‘Team events are so much more fun to win!” Fritz, Tiafoe, Pegula and Keys United in cup glory

The press conference after the United States won the first-ever United Cup was a riotous one

USA celebrate United Cup 2023 AI/Reuters/Panoramic

When Taylor Fritz won his singles match against Matteo Berrettini to seal the United Cup for the United States, he was thronged by his team-mates.

However, he was greeted rather too vociferously by Frances Tiafoe.

“it was awesome until Frances head-butted me,” an elated Fritz said in the post-tournament press conference.

“I have a bump on my head,” confessed his team-mate.

Taylor Fritz is embraced by Frances Tiafoe (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

“It was super exciting,” continued Fritz, “just like team events are always so much more fun when you win, because it’s so much more — it’s just so much more exciting, there’s so much more emotions, everyone. You can celebrate with your whole team as opposed to just celebrating by yourself.

“It was great. As soon as I won, I turned to the team and I knew everyone was going to run at me. Like I said, it was great until Frances full-speed head-butted me in the face.”

Madison Keys, for her part, got an impromptu shower after beating Lucia Bronzetti in a dead rubber to round off a 4-0 triumph, with bottles of water being poured over her head – and she warned her team-mates with a grin that she’ll get her revenge at some point: “Everyone, watch your back!”

Pegula: 2023 won’t be like 2022 for me

Jessie Pegula picked up a little bit of teasing from her colleagues; having beaten Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-2, and picked up more than 300 points during the United Cup, she is closing in on the world No 2 spot.

“I had an incredible year last year,” she said. “I don’t think I really am putting pressure on myself to duplicate that year because I think it was very special and something that probably won’t be duplicated.

“I feel like I have different goals this year. I feel like I kind of like am resetting the year, like going in because it’s a new year, because it is a new year and you never know what’s going to happen and you never know how you’re going to feel. It’s just a totally different type of challenges and goals than I had last year. I’m just going in as it’s a new year.

“It’s been amazing to spend time with these guys and start the year like this. It’s been super fun and already super memorable. Something I won’t be able to duplicate the following year. I don’t really think you compare year to year. Everything is different and there’s always new challenges and I think that’s what tennis and sports in general is always going to bring. It’s always different challenges every single year.

“I don’t really look, I mean, rankings, points, money, whatever it is, you’ve just got to take it day by day because it’s a long year.”

The last word, however, went to a laughing Frances Tiafoe, who told her: “Yeah, I wouldn’t look at rankings either if I was that close to No 1 in the world.”

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