U.S. Fed Cup v Sweden: Serena, Venus, U.S. Pre-match Press Conference
by Staff | April 17th, 2013, 4:25 pm
  • No Comments

An interview with

USA FED CUP TEAM

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the

U.S. Fed Cup team.

Q. Talk a little bit about being here. It’s

a playoff tie as opposed to a tie to advance.

How does that maybe change things, or

doesn’t change things.

MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Sandy, people

have been asking me that. It actuality doesn’t

change thinking. I mean, every time we have a

Fed Cup tie we’re here to win, whether it’s in the

main group or last year we had to win two to get

back in the World Group, and this one we have to

win to stay in it.

So we’re approaching it the same way.

You know, we’re here to get those three matches

under our belt first and go from there.

Doesn’t matter what division or what the

purpose is. Objective is to win.

Q. Mary Joe, can you talk a little bit

about how you chose this team, which is a little

bit different than the last team that you had?

MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Yeah, I mean,

you always try to go by who is playing well. You

look at the rankings, the surface, the matchups.

All the players on this team have been on

my teams before and they’ve all played a match,

so I think that always helps. You look a little bit for

experience.

And playing at home is huge and having

that proximity. So having Serena around the

corner, I’m from down here, there is a training

center for the USTA in Boca, so it was great.

Sloane and sometimes Varvara spend time here

as well as the training centers in New York and

California.

But it’s great. We have four players in the

top 30. There is a lot of depth on this team.

Q. Serena and Venus, talk about having

this match, as Mary Joe alluded to, at home

essentially? Not so much nationally, but

literally you can sleep in your own bed at night.

Speak about the advantage of that.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We love playing at

home, of course. So this is our third tie in Delray,

and I’m sure there will be more that will come here.

It’s like awesome for us. So, yeah, that’s

about it.

Q. Serena, anything to add? Any Heat

playoff games or anything to go to over the

weekend?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No.

MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: I didn’t even

think about that. Are there any?

Q. Theoretically. Schedule comes out

later.

MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Might have to

look at that.

Q. Overall you guys are the heavy

favorites against the Swedish team – I guess

we’re the ones deciding that – but they have

some spunk.

MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Definitely.

Q. What is the scouting report for this

team to be victorious this weekend?

MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Well, you can

never overlook anyone. We’ve been the

underdogs many times and have come through

with the big upset. Fed Cup, any time you play for

a team it’s different. The pressures are different.

Someone that you expect to win might deal with

the pressure differently.

And sometimes someone who plays for

the country sometimes plays better than when on

the tour.

It can vary. I think we’re really aware of

that and that you really have to focus and come in

treating it as huge match, whether you’re the

favorite or not.

We know the girls, their top two, pretty

well. They’ve had good wins. They can play big

tennis and worry you. We just have to be solid and

stick to what we do well.

Hopefully that’s going to carry us to the

finish line.

Q. Sloane, what does it mean to you to

be part of this squad?

SLOANE STEPHENS: Awesome. I

mean, thanks again to Mary Joe for picking me.

But, I’m a big team player, and I love being

on a team. I’ve never lost a Fed Cup tie before, so

I think…

MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: (Knocking on

wood.)

SLOANE STEPHENS: Yeah, knock on

wood. No, I’m just excited to be here. And

obviously with a great team I think it’ll be a good

week. We’ll hopefully get the W.

Q. Question for Sloane. There has

been a lot written over the past few months

about yourself in the spotlight, do you enjoy it

or not. I know you worked hard for many years

to get where you are. How do you feel about

the attention you’re getting now? Is it

something you’re starting to get used to?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I mean, it’s okay.

Yeah, it’s not that great. But, um, I think this week

I’m just here to play Fed Cup and play for my

country and help the girls win.

I think all that aside, I’m just going to go

out and play my best and do my best this

weekend.

Q. Sloane, what do you get out of this,

working with your teammates here and the

team scenario? How do you get better this

week?

SLOANE STEPHENS: I think we all push

each other. Obviously playing with Venus and

Serena and Varvara, we all want to make each

other better. Just being around each other it’s just

a really good vibe.

We’re obviously all looking to improve, and

I think it’s a great thing just to be around these girls

and have a good week of practice.

Q. Is it a significantly different feeling

than during the rest of the season when

everyone is out for themselves?

MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: You know

what, I think the last few years, this new generation

of players are used to practicing with each other

and watching each other play. At the Olympics

Venus was out there watching Varvara’s match. It

motivates and encourages everyone.

But you’re right. On a weekly basis you’re

out for yourself and that’s a different feeling.

These weeks are unique, and that’s why

everybody enjoy them so much.

Q. Serena, Mary Joe talked about the

different pressures of playing on a team. Do

you feel a different pressure playing for Team

USA?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you really

want to be able to win. I think in general I feel a

little bit of pressure when I’m playing for the team

because I want to be able to do really well. You’re

not just playing for yourself. You don’t want to let

your friends and your team down.

Q. Serena, do you have a cold?

Sounding a little hoarse there.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don’t have a

cold.

Q. Varvara, you’re the person that’s

chosen to be an American. The others were

kind of born that way. Talk about what playing

Fed Cup for the U.S. means to you?

VARVARA LEPCHENKO: You know, it’s

definitely a huge honor for me to be picked on the

team like that and to be able to practice with all

these girls and to be around and learning. It’s a

great learning experience is a well.

I’m just happy to be here. I’ll try to help as

much as I can to win this tie.

Q. Mary Joe, do you have any feeling of

how you’re going to do the lineup yet?

MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: You know me

by now, Sandy.

Q. I have to ask, though.

MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: We’ll know

Friday morning what the lineup will be.

Thank you, everyone.



Also Check Out:
Serena Williams Lands In Bastad, It’s Her First Trip To Sweden [Video]
Wozniacki on Serena Williams, Practicing, Giving Little
Is Robin Soderling’s 2012 Tennis Season Over?
Fair or Foul? Caroline Wozniacki Imitates Rafael Nadal’s Presser Cramping [Video]
Henin dominates Serena, but watch out for Venus

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

Comments are closed.

Top story: Davis Cup Final Preview: Why I Think Roger Federer's Swiss Team Comes Up Just Short Against France
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Nov 17 WTA - Nov 17
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
10 David Ferrer10 Dominika Cibulkova
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Shop | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2014 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.