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July 5, 2011

Albert Costa

David Ferrer

Marcel Granollers

Feliciano Lopez

Fernando Verdasco


THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us for the predraw press conference with the Spanish Davis Cup team. We'll open it up for questions.

Q. Do you know who is playing what yet or can you share that with us?
CAPTAIN COSTA: Well, maybe I know, but I'm not going to share with you (laughter).
Let's wait till Thursday, yeah.

Q. Have you gotten used to the surface already, now that you've practiced on it, since it was a big deal before?
CAPTAIN COSTA: The question is for me? Well, the guys are practicing very good. The court is a bit fast. But I think the ball is very light and the conditions are quick.
But is normal they choose what they want. They feel good with these conditions. We are trying to practice every day, trying to get used. The guys are doing a very good job.
We will be ready for Friday.

Q. Feliciano, could you take us back to the Wimbledon victory over Andy, just sort of tell us what was working for you that day, how close to your best tennis that was?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Well, I think I played great match against Andy in Wimbledon. He beat me six or seven times before this match. I say already I played one of the best matches in a Grand Slam ever.
But, you know, here is a totally different court. In case I have to play against Andy, going to be a totally different match. Conditions are different. The atmosphere of Davis Cup is always different. It make you feel under pressure. So you never know.
But, of course, if you take this match, I think it's one of my best matches in a Grand Slam ever.

Q. David, how important is your effort at Wimbledon going to be for this weekend, the confidence that would bring you on a pretty fast court?
DAVID FERRER: Well, I think is totally different, no? I think we played one week ago in grass court. It's important to won matches because the players take confidence.
But now in this moment, the court is a bit faster. So we will try the best. But, of course, is important to won matches for the confidence for the tie. But is different. In this moment, is very different, the court.

Q. Albert, the Bryan brothers just won their second Wimbledon. What is it that you think makes them so effective as a doubles team?
CAPTAIN COSTA: Well, they have won already a lot of Grand Slams. They know each other very well. They are very specialists in playing doubles. They are twins, so they know each other very good.
They have played like, I don't know, a thousand matches in his career, so they know. They are very competitive. Well, they are one of the greatest teams ever, no?
It will be difficult to beat them. But, of course, every match is different. Davis Cup is also different competition. We will try to do our best to try to beat them.

Q. Feliciano, how does this court compare with the grass of Wimbledon? Is it faster? How do the bounces compare?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Well, I think the grass is a unique surface. There's no comparison between the grass and any other surface in the tour.
So I think this court is a little bit faster than normal. But still we can play from the baseline. It's a court that everybody can play, I think. But compared to the grass, it's totally different surface.

Q. Feliciano and David, I was curious how the team reacted once Rafael announced he wasn't going to be playing in Davis Cup. How big a letdown was that?
DAVID FERRER: Well, of course, he's been important in this team, no? He's the No. 1, No. 2, one week ago.
But I think we have a really good team. We have confidence. We will be with confidence in this tie. Of course, it's going to be a very difficult tie, but we will try the best in this tie.

Q. Albert, what are your impressions of playing in Texas? I know you have not been here long. What did you think when you heard you would be playing here?
CAPTAIN COSTA: Well, the thoughts were good. We had a lot of very good comments about the city. The city is nice. It's a bit hot. At this time of the year, it's not easy to go to walk around outside.
Well, the facilities are great. The stadium is good. The hotel is fantastic. We are very comfortable here.

Q. Along those lines, how has your stay been in Austin? Have you felt welcomed here?
CAPTAIN COSTA: Yeah, we felt really, really welcomed. When we arrived to the airport, we had some Spanish fans waiting for us. It was really, really impressive.
Well, this afternoon we go to the City Hall. They are giving us like a present or something. We feel very, very comfortable, very happy to be here.
We hope that this is going to be till the end of our stay here special.

Q. Albert, with this being Andy's hometown now, how does that play into what you guys need to do to win the matches?
CAPTAIN COSTA: What we have to do to win the matches?

Q. With this being Andy's hometown, the support he has, how do you combat that?
CAPTAIN COSTA: Well, it's always difficult to play outside home. We know the public is very, very important.
But is also a big pressure for him, to play with his public, his people, his country. I think, well, is going to be difficult matches. I really trust in these four mens. I know they are going to give a hundred percent in the court. For sure we will try to give our maximum level and we'll see what happens.

Q. Feliciano, one more question about the Wimbledon victory over Andy. Did you learn something in that about how to play him or perhaps how to match up your game regardless of opponent?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: We play a lot of times together. Last month we played twice. We played once in Queen's. I lost it. Even though I lost this match, I learned some good things, no, because I was very close. That was the closest match I played against Andy before beat him in Wimbledon.
So taking these two matches, I think I learn something. But, of course, is going to be very difficult if I play Andy. He's a great player. We play seven or eight times, I only beat him once. That means it's going to be a very difficult match anyway.

Q. How would playing him on this surface be different than playing him on grass?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: As I said before, grass is a totally different surface. Is going to be a completely different match. We have two or three tournaments a year on grass. When you play on grass, everything is different.

Q. (Question regarding Davis Cup being special.)
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Davis Cup is always special. We played two times with me and the team. Like Albert said before, always when you play at home, you are favorite. When you play out of home, they are favorite. When we play in Winston-Salem, we lost. When we played in Spain, Madrid, we won.
We will see. I think is a very difficult tie this weekend, but I think we will have our chances, and we will try to get them and try to win, of course.

Q. How does the pressure of playing Davis Cup for your country compare to playing individually in Grand Slam events?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, when you play with Davis Cup, you always know that you are playing for your country. You have all your country behind your back watching you and supporting you. You want to give 100%.
You need to also have experience. I think it's very important in Davis Cup because at the beginning, at least myself, and I see other players, when they don't have confidence, it's tough, no, to know how to handle that pressure and that situation.
But when you have that experience, I think it's a great motivation and it's unbelievable feeling to play Davis Cup.
MARCEL GRANOLLERS: Yes, is very special to play for your country. You play for the people. Is special to be here for me because is my third time in Davis Cup. I'm very happy to be with this team, the players. For me, it's a great experience to be here in U.S.

Q. (Question regarding having fun.)
FELICIANO LOPEZ: What fun? We are practicing morning and afternoon. We don't have much to do.

Q. Jim Courier said earlier today he thought the Davis Cup was undervalued in the United States. Do you feel the Davis Cup is more important to Spain than it is to the U.S.?
CAPTAIN COSTA: We don't know how it is in the U.S. Of course, in Spain it's very important. The last 10 years we won four times. It's been getting very popular, very famous in Spain. We have a lot of supporters and the people follow a lot the Davis Cup in Spain.
We don't know what's happening here in U.S.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: I think also here they have like NBA and NFL and all these leagues that is so big. And in Spain, it's soccer. And after soccer, it's tennis and basketball right now. I think that's the difference, too.

Q. What are the perks if you win, that go with winning? What are the fringe benefits you get in Spain?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: You don't really get many. I think that in Spain we won four times over the last 10 years. Many people got used to it. It's like we need to win every year. So last year when we lost, they had like tough comments about us, no?
Of course, it's not easy. It's very difficult to win the Davis Cup. I think was great to win four times in 10 years. I think the people, when you have a team like we were in the 10 years, winning four times, or Nadal winning almost every tournament, when you don't win in Spain, it's like you are so bad.
The benefits are not so big.

Q. They don't throw you a parade when you win Davis Cup?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: No, of course all the times we won and I was in the team, it was unbelievable like the support and the crowd and the people supporting us. It was unbelievable.
But I just said that we cannot win always. When we don't win, we need to have the support also.

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