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April 18, 2014

Mary Joe Fernandez

Madison Keys

Christina McHale

Sloane Stephens


THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for the U.S. team.  Please speak into the microphone as this is being transcribed.

Q.  Mary Joe, can you speak to how the draw turned out and your thoughts going into tomorrow?
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ:  Yeah, I mean, the draw is a draw.  Not much we can do about it.  To me doesn't really matter playing first or second or who is up, who's not.
It's taking each match one at a time and going from there.  But it's a good lineup.  They're tough matches.  I'm excited to start.
I think everybody is ready.  We've had really good practices and everybody is ready to go.

Q.  You've been at the arena all week.  Can you speak to your impressions over there and what you expect for the weekend?
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ:  They have had, like I said, really good practices.  The arena is really nice.  Hoping to get a really good crowd.  I know Mary brought out some cow bells for everybody, so we're going to be hopefully making some noise and getting some great support.
It's always unique when you play for your country, because every point seems like a really big point.
Especially when you're winning them you feel that momentum going in your favor.  So hopefully we'll get a lot of support tomorrow.

Q.  Our team is young, and I know they're going to do great.  Tell us how they've they really matchup.
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ:  Against the other ones?

Q.¬† Uh‑huh.
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ:  Well, I think on our side, Sloane and Madison, they both possess power and can be aggressive; they can defend as well.
Cornet and Garcia have a little bit different styles.  Garcia plays a little bit more straightforward; takes the ball earlier.
Cornet is a little bit loopier off the forehand and aggressive off the backhand.
Again, it's about taking care of what we can control on our side of the court and adjusting, if need be.

Q.  Sloane, can you speak to your experience in the Wold Group playoff last year and how that may help you this time around?
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, last year was the first singles tie that I played, so I was a bit nervous.  It was a lot of pressure.  Obviously Venus and Serena were on the team, so a lot more pressure.
I'm excited to be here, excited to be with the girls, and excited for a great weekend.  Hopefully get out there and kick some butt.  No offense to the other team.
We're really excited to play.  Like we've been saying, Teamwork makes a dream work.  We're just going to go with that and do our best.

Q.  Christina, your doubles partner is in transit.  How does that adjust for and what preparations do you and Lauren have to make over the next 24 to 48 hours?
CHRISTINA McHALE:  Yeah, I mean, we were bummed that V was unable to play, but we're really happy that Lauren is able to fill in.  I'll probably practice with her, with Lauren, in the morning tomorrow.
Yeah, we will just get right into it and just be there for the team and just have some good practices this weekend and then hopefully we'll be ready.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions?  We'll hear from Madison real quick, to.  (Laughter.)
So you're playing in the your second consecutive tie.  What did you take away from the last experience to help you tomorrow?
MADISON KEYS:  Yeah, we played in Cleveland last time.  Obviously Italy played very well.  I was definitely nervous it being my first Fed Cup.
So just a little bit more comfortable this time.  Yeah, hopefully we go out and we all do really well.
THE MODERATOR:  Any other last questions?

Q.  Follow up for Madison.  I believe you haven't faced either of your opponents that you'll see this weekend.  Is it better to have previous experience against them or tougher?
MADISON KEYS:¬† I mean, I think we've both been ‑‑ well, both matchups, they've both been on the tour for a while; we've practiced together; we've been around.
It's not like I don't know how that he play and all that.  I don't think it's a huge factor.  Just treating it as a match up against inside other player.
THE MODERATOR:  Any other questions?
Okay.  Thank you guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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