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DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS WORLD GROUP FINAL: ARGENTINA v SPAIN


December 3, 2011


Albert Costa

Feliciano Lopez

Fernando Verdasco


SEVILLE, SPAIN

NALBANDIAN‑SCHWANK/Lopez‑Verdasco
6‑4, 6‑2, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English.

Q.  Both Fernando and Feliciano, just your verdict on the match today, please.
FERNANDO VERDASCO:¬† Well, I just think that they were more consistent and more solid than us.¬† You know, the chances that we had‑‑ they really played well.¬† We had a few break points, and they served almost every time to the line or line inside or line outside.¬† We didn't have many chances to even play the points, no?
I think we just tried till the end.  There are just days that the things doesn't go through, and today was one of those days, no?  Because I really did and try and fight all the time, and it was not possible this time.

Q.  Feliciano, we always think of you as one of the great servers in the game.  What happened today?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:¬† Well, I was one of the best; not today.¬† I think I had‑‑ David is probably one of the best returners in the game by now, but it's really obvious that my serve was not working as usual.
This is clay.  It's a different surface, and sometimes for me it's not that easy to win the serve, no, on clay.
Also, on doubles, the game of doubles makes sometimes more difficult for me to win the game, no?  Because you have different angles to play.  Sometimes it's more difficult for me, but overall I think I was not serving good today.

Q.  Question for Albert.  Could you just talk about, considering how Feli and Fernando played against France and only winning three games, sticking with them and maybe not bringing Marcel Granollers into the team and mixing it up, why didn't you decide to change things?  We saw today they weren't there today with Argentina.
CAPTAIN COSTA:  Well, I think after Cordoba they played a few tournaments together and they were trying.  They make the effort to get here as best as possible, and they did the effort.
And now we cannot complain about it.  They did the effort.  They practiced good, and we prepared very good this match, but the result was not good enough.  So that's it.
These two guys here, they won already a lot of very important matches, and the last two, they were not their best ones, but you have to think that Davis Cup is a team and we are here because of them.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions in Spanish.

Q.  For Albert, as for tomorrow, how is David and how is Rafa?  Have they trained today?  Are they well?  Can they play?
CAPTAIN COSTA:  Yes, they can.  They are both perfectly well.  Of course David has done a very soft practice today.  He's spent half an hour in the court, and he's perfectly fit.
He needed today to rest, to recover, and tomorrow he has to play the fifth point.  He will be 100% ready.
And Rafa also practiced very well.  He has practiced more because his match yesterday was shorter.  He has done his practice today.  He's played today.  Tomorrow he will be perfect, perfectly ready to face in the first match.

Q.  For Albert, are you thinking about changing doubles?  The last two matches have not been very good with your doubles team.  For Feli and Fernando, you've played together.  Are you thinking about playing together in doubles match in the circuit?
CAPTAIN COSTA:  In my case, we must focus in trying to finish this year.  If we continue the Davis Cup, we will see.  They are a couple who have always got on very well together.  Maybe they are not in their best moment now, but may I remind you that they have won very important matches.
Apart from that, there are other players in the circuit who are also very good, and in the future they will also have a possibility to be in the team.
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Regarding the match today, we don't have to give you a lot of information.  It wasn't my best day, especially not for me.  My level was not the best I can give.  It's a pity, because we always work hard to give Spain the point.
Today things did not work out as I expected.  On the other hand, I have a clear conscious that we have both done our best to reach here this game in best possible physical condition.  The captain has trusted us, and things didn't work out.
As for next year, it will be a complex year for all of us.¬† We have the Olympic Games next year and the Davis Cup.¬† It's not the case of Fede, but for me I will have to think about the Davis Cup if I want to stay or not.¬† I will need to see if the captain or the future captains‑‑ I don't know if Albert is going to stay as the captain or not.¬† If the potential future captain trusts me, we will see.
We have many individual commitments.  It's not easy to play doubles, and if we can play together, we will, but it's going to be a very complex year to play doubles, honestly.

Q.  One question for the three of you.  No. 1:  It's very difficult to make singles and doubles compatible, but you, as the captain, you know that you have two players who are great doubles players but they also play singles really well.  The Bryans don't play like that.  The Bryans are doubles?
CAPTAIN COSTA:  Yes, I have said this before.  We are in a final.  We are now in December.  The Davis Cup started in March in Belgium.  They played and they won.  Feli won a very important match in Austin.
They can play doubles, they can play singles.  Depending on the surface, they adapt better or worse.  They are very compatible players, and they have showed that in Davis Cup that they do really well.
In the last ties they didn't work well in doubles, and, I mean, winning a match is really difficult. At the end of the day, sometimes things work out and sometimes things don't.
You can't talk about it too much, because if we have made a change, maybe the change we had made wouldn't have worked.  So you can't really think about it too much.  Tomorrow we have Rafa and David.  We have two chances to get the third point for Spain.  That's it.  Nothing else.

Q.  First, apologies for leaving the match, but we received the information that halfway through the match David and Rafa had been subject to a doping test.  I am sorry, but are we becoming mad?  Are we going crazy with the doping tests and this psychosis?
FERNANDO VERDASCO:  They were subject to the tests during the match, and now we have just been told that we have to go to the doping test.  They are waiting for us here, and we have to be taken to the doping tests.
We have talked about this a lot.  We have said that we are happy with the tests and controls so that there is clean sport because nobody wants to play against a doped player, but there are different ways of doing things.
I don't think it's nice that during a game they take the colleagues out to go to a test.  That's in my opinion.  They could wait until the end of the match, and they could have allowed them to cheer us and then do the test afterwards, which is what we are going to do now.  I think they are going a little bit over the top in the way they do things.

Q.  I want Albert, the technical features of your couple for the doubles, is there anything about the clay that makes it difficult for them to play together compared to cement?  Because they are good servers.
CAPTAIN COSTA:  Maybe this is not the surface where their game adapts the best, but may I remind you that they have won matches.  I have seen them in good matches in the circuit where they have played in clay.
When you have to create a game, you need to think about many things, whether they're gonna get injured or not.  These are my players.  I trust them.  Sometimes we are here, they've trained a lot.  They have done things properly, and it didn't work.
That's it.  I don't want to talk about it any further, because if I speculate about somebody else could have played, yes, everybody else could have played but we chose them.  They did their homework to be here, they have done 100%, we can't criticize them for that.
I would have liked them to play better, yes, that's absolutely correct, but these are things as they are.  Sometimes they have won matches that they have done really well, and thanks to that we are here.  So I just wanted to insist on that.
Thanks to them and others, okay?  Not just them.

Q.  As for tomorrow, we know that Rafa is the best in this surface, but do you think that Del Potro's tiredness is something in your favor even before you start the match tomorrow?
CAPTAIN COSTA:¬† It is clear that David and Del Potro played a very good match yesterday, high‑level match.¬† They played for almost five hours running from one side to another, and of course it's not easy to recover 100% from that.
Del Potro must have done his recovery work really well, and tomorrow he will be in good shape.  I don't know if he will be 100% ready; that is something that only the Argentinian team knows.  We are ready to face Del Potro at 100%.

Q.  Albert, I want to ask you a question, because the Argentinian journalists said that the Spanish newspapers talked about Rafa Nadal having an infiltration injection.  Is that true?
CAPTAIN COSTA:  I don't know who told you about that.  Rafa is 100% ready, and tomorrow he will play the game and you will see that he will be perfect tomorrow.

Q.  Feli, at which moment could you feel the pressure the most?  Was it the Spanish crowd, the Argentinian crowd, or the opponents, or the gesture of anger by Fede as an urge for you to improve your performance?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  I felt the pressure during the whole game.  The crowd was with us all the time.  We were playing at home.  We had the crowd in our favor.  If the crowd has to play a role, it's a role in our favor, not against us.
Fede has been very positive.  He was trying to cheer me on.  But today was one of those days that was not a good day.  I didn't feel comfortable with the serve and with the return.  It wasn't one of my best days.
It's been my worst game at the Davis Cup, by large.  These things happen.  We have to accept them, and that's it.  The only comfort I get is that thanks to the point I won in Austin, we are here.
And today, I can't torture myself.  Things didn't work out.  We have to trust David and Rafa tomorrow to give us good news, and thanks to them we can lift the silver cup, as it has happened before.  This is it.

Q.  My question is for the three of you, especially for the captain.  I can see you're pessimistic.  Do you think that this defeat is having too much of an impact on you?
CAPTAIN COSTA:  I am not pessimistic at all.  You are the ones who are trying to make me pessimistic.  I am not.  Tomorrow I have Rafa and David, and we're going to win one of those two points.
We're optimistic.  We know it's going to be difficult.  Each match is very hard, so I have the same discourse today as yesterday and as last week.  I knew that this was going to be tough and I knew this was going to be complex.
Maybe we could have lost David's match yesterday and won the doubles today.  You never know.  What we have to do is give 100% of ourselves, to have a united team.  Tomorrow we will come out to the court to give the best of us, 100% of us.
We will make it go forward.  But it's going to be very tough, and these matches can also be lost.  So we are playing maximum level, and winning is very difficult.

Q.  Albert, in the first set you complained because the Argentinian crowd was cheering.  Do you think that the Argentinian crowd cheering had any effect in the win of the Argentinian players?
CAPTAIN COSTA:  Well, I hope tomorrow that the Spanish fans are with us 100%.  We need them.  Argentinian fans are cheering a lot, singing a lot, and it works very well for the Argentinian players.
But we are playing in Spain, we are playing at home, and we need our players to feel the crowd behind them, supporting them.  We need to see the crowd tomorrow.  We need to see that we are playing in Spain.  Tomorrow we have to get the most.
FERNANDO VERDASCO:  I want to say something.  As Feli said earlier, he hasn't had a good day, but he has tried his best.  It's very tough when you have a bad day, especially at the Davis Cup final, which is so important when you want to do your best.
For me, Feli, as you very well know, he is like a brother to me.  I know that he's having a really tough time.  So I would like to ask all Spaniards to give him an applause, because he has been fighting a lot.  Even though things didn't work out, I'm sure that he wanted to do his best.  I think he deserves an applause. 
(Applause.)

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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