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July 10, 2016

Denis Shapovalov

London, England

4‑6, 6‑1, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to be sitting in this room?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's different. It feels good. Yeah, I mean, it's exciting.

Q. You got off to kind of a slow start in the match today. Was that nerves, the setting?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I was very nervous, to be honest. Started off making a lot of errors in the first couple of games. I managed to break him back at the start, but I got broken once again.
Yeah, after I got broken the second time, just told myself, Calm down a little bit. Started making some longer rallies. By the end of the first set, I gained my confidence back. I was ready to go in the second.

Q. Do you feel he played the game you were expecting?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, I expected him to be very good today, which he was. He was playing some unbelievable points. So basically, yeah, I mean, he broke down on the forehand a little bit, which is what I expected. But at the same time, you know, he had a lot of good shots on the forehand.
It was more of me trying to stick to my game. That's what I tried to do in the second set, not think about him. I mean, I managed to break him three times in that set. Because I did that, in the third set I had a lot of confidence going into it. I played well.

Q. Did you get a chance at all to walk around the court before you played? How did it feel when you got out there, just the space and the people?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Before the match, I just went into the stands a little bit, sat there for a couple minutes. But I didn't get a chance to be on the actual court which is, yeah, one of the reasons I started off tight.
It's very, very difficult. It's completely different. The atmosphere, it's massive. It's a huge stadium, lots of people watching.
Obviously it was very nerve‑wracking.

Q. Have you had a chance to call anybody back home? If so, how did that conversation go?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah. Well, first, I hope they're listening to this, but my parents, I managed to call them. I just wanted to thank them actually because of all their support they're doing.
Yeah, I also want to thank, my mom opened up her own training club, where I'm training at, TessaTennis. Without that, I wouldn't have anywhere to train.

Q. What did they say?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: They congratulated me. They're extremely happy. Yeah, I mean, I couldn't see, but it sounded like they even had tears in their eyes. For sure it's very exciting for them.
Hopefully we have a nice dinner when we get back. It will be good.

Q. Pretty good run for Canadian juniors at this tournament. Tell me what that means for Canadian tennis.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It's massive. As you can see, Canadian tennis is moving forward a lot. Hopefully it doesn't stop here. I mean, hopefully even the next generation, they start seeing that it's possible, they start working harder, too. Hopefully in the future, we'll have more Grand Slam champions.

Q. Do you think grass could be your favorite surface?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I mean, yeah. I went 12‑0 this season on grass. Yeah, it's unbelievable. I think my game suits it a lot. I knew going into grass courts, I was very excited for it. I knew from last year, I beat the world No.5 first round of Wimbledon last year.
Yeah, of course, I love playing on grass.

Q. Were you able to follow a little bit of the men's final?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, yeah. I was following a little bit of it. I know Milos lost in two tight tiebreakers. I saw him actually in the doping. I told him, Tough match. He congratulated me.

Q. Obviously there were other possibilities for Canada today, and you're the one who is bringing home the trophy.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's exciting. I feel bad for Felix, for the doubles. I feel like mostly I blew it. In the third set I felt a little bit tired.
Yeah, too bad also Milos couldn't have it. He was close. He was playing good tennis. I think in the future, both Felix and Milos will have their Grand Slam.

Q. What sort of significance is there with Milos, seeing him do what he's done? Growing up, did you think it would be nice to have a Canadian champion to look up to? Does he serve that role for you at all?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, for sure. Obviously I look up to him. He's my inspiration. Before that, there were not many Canadians doing as good as he was.
For sure it brings hope into my eyes. I hope to be like him one day.

Q. Can you say briefly something about how you started to play tennis.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: My mom was a tennis player growing up. She knows a lot about tennis. My dad was a volleyball player. Basically my mom was coaching my brother at the time. I was five years old. I was always begging her to play.
Eventually she gave in and she started working with me, too. I mean, that's how it started.
She's been my coach since five till the age of 13. She's still helping out a lot. She opened up her own tennis club, like I said. She's just been a huge role in my life. My dad, also, he's been helping along the way. He's been managing everything for me. He's been a big part of my life.

Q. You were not born in Canada?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: No, my parents from the U.S. moved to Israel. For a couple years my mom was coaching there, my dad was coaching there as well. Once I was nine months, we moved to Canada.

Q. What are your ambitions now?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Well, I got the wild card to Washington, Citi Open. That's going to be huge for me. I'm very excited to play that. The Citi Open is one of the oldest and prestigious tournaments. It's going to be great for me to play my first high ATP‑level tournament.

Q. Do you have any experience looking good in a tuxedo?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Of course (laughter).
No, it's funny. Actually Adil Shamasdin, when I went as a hitting partner for Davis Cup, I didn't have a suit. I didn't know what to do. He gave me one. He said, Hopefully you're not going to be asking me for a suit this time.

Q. Do you know what the arrangements are for tonight?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: What do you mean?

Q. The dinner tonight.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Oh, yeah, yeah, the ball.

Q. You're not supposed to wear what you have on right now.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I'm going to go get suited right after that. Hopefully I'll look good (smiling).

Q. The BBC announcers were talking about how much they liked your flair, the way you go after shots, the emotions you show. What was the emotional rollercoaster like there?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, it was tough in the first set. I felt like I was late a lot, especially because the way he hits the ball, he hits it very flat. It's different from a lot of players I've been playing. It was tough in the first.
Then in the second, I kind of found that confidence again, started going for shots. When I broke him the first time, at deuce I think I had a backhand pass. I just ripped it as hard as I could hoping it went in, and it did. The next point I had an inside‑out forehand. I told myself, I'm going to go for it, I don't care if I miss, I'm going to go for my shots. I went for it, made it, got the break.

Q. Will you play the US Open juniors now?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah. It's on my schedule. Of course, my schedule changes a lot. I'm hoping to be playing that.

Q. You seem very close to your fellow Canadian juniors. What have you learned from the US Open last year, maybe from Felix's loss in Paris? What have you learned from each other?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I mean, yeah, I'd say today I learned from Felix's loss, having three match points. He told me kind of what it is to play the finals. We kind of help each other in that way.
But also, yeah, I just think our performances help each other. He made the finals there. I was motivated to make the finals here. We keep pushing on each other's level. That's one of the reasons why I think we're doing so well right now.

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