VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT: Team Europe Press Conference After Winning 2018 Laver Cup

Q. I have to ask Roger this. You’re such a great traditionalist. There is always talk about changing the scoring system, things like that. These were very exciting matches with the match tiebreaker. Has anyone changed his mind about whether it’s good and possibly even useful on regular tour events or anything like that?
ROGER FEDERER: We haven’t talked about it. I’m not a big fan of changing things around too much, as you know. I think things are okay the way they are on the tour. I don’t think there needs much tinkering, you know.

I think for an event like this it’s okay, because the idea was that the players wouldn’t have to work, you know, to the edge so they come out of the weekend completely broken.

If you have a third-set tiebreaker, again, you’re talking about the day is going to finish so late, the matches are so much longer. That’s why I think it should stay the way it is at slams, at Masters 1000s, and here, as well. Here it keeps the matches shorter, more exciting, and it’s a different concept, really, entirely.

Q. Novak?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. Yeah, I agree with everything Roger said. I think there is so much going on now in the last, you know, five years with new events coming up and changes and obviously the format of the Davis Cup. Obviously the whole, you know, general aspect of kind of bringing in the change is positive as long as, you know, it doesn’t disrupt the tradition of how this sport was built and developed. So I guess, you know, not every change is great in its implementation, so it does really depend.

Q. What did it feel like at that last point when you sealed it for Team Europe?
SASCHA ZVEREV: It was pretty good until I had about, you know, 600 kilos of weight on me. I was, just, like, Just get the hell off me (smiling).

No, it felt good. Obviously it was an amazing feeling. You know, as I said, our team is amazing. Throughout the whole weekend we had such great energy, you know, on the court, off the court. The guys were watching, as well, always supporting. It felt special.

It felt special to kind of clinch it for us guys and for Europe. It’s a very special event for all of us. You know, it’s great how it ended for me, as well.

Q. Congratulations to everybody on the victory. A question for Novak, since you’re here first time, what were your impressions about the Cup in Chicago? Was this something that surprised you the last few days overall? Was it different than you expected?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I was looking forward really to spend some quality time with the guys here on this table. As Sascha was saying, it was great energy, friendly. I got to know everyone and I guess strengthen the relationship that we already had. Of course respect is always there.

We will still stay rivals, but at the same time, we were, you know, in this unique concept, teammates. We managed to clinch it, and it was something we were hoping for.

ROGER FEDERER: Are we not going on vacation together?

SASCHA ZVEREV: Let’s go (smiling).

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As long as you pay.

ROGER FEDERER: I can. That’s the problem. (Laughter.) You can, too, though.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: We can chip in.

SASCHA ZVEREV: The further the table goes this way the less we can pay, actually. Keep it at that side.

Q. Roger, Laver Cup doesn’t have ranking points, doesn’t have the history of Davis Cup. Stats aren’t going to be kept tomorrow in a lot of record books. Why the heck do you think it’s caught on so incredibly well? And when you and Tony or your team came up with this, did you ever imagine it would click?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know. I just wanted everybody to have really a nice time, a good time, celebrate tennis, give the legends a platform, have the young guys rub shoulders with great players, future legends, legends already like Borg, McEnroe, and Laver, and having other legends around, as well.

It’s so helpful and it motivates you so much as a player to know its history a little bit, because maybe the future of tennis, they want to find out more through an event like this.

I was educated very much on everything that has happened in the past. I don’t know everything, but a lot, and I feel like I was very lucky to have good people around me who told me who was important in tennis, who did what. That was sort of the idea and that fans would come in and say, All right, we’ll have a great weekend.

There is great things to do around it, as well. There is good catering or whatever it may be for sponsors and VIPs, what they are looking for, and they get to see the best players in the world play on three straight days. Because I think that’s also one of the things in tennis we struggle with, to know exactly if you buy a ticket right now at any event, middle week, you don’t know if you’re actually going to see any one of us unless we are going to win maybe a couple of rounds. I think it’s just a hard sell for our sport sometimes.

And through the Laver Cup, we tried to address that and figure that out. We tried as best as possible. Unfortunately Sascha was too good today, so he didn’t allow this man to rock it and win it for us all, which we would have loved to see in a way. That was the concept at the end of the day, and Sascha is apologizing right now behind my back to Novak, which I like.

Q. I’d like you all, starting with Jeremy, all the way up to Björn hiding behind the cup there, just your highlight, what your highlight was in the last couple of days.
JEREMY CHARDY: I mean, they followed me the whole week (laughter). Maybe you think Roger was the leader, but I was. So it’s just simple, the victories. You can ask them.

No, seriously I love so much to be on the team with them. They are amazing players on court. They are one of the best players in the world. Off-court they are super nice. I had amazing time with them. I’m really lucky to spend this week with them. I enjoy 100%.

KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, very much similar Jeremy, I’m sure everyone is going to say the same. Just getting to know the guys a lot better has been enjoyable. Just off the court, the joking around, the support, it’s been really good.

So, yeah, it’s good to have this week. Whenever you’re on the tour, you don’t speak to the guys like we did this week. It’s been very refreshing to, you know, to get to know the other guys better.

DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, you cannot imagine how, for me, I mean, how good it is to spend time with legends and activities, future legends, just amazing feeling. Of course we won the trophy, but I think I won more than the trophy this week.

It’s a great experience for me. I hope I will continue with that memories and I will fight to be in the team next year.

SASCHA ZVEREV: I mean, I enjoyed my lob at 5-7 in the third set, to be honest.

ROGER FEDERER: That is just so selfish. Incredible.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Way to go, team player.

SASCHA ZVEREV: I’m selfish. I enjoyed Kyle singing, to be honest, to you two. Come on, Kyle.

KYLE EDMUND: Tonight.

SASCHA ZVEREV: You guys have to be there tonight, then.

ROGER FEDERER: It’s obviously hard to pick one, because we had — and I think there is a lot more to come, Jeremy, right? More to come tonight?

JEREMY CHARDY: Yeah, for sure.

ROGER FEDERER: We will follow you. For me, honestly on a serious note, I have enjoyed spending time with Novak. I said it in the beginning that, you know, we have had an intense rivalry over the years. I always thought we got along well and respect each other on and off the court. But being able to support him, him supporting me, going through that process and talking tactics, talking team, talking who should play and just seeing what a leader also Novak can be, it’s been really nice and refreshing for me, I think.

I won’t say it’s going to rejuvenate our rivalry, and I hope we will play many more times, but it’s been nice on many levels. Just being on the bench with the guys, David, Grigor, whoever it was, Jeremy, Sascha, Kyle, and Björn, as well, and Thomas, it’s been wonderful to spend time with them just along the way, because you go through these ups and downs and you have to pace yourself and then you have to pump everybody up.

It’s been a wonderful week, and the fans have been most amazing. I’d like to give them a big shout-out, because without them we would not be spraying Champagne.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Absolutely. It’s hard to pick a moment or a highlight. I mean, as everyone was mentioning, I think every single moment that we spend with each other on and off the court was quite refreshing and was quite interesting and exciting, because we got to know each other.

I think, you know, having a legend, Björn Borg, sitting on the bench and having Roger and the other guys supporting you after every single point, standing up and cheering you on and having John McEnroe on the opposite bench, you know, it’s quite unique.

It’s almost like a perfect tennis dream, you know. You know, I have experienced a lot, and I have been really blessed to play this sport in high levels for so many years, but to talk with Roger about different things related to tennis, life, you know, family, football, and the other guys just joking around and dancing to Grigor’s music, you know, enjoying Kyle’s singing and following Jeremy everywhere he goes, yeah, it was a lot of fun. I really hope that we can have another chance to get together.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I’m last again. I run out of words. You said everything I wanted to say.

But I think this week was a true privilege, first of all, to be beside all these guys. It was a true definition of a team. Again, you don’t see that very often.

For me, I cherish all these moments, being beside all these guys. You know, again, like sharing moments, you know, completely off the tennis, for me, it’s unbelievable. I think everybody’s IQ for tennis is pretty good. It’s easy to talk tennis, but it’s not so easy to open up on a personal level. I feel this week has brought us very close, and that was the tradition of a team spirit.

Of course, again, all the support from, I mean, everybody, the fans, the sponsors, without that, without them, we wouldn’t be able to have that event.

I mean, I feel truly blessed and very grateful for everything that obviously we have achieved as a team. It’s been a privilege this week. It’s going to go down in history.

CAPTAIN BJORN BORG: For me, this is the most important week of the year. Maybe everybody doesn’t understand that, but, you know, for me, watching or following the tennis for many years — I mean, I had a career. I was happy. That’s done. But to watch all these professional guys means a lot to me.

For me to have a chance to spend time together with them, it’s unbelievable. Roger called me and asked me if I would be the captain of the Team Europe. I said, of course, yes, because I’m very proud to be a captain and very happy, because it’s an honor for me just to get to know these guys.

Before, it was completely different. I think Laver Cup, with these guys here, I believe and I think that they never felt something what they are doing right now, because they are playing — they could play Davis Cup or Nation Cup or whatever Cup they play. But to bring the best players to one competition, that’s very real. You can do that. And that’s what they did to Laver Cup.

So I think this is going to be a huge success in the future. Another thing, we have so much fun together, too. I mean, that’s very important. Outside the court, you have to laugh and to get the feeling together, to get that team spirit. When we are on the court, we are very serious. We know what to do. Everybody’s involved with the matches.

I mean, it’s unbelievable feeling. You know, next year in Geneva, Switzerland, they are not going to take the Cup from us. I’m telling you. We are going to keep the Cup, believe me. I’m very happy. It’s great.

ROGER FEDERER: Let me just tell you one thing. I think I can speak on behalf of all the players, we love you, Björn. Monique, you’re the MVP.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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