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November 23, 2023

Leon Smith

Cameron Norrie

Team Great Britain

Press Conference


6-4, 6-4

Team Great Britain - 0

Team Serbia - 2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Leon, just give us your reflections on the tie as a whole.

CAPTAIN LEON SMITH: Yeah, it's disappointing. You know, I think we all spoke pretty openly and knew that obviously the first match was going to be important.

You know, and then obviously when that one's lost, it went over to Cam and I thought Cam did a bloody good job. Played well, good match.

It's disappointing. It feels like a lot of prep for one day of matches, where in obviously the group stages you have chances to work your way back in or whatever. That's what knockout tennis is. Happens with these guys every week on tour.

But I think overall loved the year. I think Cameron reminded me last night, Let's think about where we were, going to Bogota, going through that, then going to Manchester.

Look, we've lost in the quarterfinals here, but we've won four, lost one this year. It's a good record. It's a good year.

Q. Leon, Novak Djokovic was very unhappy with some fans in his post on-court interview. Do you think more should be done perhaps to show more respect to players when they're playing? Do you think we should look at the policy of bringing drums into Davis Cup ties?

CAPTAIN LEON SMITH: I mean, again, I can only go on the ties we have had for, you know, as long as I have been involved. The best ones are the noisy ones. You know, when it's flat and dead and no one's clapping, no music, it's pretty boring.

That's one of the things that's good about Davis Cup and the team competition that actually you're kind of meant to make noise. And there is always, whether there is a bit that goes over, comments, I could hear a couple. I don't think it's that bad.

You know, so no, I would hate to see it quietening down, because there's enough quiet tennis as it is. If anything, that atmosphere is good for us.

Q. Cam, I'd like to ask you about the mindset before playing Novak today but on any occasion. Do you go into that with the belief that you're going to win that match?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I mean, I had to today. At the end of the day, he's a human being, and obviously he was really in form and was playing unbelievable.

For me, he served really well today, and he served really well last week as well. He didn't give me too much. Yeah, I was just trying to go in and challenge him. I think I definitely brought a much better level than I had the last end of my year, so I was kind of proud of how I competed, but it was still tough to lose that one. But I could see him hurting a little bit down at the other end, so that was good and a good test for my game.

Yeah, disappointed to lose that one. I knew it was going to be a tough match today going in, so yeah, I had to believe as much as I could, but I was impressed with how he served.

Q. A question for Leon. On Saturday we will have Sinner against Djokovic. If you would have been in the place of Filippo Volandri, the captain of Italy, what would you say, would have said to Jannik Sinner to advise, to charge him?

CAPTAIN LEON SMITH: Well, he's done a pretty good job recently, so I think, you know, he's had two matches against him. I don't think there is much more to learn. It's very recent for them. He's got certainly one match worked really well for him.

So, look, I don't think they need my advice. I think they've got pretty good people around them.

Q. Cam, forgive me, if I'm wrong, but were you out to watch Jack's match at all or were you out courtside?


Q. Can you just talk us through the decision behind that? Often players come out for the first set and go warm up. Were you watching backstage? Talk us through what was going on.

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I usually don't watch too much. Yeah, I was, yeah, just was getting ready for my match. I knew it was an important one.

I usually watch one or two games, and this time I had to get some food and just get ready.

Yeah, I thought Jack played a good match. He's been really in form. He's had a great end of the year. He was chopping me up in practice all week, and he was really ready. And Kecmanovic was really too good and played really solid, gave him nothing.

It was a tough match. But definitely Jack can learn from that, for sure.

Q. Leon, I think there were about 5,000 British fans here today. It felt like a kind of proper Davis Cup tie. Does that show that maybe potentially this format you think could work, or still more work needed?

CAPTAIN LEON SMITH: I have said before, it's quite difficult for us to gauge on that because we keep getting, whether it's us hosting it or coming here as a lot of Brits, we had a great experience in Colombia. Even though we had a handful of fans there, it was still a great atmosphere. We have been pretty fortunate that we have had really good experiences each and every time.

You know, I listened to, might have been Russell's show the other night, I think it had Feli and Mark Woodforde on it and they were discussing it. I think they kept using the word "stability," and I think that's probably right. There are conversations now the ATP are involved and will be able to wear the players' hat quite a lot.

But I sense it's more tinkering and evolution than either going back or changing it completely. You know, I think there is probably ways it can evolve for most of the players' schedule, I think, first and foremost.

But, you know, we still had a great time. We loved it.

Q. Leon, I think there was quite a lot going on right at the end of the match with the Novak stuff. You seemed to have a bit of a conversation with him at the net? Is that right? What did you say to him? Can you be clear? Was there anything, like, between the two benches? I didn't see you shake hands with Troicki.

CAPTAIN LEON SMITH: No, I shook hands with Troicki, said well done, said well done to Novak. Look, he played a great match. No, there was zero animosity with us.

In fact, I think all of us went around there, their entire coaching team, shook hands. You know, no, we've got nothing but respect for that.

Look, they beat us today. Their guys played great. We'd love to have gone through but we haven't. No, there was no animosity. I think he was just a bit pissed about a bit of the noise coming from behind. Like I say, I don't think it was that bad.

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