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August 10, 2017

Denis Shapovalov

Montreal, Quebec, Canada


3-6, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Three weeks ago you were playing a challenger in Granby. Tonight you beat Rafael Nadal in front of a packed house. Are things going too fast for you right now? Do you realize what's happening?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It's a very fast pace right now. It's a lot to take in, obviously. But, you know, honestly, to be honest, I'm very thankful that I'm in this position. If I didn't save those four match points in the first round, there wouldn't even be a chance to play Juan Martinez [sic] or Rafa. I'm very thankful for that.

I'm very thankful to have Wayne and Penny by my side. Very inspiring. All that put together, I'm very thankful.

Q. Earlier we asked Rafa if he was surprised your nerves didn't break during the game. How were your nerves during the game?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think I stayed pretty calm. I played really well in the big moments. I didn't get as tight as yesterday. I'm not sure why. I just played really free in the tiebreaker.

But yeah, I mean, it's difficult to say how I was feeling during the match. It was extremely hard physically and mentally. Rafa is such a warrior. Such a tough match.

I'm just so happy to come out with the win.

Q. How about now?

Q. Your nerves.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: How do I feel now? I feel tired. I want to go to sleep (smiling).

Q. What was it like playing against him, the player he is, the ball he hits, seeing him on the other side of the net?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's so tough. A lot of the times he just hits a shot that's way too good. I was managing to get a lot back when I could. But, you know, he's honestly the best player I've ever played in my life.

Yeah, you could tell why he's won so many Grand Slams. His ball was just so heavy. He's such a warrior out there. So it's honestly, like, a dream come true for me to beat a player like that.

Q. Many players folded against Rafa in tough situations. Today's tiebreaker when you were down Love-3, how did you manage to keep your composure and not fold?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think it's really tough. I don't know if a lot of players fold or if he just outplays them at the end.

I think today, yeah, I was down 3-0 in the tiebreaker. I did a good job to regroup. I knew I had to win both the points off my serve. Yeah, then he gave me a double to tie it up.

But, yeah, it was a tough match. A tough match the whole way. Yeah, I just tried to stay calm, tried to play every point, go for my shots. At the end of the day I really tried to keep playing my game and stick to my tactics. Yeah, I think I did that really well.

Q. This will probably go down as one of the biggest tennis wins for a Canadian in Canadian history. What does it mean to you to be grouped into some of the other matches like Nestor-Edberg, for example?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's incredible. I'm actually very honored to be compared to Nestor, that match against Edberg. It's what I dreamed of all my life growing up, playing guys like Rafa, Roger, Andy. You know, my dream came true today.

Q. What was the crowd like? You mentioned Penny and Wayne. The crowd getting more amped up as the match continued. How did you feed off that?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, the crowd was ridiculous. I've never been in a sporting event where the fans get so loud. It's so much fun to be a part of. It's so much fun having them cheer me on.

Honestly, I don't think I could be in this position without them.

Q. Can I take you to the moment where it ended and you fell on the ground, looked up into the sky. What are you feeling in that moment?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it just felt really surreal, you know. I mean, I couldn't believe it actually happened. Yeah, it's tough to explain the emotions that were going through my head at that moment. But it was just pure happiness.

Q. What did you hear?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Just a roar of the crowd. I mean, yeah, it was just really loud. Honestly, yeah, I think I might have blacked out. It's tough to remember exactly how I fell, how I got back up. But yeah.

Q. Were you starting to cramp at the end a little bit? Is that why you're standing up right now?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, yeah, I was cramping a little bit. It's nothing too serious. But just precautionary.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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