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July 25, 2016

Denis Shapovalov

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


7-6, 3-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is that anything like how you expected tonight's match to go?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: No. Nick is an incredible tennis player. You know, he's top 20 in the world. Maybe even future No. 1 in the world.

So obviously I didn't expect to win. But like I said before, I'm just going to go fight for every point. That's what I did. The outcome was very good today.

Q. You gave a lot of credit to the crowd. You're from Richmond Hill. Was there anyone special like family, friends in attendance today?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, my whole family was there, my whole team, my sponsor, my physio. Couple of very close friends to me were there.

So, you know, they really helped me a lot. And I think just the atmosphere really carried me forward today.

Q. A couple of questions. First off, what were the nerves like at the start of the game?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: At the start of the match? I thought I played some pretty good points and he just played even better the first three points. It was Love-40. So from Love-40 I just told myself, Okay, just play every point. That was a pretty big game. It kind of set the tone of the match.

Then I held my serve pretty easy from there on, I think. Yeah, that first game was critical.

Q. You had requested to play on centre court. Why? Why a request to play or centre court?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I thought it would be fun with all the fans. I love playing on a big stage. I love, you know, impressing people. So, yeah, it was very fun for me.

Q. I'm not sure if you have seen some of the other scores, but you're one of three Canadians that have made it through today.

Q. How does it feel to sort of be part of that contingent that are all going to the second round? It's a big day for Canada.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's a huge day. I'm happy Peter and Steven pulled it through together with me. You know, I wish them the best for the next matches. Let's do it for Canada, I guess.

Q. So many players, you know, make their debuts at their home tournament. Milos did it. I don't think he fared as well as you did in your first one. Does it feel like a fairy tale for you tonight?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah. On the on-court interview, this girl, she was interviewing me and she asked me, Do you want me to pinch you?

I said, Yeah. Frankly I actually didn't feel the pinch. I might be dreaming still. Yeah, it's still hitting me. It's going to be crazy, but there's a next match and I have got to get ready for tomorrow.

Q. I noticed in the third set you were really starting to get pumped up and you sort of raised your hands and wanted the crowd to get into it. Was that the moment you started feeling comfortable on centre court? You sort of saw yourself playing on those bigger courts?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I think so, yeah. At the start I didn't kind of know how to act. It's tough playing the first time on centre court. But by the end of the match, I felt like the crowd really liked it when I was getting pumped up. They were asking for -- you know, they were cheering loud.

Yeah, so I think that's why I kind of did it.

Q. After the match Nick had some nice words to say about you. I'm just wondering like after the match did he say anything to you specifically?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, he was very respectful, actually. Before the match he even gave me the toss. You know, a lot of players wouldn't do that. I mean, it's a sign of respect.

He wished me good luck before the match. After the match he told me I'm a great tennis player and he wishes me the best. You know, it's very mature of him, and, yeah...

Q. Serving for the match, down Love-30, how were the nerves and how did you turn that game around?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I'm not quite sure. I thought I was kind of -- you know, I thought I was going to lose the game at Love-30, but I told myself, Let's serve a couple big serves and play a couple big shots.

I served a big break point there in that game. I can't remember how I saved it, but it's all kind of a flash to me. I'm not seeing things clearly yet. But somehow I did it. I don't know. It was a miracle.

Q. Not many of the younger guys play with a one-handed backhand. How did that come about? Why did you choose to do it?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: My mom was my tennis coach, and from a young age when she was teaching me two hands I started releasing my backhand. My dad and my mom said, Okay, if it's natural for him, just go with it.

A lot of people actually said, Oh, he's too young for a one-hander. It's going to be tough on him. I think that's why I made my backhand as good as it is today, so much practice, so many people playing to it.

Q. Obviously a big win tonight, but how do you sort of recalibrate for the next round? How hungry are you for that win? How do you make sure that you're not satisfied with just this one victory?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, today I'm going to celebrate a little bit but maybe by the end of today, you know, it's about refocusing. It's always like this.

It's not the first time I have been so happy about a win. The semifinals of Wimbledon I was two points away from losing the match. I was equally as happy. It's just a matter of refocusing, getting ready for the match. Tournament is not over. I could celebrate my win from Nick after the tournament but now I'm going to focus for Dimitrov.

Q. What does a win like this do for your confidence? Were you surprised at all by how well your game matched up against his?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I was a little bit surprised, but to be honest I played a couple of players now and I have played them tight. I was practicing with Tomas Berdych and I went 6-4 in a set with him.

I felt like I'm very close to these guys. I didn't know how Nick's game would suit up against mine. He's got a huge serve. It was very difficult for me to return.

Yeah, I think I played some very good tennis today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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