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December 28, 2022

Gisela Dulko

Francisco Cerundolo

Nadia Podoroska

Federico Coria

Maria Carle

Tomas Martin Etcheverry

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Team Argentina

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the team press conference for Argentina. Welcome to the United Cup.

First question to Gisela, the captain of Argentina. Just talk about how excited you guys are to be at United Cup in Perth and maybe do a quick introduction of your team.

CAPTAIN DULKO: Well, thank you. I'm really excited to be in Perth after I think 10 years was the last time I have been here playing. So it's very nice to be back and with my wonderful team. I think all are ready to play, to enjoy this week and to play their best tennis.

Thank you for the welcome. We are very happy to be here.

THE MODERATOR: Could you introduce each team member.

CAPTAIN DULKO: Fran, Nadia, Fede, Tommy, and Lourdes. We all come a very long way from Argentina to be here. So, yeah. We are all ready.


Q. Gisela, obviously lost the No. 1 ranked player from Argentina for this campaign. How do you have to sort of readjust now?


Q. You lost Diego for the campaign. How do you have to readjust now in your plans?

CAPTAIN DULKO: Yeah, yeah, for sure, he was very important for us, coming here in Perth, but unfortunately he couldn't be here. Well, we have a great team anyway. Fran, like first player, Fede, second, and Tommy third. Yeah, they are playing great tennis and ready to compete.

Q. Fran, for yourself, mate, how do you feel stepping up to be the No. 1 player for the team?

FRANCISCO CERUNDOLO: Yeah, it's very exciting for me to be No. 1. I was supposed to be 2 but now I'm 1. I'm going to try my best. Excited to be competing again. Two months we were resting and practicing. I think all the team is really excited to be here, to start playing tomorrow. We are going to try our best, and myself, I'm really happy.

Q. You get to headline the big night session tomorrow. Is that exciting as well in front of all those fans?

FRANCISCO CERUNDOLO: Yeah, I hope many people come to watch. Stadium is big. So yeah, probably it's going to be a great environment. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to play tomorrow. I think first is Lourdes, and then it's me. Hopefully we can have a great day.

Q. Taking on Arthur. How do you take that match on?

FRANCISCO CERUNDOLO: Yeah, Arthur is a great player. I think he finished the year playing really good. He serves really big and has big strokes. Yeah, I have to play my tennis, focus on my game and try my best. It's going to be a tough but interesting match, so I'm really looking forward to play it.

Q. Maria, you get to take on Alize Cornet. How do you feel about that matchup?

MARIA CARLE: Happy to be sharing with my team this week. And for the match tomorrow, I don't know her very well. I watched some videos. For sure it's going to be a tough match. Yeah, we will try my best and have fun out there.

Q. Do you feel any pressure having to be the first player for Argentina to play? Do you have to set the tone in any way?

MARIA CARLE: No, no. I think it's going to be a great match for me, a great opportunity for me to play with those kind of players, high level. Yeah, try to support with my team and, yeah, have fun.

Q. You just said you don't know about Cornet. When you don't know a lot about your opponent, how do you go about that? Do you concentrate on your own game or do more research? How do you work that out?

MARIA CARLE: Yeah, for sure I did some research, because I like to know who I'm going to play, which kind of player I'm going to play. Then, yeah, of course try to focus on my game, try to do whatever I have to do. Yeah, plan the match for tomorrow. Yeah.

Q. I just wondered if you could talk about how you found your first experience with captaining so far?

CAPTAIN DULKO: Well, I just arrived yesterday so it's been almost one day. Yeah, I'm very excited. It's my first time, like you said, and to be here with these players and to enjoy is my goal, no? To enjoy, to try to help them, to support them, and to be outside the court or whatever they need, and to be there for them.

Yeah, I'm really happy with my first experience.

Q. Nadia, if you could ask you, you missed a lot last year with injury. After some high quality matches in the autumn, how close do you feel back to being at your best level?

NADIA PODOROSKA: Yeah, well, last year it was very tough for me. I finished the year without pain. I could compete many matches, so it was a good year for me. This year I'm healthy. I did a very good preseason, so I'm really looking forward to be back on that level.

Now I feel like a bit far yet. Yeah.

Q. Fran, if I could just ask, obviously the football was big news back home, and we saw the streets of Buenos Aires and everything. Does that success inspire you and the team in general, do you think, to bring more, to represent Argentina this week, does it add more to it?

FRANCISCO CERUNDOLO: Yeah, I think it was crazy the last 10 days and the whole month Argentina people went crazy when we started winning. Of course when we won the finals, the city, Buenos Aires, was unreal, people went nuts.

Of course it inspires me, and I think the other guys, but I think it inspires the whole country, because football there is, I don't know, I think it's everything. Yeah, it was great, great news for the country, for us. Yeah, of course we can, I don't know, bring the cup back home, the trophy.

Q. Lourdes, some of your best wins have come in team competition. Billie Jean King Cup team tie. What is it about playing for your country or playing on a team that elevates your game?

MARIA CARLE: Well, it's really exciting always to play for my country. It's something I really enjoy it, and I think every player when they play for his country, they give up something else. So for me, play here, it's amazing and hope, yeah, to have that here again. Yeah.

Q. Most of you play different tournaments usually. Wonder how long you have known each other as a team. Have you known each other for years beforehand?

CAPTAIN DULKO: No, we don't know each other since very long, no. So it's going to be our first experience. We are happy we are gonna have this time to know each other, to talk, to help each other. It's going to be a good week for us.

Q. What are the things you have learned about each other in this short time?

CAPTAIN DULKO: No, we just saw each other, 10 minutes ago (laughter). We had a chat, a group chat, we are all together. We have been chatting these last few days. But no, we just saw each other. So I cannot tell you anything.

MARIA CARLE: But I think it's going to be a great week for us to know all her experience is going to be helpful for all of us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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