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April 20, 2014

Mary Joe Fernandez

Madison Keys

Sloane Stephens


6‑2, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the U.S. team.

Q.  Mary Joe, good effort.  You have to be proud of what the girls put out out there today.

Q.  Talk about where it kind of leaves you.
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ:  It leaves us fighting back to get into the World Group next year.  The girls did great.  They had great attitudes.  They worked really hard.
Nearly a great comeback there being down a set and 4‑Love.  That's all you can ask for:  that determination and desire and will to keep going.
They were too good.

Q.  What went into the thinking of changing up the original doubles lineup?
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ:  We never really know who the doubles lineup is going to be.  We try to put all the names on the first day.
Trying to go with the players that were playing into the competition and had big weapons, trying to impose their game on the French.  You know they started doing a really good job midway through the second set to feel their presence.
Got to play more doubles, got to play together a little more often.  It was a great effort to fight back.

Q.  Madison, just a little bit about your singles match, how you felt out there in comparison to yesterday.
MADISON KEYS:  I mean, she played really well.  She's been playing well all weekend; she played well last week.
So, yeah, she's been playing really well.  I wasn't moving nearly as well.  Yeah, I mean, there was a couple points here and there that I think really dictated the match.

Q.  Madison, talk about coming out after the singles match.  Is it hard to get going?  You lose a match, and ten minutes later you're going back out there.  Was that difficult?
MADISON KEYS:  I mean, yeah.  Not very often do you finish a match and go out again 20 minutes later.
But at the same time, I was really excited and pumped up and trying to win the match.  Yeah, so I was a little bit more tired, but at the same time was still moving and trying to stay going.

Q.  Sloane, did it take you guys a while to get going?  We thought once you got rolling you were in pretty good shape.
SLOANE STEPHENS:  Yeah, it's always difficult playing a team with one player playing extremely well and the other person is tagging along and feeding off her energy.
They both were playing well, and me and Madison, we did our best and tried to be as aggressive as we could in the second set.
It worked for a bit, but, I mean, they were just too good.

Q.  Sloane and Madison, when you haven't played together in doubles before, what goes into trying to mesh that first time out?
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ:  It's about experience, you know, and trying to set each other up as much as you can and communicate.  I think they did a good job of communicating well and try to have set plays.
Just seemed to be answers for everything early on.  It was closer.  The second set I felt like if we get maybe that hold at 6‑5 and squeak it out, then the momentum shifts dramatically.
But it's all about playing together, communicating, and knowing each other's strengths.

Q.  Mary Joe, you were sitting on the bench, and you rarely see such a young player and somebody making a Fed Cup debut come out and win three points.  How impressed are you with what you see in Caroline?
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ:  Yeah, I like her game a lot.  I've liked it for a long time.  She's much more disciplined now with her shot selection.  She's a great athlete.
She didn't miss many returns today in the doubles, and in the singles she was really aggressive.  So I like her game.  I've always liked her game.  Now it's all coming together.
THE MODERATOR:  Any other questions?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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