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November 10, 2023

Kathy Rinaldi

Taylor Townsend

Danielle Collins

Team USA

Press Conference


6-3, 7-5

Team Czechia - 2

Team USA - 1


Q. Taylor and Danielle, any regrets about that doubles match at the end there? I mean, there was a few points on top of the net. I mean, from both sides, by the way. I know the Czechs had their chances too. Sorry to remind you of that, Danielle.

TAYLOR TOWNSEND: It's okay. The only regret is we didn't win all those deuce points. I mean, we had four deuce games in the first set. It was a 6-3 set, so it could have easily been 6-2 our way.

That's kind of the tough thing about this format. When you're playing no ad, it usually just favors the person, the team that's more aggressive, more solid. We made a couple unforced errors. That really can change the course of the match.

I thought that it was an incredibly competitive match. I thought we had some really great points, and Danielle and I pushed them to have to play better and to play some really solid tennis.

I mean, they have played together for so many times. Danielle and I, the last time we played together was 25,000 in Naples, yeah, like six years ago.

I think that playing one of the best doubles teams in the world, we fought hard and we made them play and come up with some good tennis.

You know, I mean, it's not a regret, but, you know, it just shows the no-ad points and those no-ad games are really, really are important on both sides. I mean, we were breaking and we also got broken because of those games.

I really think that was a turning point really for the whole match, because other than that, it was incredibly competitive. We weren't really losing games by a lot of points. They weren't holding at love or at 15. It was always really close.

I think that's the biggest thing. I'm really proud of the way we played and that we fought. I think we made our captain proud.

Q. Kathy...

TAYLOR TOWNSEND: Oh, gosh. I remember your face. (Laughter.)

Q. Can you just explain the decision to switch up the doubles today? It was obviously Sloane and Taylor yesterday.

CAPTAIN KATHY RINALDI: Sure. It's very difficult. Obviously everybody is a great player on this team.

I think Danielle had such a great match, seeing the ball so well. She's had a lot of success in doubles in her own right this year alone and in previous years. It's difficult.

You know, you're playing one of the best doubles team in the world. You know, they have played together for so long and know each other inside and out.

I just felt with Danielle beating Siniakova convincingly this morning that she was seeing things well, and they did, they played extremely well together. I knew they would. I think their games are compatible. Just like Sloane. Sloane played a good match too in the opener.

So it wasn't easy. I mean, I was thinking about it for a long time, actually. I think both would have done well, but my gut told me to go with Danielle.

Like you said, like Taylor said, that match could have gone either way. I'm really proud of both the players and the entire team.

Q. Was there any thought about changing the singles lineup today, given that Kenin played such a long match yesterday?

CAPTAIN KATHY RINALDI: Again, you know, in talking with Sonya, she felt pretty good today. You know, she played so well, and I know Sonya over the years for a long time.

Vondrousova played well. I thought she was getting in there, but she was a little off maybe. Just made some uncharacteristic mistakes, but I felt like she was so close to getting back into that match.

You know, she fought. Just wasn't her day today. Vondrousova played extremely well. So, you know, it's a hard call. I always said as a captain, that's the toughest part is, you know, picking and choosing and doing.

I have known Sonya a long time. I know how tough she is. When she tells me she feels good, you know, I don't think she would tell you otherwise, but I'm sure she was a little tired mentally and physically, but I know how tough she is. She was playing so well. Yeah.

Q. Kathy, just wonder if you can reflect on this week and what memories you'll take away from this last week with the team.

CAPTAIN KATHY RINALDI: (Tearing up.) It's an incredible week, an incredible week. Everybody was selfless. It was all about the players. The private coaches that came in, the staff, it was just an incredible week.

I'll take this week back, I'll take all my ties, always incredible. I loved my position as captain. I'll miss it greatly. But I'm very grateful and very honored that I had the years that I did, and there are so many memories.

My saying was "What happens at Billie Jean King Cup stays at Billie Jean King Cup." So I'm not giving anything away, and that's ours. I feel like that's what's so special.

And the bench. I'm going to have to get one of those for my backyard, a bench, and you guys are going to have to come visit me on the bench. That bench is extra special. On the court and the players off the court on the bench. You know, they fight together.

TAYLOR TOWNSEND: I'm going to remember her face now because you made her cry.

CAPTAIN KATHY RINALDI: She changed the suicides to sangrias.

DANIELLE COLLINS: No, I have to say I think what's most memorable about being on Kathy's teams and having gotten to know Kathy so well over the years, not just as a coach but as a person is, you know, everybody that's played for Kathy feels the same way about Kathy.

Kathy is not just a coach. Kathy has been a true friend to all of us. She's been a role model to all of us Americans, men and women, the memories that we have created over the years, the stories.

CAPTAIN KATHY RINALDI: We've got stories.

DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah, and just the way that she helps us. I had a tough practice this year at French Open coming back from an injury. You know, walk off, you know, bawling my eyes out. Kathy runs me down and spends the next hour with me sitting in the bathroom making sure that I was in a better head space before, you know, leaving my day at the office.

During COVID, with so many of the challenges, you know, I think everyone was facing challenges during that time, but that was definitely a difficult time for me. Kathy was always the first person that made herself available to talk, to be a friend.

You know, that is what separates Kathy. That's why this week has been, you know, emotional for all of us, because we love Kathy so much. She's so near and dear to us. Yeah.

We all feel the same exact way about Kathy, and there has been a lot of tears. If I had it my way, I'd bring back Kathy every tie and I would have her at every tournament and have her be my neighbor. (Laughter.) My roommate, anything.

We just have so much fun together. Yeah. There's never a dull moment with Kathy. The way Kathy looks out for all of us as people, you know, life is not always easy, you know, as athletes or as people in general. We go through ups and downs, and Kathy has been one of the consistent themes and consistent people in our lives.

You know, I just love her to death.

CAPTAIN KATHY RINALDI: I love you too, sweety.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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