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August 9, 2017

Denis Shapovalov

Montreal, Quebec, Canada


6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What does it mean to you to beat a former top five player, former Grand Slam winner?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, like I said yesterday, he's my idol. You know, first of all, just to play against him, it's a huge honor for me. Yeah, but to beat a player of this category, of this talent, it's very inspiring for me, a huge confidence boost.

Q. In the tiebreaker in the second set, 6-3, you serve a double-fault. What were you thinking that moment? How were you able to recover?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Well, it was just bad luck. I mean, I hit the tape twice. Both the serves went out. I don't know. It was just bad luck.

But I told myself for the next point, Just put a little bit more spin on the serve, make sure you get the first serve in.

Yeah, so I was hoping for a shorter return, which I got.

Q. You said he was your idol. He's got huge weapons, serve and forehand. Which was most difficult to deal with?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: All of it. He's got massive weapons. But I felt like I was returning really well today. When I could get my racquet on it, I was putting a lot of them back.

Yeah, I think that put a little bit of pressure on him in the end. To break him at 5-All, he served a double. In the breaker, I was getting a lot of them back and he shanked a couple forehands. I think I did a good job of that.

But, yeah, obviously his forehand is huge. When he hits it, it's too good, so...

Q. Obviously it's a wonderful week for you. The expectations will be higher and higher. How do you think you'll manage that, your own expectations, the expectations of the fans?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, for me, first of all, I play for myself, not for whatever people think of me. So that alone, I have no problem with that. I know what I'm capable of playing. Obviously I do surprise myself, like today, sometimes.

But yeah, I mean, at the end of the day it's a sport. People go up, people go down. You have good weeks, bad weeks. It happens all the time. You just have to maintain. Sometimes you have to find it within yourself.

Q. Where does this one rank for you?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It's got to be one of my best wins. Has to be.

Q. There were a lot of people on center court today, way more than usual for an afternoon. I guess that was because of Roger.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think Roger helped with that quite a bit (laughter).

Q. But the noise level for you when you made a shot, it was quite something. What was that like for you? What will it be like for you tomorrow possibly against Nadal?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I've never played in an atmosphere like this. It was so loud. On match point, when I hit that double, right before it, I mean, my ears almost popped. They were cheering so loud, it was insane.

But yeah, it's just so much fun to be out there, to be part of this atmosphere. Yeah, I feel very privileged to be a part of this tournament.

Q. You may face Rafael Nadal in the next round, another really tough matchup for you. What will that be like for you?

Q. If you play Rafa.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it would be unbelievable. I mean, he's another guy I grew up watching. I've seen him win so many slams. Every time I look at him, I think what a ridiculous athlete and what a ridiculous player he is. It's unbelievable to watch.

But, yeah, I think it's going to be very interesting for me to go up against him, just to see how my game style matches him. Obviously it's going to be a really tough fight. But I'm going to try to make the most of it.

Q. Could you put into perspective where things were after Davis Cup, what happened, and where you are now? Maybe the moment after that to where you are today.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, I'm a completely different person from what I was six months ago maybe. It's pretty crazy to say that, but in the tennis world you're forced to mature really quickly.

I think me and Marty have been working extremely hard on my mental part of the game. I showed that yesterday and today. I'm still improving. I think that's been the biggest benefit of my game, of my personality.

But, you know, there's still a lot of room to improve in that aspect. I'm going to try to get better.

Q. The numbers were a little better today, but is it safe to say that you can still serve better?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, you can always serve better (smiling). But I don't know.

Q. You came up with big serves in the tiebreaker.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think I came up with big serves when I needed to. Obviously, yeah, there was a couple parts of the match where I wasn't putting a lot of first serves in, three or four in a row. I think in that aspect, I should improve that, and I can. Me and Marty have been working on that.

I think it's getting a little bit better. I haven't looked at the percentages. Yeah, I felt like when I needed the big serve today, I had it.

Q. The turnaround from yesterday, how tough was that?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It wasn't too difficult. I mean, the only little bit difficult part was just trying to make time to go see Felix a little bit since it was his birthday. I went out with him for about an hour. I left early.

But, yeah, I had gotten enough time to recover and everything, so I felt really good this morning.

Q. You discussed the double-fault earlier. There was also a point in the tiebreak where you seemed upset after losing a point. How do you handle those high-pressure moments throughout the game?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, like I said, I've gotten better in handling these kind of moments. Obviously it's not easy. You know, serving for the match, when I got broken, it was very tight. I was tight.

But, yeah, you just have to keep going. At the end of the day I told myself, Look, I'm the underdog. I have nothing to lose. That kind of freed me up.

We also had a really long point in the tiebreaker at 3-1, which kind of made me relax a little bit, because I was moving a lot. I managed to win that point. Kind of gave me a little bit of confidence back.

Q. If you win the next match, which is a big 'if', you would most likely break into the top 100. How big of a goal is this for you this year?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, to me, I'm not really focused on that. Obviously by the end of the year I want to be top 100. But I get a lot of chances. I don't feel like tomorrow is the decider.

Yeah, after Rogers Cup, I'm not defending any points. I have the rest of the year to play freely. Hopefully by the end I can make it there.

Q. What type of player are you in the players lounge? Are you shy and stay with your crew or are you gaining a little bit more confidence?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, no, I'm pretty relaxed out there. I don't like to be too closed. At the end of the day, I mean, I'm going to see all these guys every week, so I might as well make friends. They're all super nice guys.

Yeah, I mean, I think I'm pretty chill. I don't think I'm like secured in my little bubble. I like to hang out with the guys.

Q. You played at the French Open and Wimbledon this year. What did you draw from those experiences? You didn't get very far, but have those experiences helped you to reach this huge win?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Of course. Yeah, maybe. It's just experience. Just being there at the French Open, my first qualifying at Wimbledon, my first main draw of a slam, just adds to that little by little, the experience of playing top guys, playing tough matches.

Yeah, you know, maybe it came out today. Maybe it came out yesterday. But I think, you know, it's just been a long grind of a season. Every match, it kind of builds up. Kind of gives you that little bit of experience and confidence.

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