possible (smiling). I will enjoy this moment, and if this is the last one, then that's, yeah, a proud moment.

Q. But you'd be happy to take an assistant coach role or some cheereleader or whatever it is?

SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, we'll see if anyone wants to give up their spots. We'll go from there.

ELLEN PEREZ: Team mum.

SAMANTHA STOSUR: I'm happy just to come and cheer.

Q. For you guys, has what's gone on this week inspired you that you want to be a part of this BJK Cup future for Australia? Ellen?

ELLEN PEREZ: Yeah, of course. Like Sam said, we've got a very young team. I think we are only going to grow as a team and get stronger individually and as a team together.

I'm really excited for what's to come. I think we're really hungry to do that one better. We have full belief that, yeah, as a team we can get this done at some point.

PRISCILLA HON: I think I did the most this week (smiling). No, but it's been so inspiring seeing the girls out there. Every day I'm just like, How are they even playing? How are they playing this tennis right now? It's insane.

But it's been amazing to be part of the team again, and it's definitely the best weeks of the year. We will all work to keep our spots each year.

Q. It's not going to be the best week of the year for you, obviously, Storm?

STORM SANDERS: Well, second-best week. Come Saturday it will be... It's the wedding week.

CAPTAIN MOLIK: The week starts on Sunday. It's the same week.

STORM SANDERS: We'll go with that, yeah. No, I'm very, very excited to get home and, yeah, see Loughie, my fiancé, and get married. It's going to be a really good party and a good way to celebrate the end of the year. Obviously, yeah, getting married to Loughie. It will be great. Really excited.

Q. Are you all invited?

STORM SANDERS: Yeah. Well, Ajla lives in America, so --

AJLA TOMLJANOVIC: I was invited, even though I didn't get my invitation, and no, I got my spot, but...

STORM SANDERS: I didn't want to put the pressure on her to come.

AJLA TOMLJANOVIC: Storm is just the nicest, so she didn't want to put me in a spot where I have to decline (smiling). But I'm definitely there in spirit, and I'm the first one of this group to see her wedding dress and her wedding song when she's walking down the aisle. So don't say I'm not special. (Laughter.)

Q. A great bunch, Alicia. You have enjoyed working with them again?

CAPTAIN MOLIK: Oh, gosh, they are incredible. I mean, they are a dream in the sense of they are genuine, caring, loving, supportive friends to each other. And also, what probably I reflect on the most and what I'm mostly proud of is the level of respect that each player has for not just each other, but in particular, all the staff members of the team, you know, I think they treat everyone as equals, and that's really important when you have an entire team where everyone plays a different role, and the focus is obviously the players, but I think they really share in their victories and practices and have a lot of respect for everyone on the team.

Yeah, they are a dream for me. They're great people, great individuals. I think that shows on the court. I think that's why I think every player here has a pretty decent fan base out there on the WTA Tour, because they don't just give great efforts but they give a bit of themselves too in terms of their personalities on the court and then what they give off the court.

You know, great ambassadors. I think what today has done is we have had a whole bunch of young juniors in Australia being interested in that the final, once again, it does bring a lot of interest. And we have now got a lot of young juniors that aspire to be in the position as these players. That's what they have created for themselves.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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