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December 28, 2022

Kirsten Flipkens

David Goffin

Elise Mertens

Alison Van Uytvanck

Kimmer Coppejans

Magali Kempen

Michael Geerts

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Team Belgium

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome. I'd like to give the first question to the captain. Could you introduce your team and also tell us about your preparation here.

CAPTAIN FLIPKENS: On the left side we have our first male player, David Goffin. First female player of the team, Elise Mertens. I think they don't need a lot of introduction.

Kimmer Coppejans, our No. 3 of the team. Magali Kempen, No. 3 of the female team. Michael Geerts, No. 4. And Alison Van Uytvanck, No. 2 player. And myself.

THE MODERATOR: I will give the floor to the journalists.

Q. You have won a title, now you're captain of the team. Is this the first time you have captained the team?

CAPTAIN FLIPKENS: It's much more busy the last few weeks. No, it's exciting, you know. It's a privilege to be captain of such a great team. We get along really well, all of us. Yeah, it's a nice experience.

It's been fun. Busy but fun. Yeah.

Q. What's your style of captaincy?

CAPTAIN FLIPKENS: We will have to find out in the next few days (smiling). I just try to organize everything for the practices for the team, try to do as good as possible to schedule all the practices for now, and, you know, just to take the responsibility.

Yeah, so far, so good, I guess. Right, team? (Laughter.)

Q. I know you struggled with injuries in the second half of last year. How are you feeling now?

ALISON VAN UYTVANCK: Yeah, it's been a tough last half of the year, but I'm feeling fine right now. I had a couple of ups and downs with the back, but now it's good. I'm practicing well, doing my hours. I'm ready to start competition in a couple of days.

Q. Elise, you are one of the players, on top singles and doubles. Are you prepared to play doubles this week? How do you generally balance that on tour?

ELISE MERTENS: I play a lot of singles and doubles during the year but yeah, I'm ready to play both if possible. But we will see the score and how it goes. But, yeah, very happy to be here.

Q. David, you have had a lot of success in team competitions before, Davis Cup finals twice. What is it about team competitions that helps you?

DAVID GOFFIN: I love to play for my country, of course. It's a different energy. You play for your teammates and you play for your country. It's a different atmosphere that I like. Yeah, that's true that I always played well, but hopefully again this week I can play some good tennis for a new captain. I have played for different captains but it's a new one here so hopefully I can play again some good tennis.

Q. You have amazing volleys. What do they teach you?

ELISE MERTENS: We have a good example. Captain has good volleys.

CAPTAIN FLIPKENS: Secret, I don't know if there is a real secret. It's just a matter of your game style, I think. I think myself and Alison in singles we are, I mean, were, for me, Alison still is, yeah, like to come to the net and stuff and like to enjoy the game. I think for Elise it's obvious that she's, yeah, an amazing doubles player.

I think there is no secret to it. I think it's just coincidence that we have few good players on the team that can handle stuff at the net.

Q. Kirsten, I just wondered how important you think it is in terms of the bigger picture for this mixed event to be happening finally, to bring the two tours together in an event like this?

CAPTAIN FLIPKENS: Yeah, it's amazing. Myself, I never played, for example, Hopman Cup and stuff. It's really nice to get the two tours involved and, yeah, to play together this week.

Yeah, it's nice, and I think it's also nice I think that the fifth match will be a mixed doubles. It's just exciting. It's good. It's like equal, how should I say, like every point counts. Doesn't matter if it's female or a male player winning. It's just, yeah, something special and something new for everyone also. Yeah. It's a nice event to be at.

Q. David, if I could ask in terms of setting up your season, what about the format, the fact that you're guaranteed good-level matches here? How does that sort of play into setting you up for the season?

DAVID GOFFIN: It's the perfect preparation. You have minimum two matches against two great players, and hopefully more, but first week of the year to have good matches, same conditions, you already are in Australia, it's perfect to adapt your body and your tennis for the next tournament coming next week and the Australian Open.

No, it's a perfect event. You can have singles and doubles as well. It's perfect to start the year like this.

Q. Have you known each other a long time? You only sort of met this week?

DAVID GOFFIN: It's the first time that I see them (laughter).

CAPTAIN FLIPKENS: That's why we have the name cards (smiling).

Q. I was just wondering if it's like a new group that's fresh come together or if it's kind of old friendships being brought back?

DAVID GOFFIN: No, we know each other. Not perfectly like in, I don't know what they do in the private life, but we know each other, and it's going to be fun, I think.

THE MODERATOR: Maybe the other teammates can talk about how it feels to play a team event, especially mixed team. Anything else to add?

KIMMER COPPEJANS: No, I think for me personally it's been already great experience so far. I think it's very special that it's mixed. I know pretty much everyone pretty well in the team, and I think we are all good friends, having good fun.

Yeah, I think for me I couldn't have a better preparation for next week.

MAGALI KEMPEN: Yeah, it's really fun to be here. I'm really happy to play this event, to be with a part of this team. First time I play for Team Belgium. It's really exciting.

It's always a very good organization here. Yeah, I want to thank Tennis Australia for everything. Yeah, I hope we will play some good matches and have fun with all the team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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