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August 12, 2017

Denis Shapovalov

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

A. ZVEREV/D. Shapovalov

6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: With his performance this week, Denis will rise from 143 to around 67 in the ATP rankings. Also he'll become the No. 2 Canadian.

First question for Denis.

Q. How much fun did you have this week?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, a lot of fun. Yeah, like, the media was putting, you know, it was a dream week for me. Obviously I didn't expect it. Saved four match points the first round. Yeah, just played loose after that, just went with it. I mean, I beat one of my idols.

So it's a dream come true for me this week.

Q. You played so well. Is there any way of measuring, like, did you start hitting your serve four miles an hour faster, did you feel better timing in the last three or four weeks? Did you feel anything inside that explains it?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: No, I mean, I've kind of seen that I'm capable to push these guys. I mean, I went pretty tight with Tomas, took out Kyle on grass. I think maybe the serve is getting bigger. That could be from the racquet change. As soon as I went to Yonex, I felt that little bit more pop on my serve and my forehand. Yeah, I have more feel with the racquet. So it could be that.

But, you know, also, yeah, I just think I'm improving every week. I'm playing a lot, but I'm also working a lot with Marty. This is still a transition year for me. I'm really trying to improve my game so that I can anchor myself in the top 50, top 20, top 10.

Q. Zverev was talking about a rivalry starting tonight with you that could last for many years. Do you feel that way?

Q. Also is Vancouver definitely out now?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I'm not sure. I'm going to discuss Vancouver with my team. I didn't make any decisions yet.

Yeah, I mean, Sascha is an unbelievable player. He's going to be a champion. Hopefully I can get there one day. Hopefully I can get to his level. I mean, he's still better than me.

But I'll keep working hard and, yeah, hopefully we could start a little bit of a rivalry there.

Q. How much did the nine hours you spent on the court the last four days before tonight's match were a factor in the energy you could use in the match?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I felt fine. I mean, yeah, I finished fairly early yesterday not being last, being second to last. Today, we went on at 8:00. I had more than enough time to recover.

I slept in, got worked on twice. Yeah, I felt good. It wasn't a matter of energy. It was just, you know, Sascha just outplayed me in the big moments.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about what Alexander said to you at the net. He spoke a little bit.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, I congratulated him. I wished him the best of luck for the finals. He replied by saying I'm doing really well this week, this season. He said, like, he mentioned that we have a rivalry starting. This is the first of many.

Yeah, I mean, I agree. If I can keep working hard, you know, just have a good mindset, you know, I feel like I'm able to compete with these guys.

Q. Do you realize the impact you had this week on the whole tennis world?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I don't even think I realize it yet. I mean, it's a huge jump from 144 to 67. My whole life has changed in the past five days. It's crazy how it is. I mean, I go from being not known to, you know, being so known in the tennis world, in Canada in general. It's going to be a little bit of a change to me. I'm going to have to adapt.

But that doesn't change things. Still have to work really hard. Yeah, just keep working hard every day.

Q. How much do you think the Davis Cup incident in February has improved your mental strength? How do you look back at the incident now, given the success you've had over the past five days?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, I don't look back too much. It's in the past. What I did was very stupid. It was very immature. Yeah, it's in the past now. I've grown from it. I've learned from it. I'm on a new chapter of my life.

Yeah, I mean, I've improved a lot mentally just because I'm working a lot with Marty on it. Regardless, Davis Cup incident or not, that was one of the main focuses we had for the year, just to improve mentally. Yeah, he's done a very good job to help me in that aspect. Yeah, it's come a long way.

Q. I was in the Metro today traveling around Montreal. I must have seen your final point four or five times on the TV screens in the Metro. I was wondering if any time during the week you saw yourself when you didn't expect to, a headline in a newspaper, goofy thing you were surprised to see that you're everywhere?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, on TV, I wasn't expecting to, like, hear my name every two minutes. It's like, All right, guys, enough, enough (smiling).

Yeah, I mean, it's quite a change going from just being a junior coming up to kind of now people consider that I've made the transition and now it's more about stabilizing myself and, yeah, keep advancing.

But, you know, regardless, this is one week. It's just a small part of this season. I still have to work really hard. I still have so many aspects of the game I can improve. I'm really going to make a good effort to improve those parts.

Q. What are you planning to do tonight? Are you going to allow yourself to celebrate a bit?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I'm not sure. Have to discuss that with Felix. I'm not sure. It's okay, though. He keeps me in check. He's still underage, so we can't go out.

I don't know, I'll probably just call my best friend Johnny over. He's been here all week. Yeah, probably just chill with Felix, watch some Fresh Prince of Bel Aire. Can you believe it? He hasn't seen it. He has the same haircut as Will, and he hasn't seen the show (smiling).

Q. Considering the rise in the rankings, what are your plans for the rest of the season, challengers, just ATP?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Like I said, you know, a lot's changed in the past five days. Supposed to be a lot of challengers, a little bit of ATPs, try to get me into the top 100.

Now since I'm going to be around 67, I feel like it's going to be a little bit more ATPs and maybe a couple of challengers.

Also I have to talk with the team. It depends on how I'm feeling, how I'm playing, just stuff like that, yeah.

Q. Does tonight put a damper on the whole week or are you still ecstatic about the whole week? What is your state of mind?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's a little bit disappointing, this loss today, because I felt like I had a chance. But, yeah, like I said, Sascha played too good in the big moments. I don't think I played that well in those moments. I gave away a lot of breaks with double-faults. I wasn't even letting him play those points.

But credit to him, he's playing with so much confidence. He really put the pressure on me.

Yeah, I don't think it's going to affect my week. I mean, I've had the week of my life. Sascha is an unbelievable player. Actually it's pretty nice to see how my game matches up against him, to see that I can compete with a great player like him.

Q. On your one-handed backhand, how did that come about? Is there a particular player you look at in terms of modeling that? Not too many lefty one-handed backhands.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, very few.

Yeah, I don't know. Well, my mom was coaching me. We were doing feeding drills. I kind of remember that day. I would hit a two-handed backhand. I would kind of let go on it. It was natural to me to play one-handed. My father just suggested to my mom to try, just hit a couple one-handers.

Ever since then, it was natural. Almost all my career I've had a one-hander.

Q. You just mentioned your parents and said your life changed dramatically for you in the past five days. Has it been challenging at all? Have you had your parents talk to you about what this means now that you're a household name in Canada?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, I think personally I'm very lucky because I come from a very humble family that went through a pretty tough life. Not terrible life, but they had to work for a living and stuff. I have two parents that are always going to keep me grounded. My brother is going to do the same. No matter who I play against, he's always on top of me just making sure I don't get too big.

Yeah, we haven't talked about too much. Obviously it's a little bit of a change for them, as well. My mom's club is getting so much publicity because of this. Yeah, they even had a bunch of, like, news reporters come out, just randomly showed up. It was weird. They just had a camp. All of a sudden there's all these news reporters showing up.

Yeah, it's a little bit of a change for all of us. But we'll get through it together.

Q. Would you actually be happy about the ATP tournaments rather than challengers because it's more of a challenge for you, you don't have to fight as much to beat a guy who is not as good as you?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, of course it's going to be easier with the ATPs because most of the time, like this week, I'm the underdog. It's always easier to play up.

I feel like it's important to play my challengers, as well, just to first of all spread out points, yeah, just to have those matches where I feel like I can win or I'm supposed to win, get those out.

A mix of both would probably be the best thing for me at this point in my career.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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