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September 3, 2017

Denis Shapovalov

New York, NY, USA

P. CARRENO BUSTA/D. Shapovalov

7-6, 7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was a lovely moment when you stopped and put your bag down and thanked the crowd as you left the court. Can you just tell us what your emotions or feelings were in that moment?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Honestly, it was so much fun to be part of that atmosphere and the match and this whole two weeks. You know, it's another life-changing event for me, and it's, you know -- first of all, it's thanks to the crowd. They have been having my back these past couple months. You know, they have been really carrying me. Without them, surely enough, it wouldn't be possible.

Obviously, you know, my team, as well, they put in so much hard work for me. A lot of my team members are missing time with their family and their kids to be here with me. It honestly means so much to me for them to, you know, try to make time for me.

Lastly, I just want to thank my parents. Unfortunately, they couldn't come. My mom said she would try to come if I had won today for my next match, but, yeah, it was just too tough with the kids and she didn't -- she didn't want to feel like she was betraying her students, which I completely understand. You know, for her, it's always priority is her students.

You know, it is what it is.

Q. You had a great run here. What lessons do you take with you from this experience?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: The biggest lesson is that I'm able to compete with these guys. I still think I have a lot of work to do.

Yeah, I mean, it's just been, you know, two tournaments, but I really feel like I have to put in a lot of work this offseason to try and secure my spot in these rankings and just to be able to compete with these guys, yeah, week in and week out.

Q. It's safe to say that in the last month your world has changed. So what does the world look like after Edmonton? What are you going to be doing for the rest of the year?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Well, after Edmonton, it's Laver Cup, and then I'm not sure yet. You know, with my ranking, I'm getting into some ATPs and then not others. So it's a lot of picking and choosing. I haven't decided with my coach yet, but, yeah, we're going to make that decision shortly.

Q. You have talked a lot about how this has been life-changing for yourself. What do you think what you have done over the last month has done for tennis in Canada?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think that's probably one of the proudest things. For me, like I said, my goal is to raise the level of Canadian tennis and just have more kids picking up a racquet instead of a hockey stick. I think I have definitely helped to do that, and hopefully, you know, I can keep doing it.

I know a lot of people were tweeting towards me that don't even follow tennis, and they're starting to get into the sport, you know, because I have been doing well.

It's really inspiring for me. It makes me really want to keep working hard so that, you know, I can keep motivating these kids to try to, you know, pick up a racquet and hopefully become, as a player, like Milos or Vasek or even me.

Q. What's been your favorite memories, you think, of the past ten days?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Favorite memory in the past ten days? Honestly, I think it was the sound, the roar of the crowd when I put my bags down and I went to applaud them.

Yeah, they were all screaming. It was so loud, and it was a great moment for me.

It really has a special place in my heart, and, you know, now New York for sure, it will always have a special place for me.

You know, hopefully I can come back here for many more years and just try to do some damage.

Q. Just describe the match from your side of the net.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think I had a lot of chances. I don't think I played as well today as I have been these past two weeks, but, I mean, that's tennis. It's going to happen.

I think Pablo played a very great match. He stayed very tough mentally in the big points. Yeah, he just played three tiebreaks that were better than mine. I was up in the first, up in the third. I definitely had my chances. Very disappointed that I wasn't able to keep my leads.

But, you know, at the end of the day, it's tennis. I still have a lot of things to learn. Yeah, so hopefully I can come back and, you know, hopefully one day I can make it further here.

Q. You're in the United States where we're desperately looking for a young, charismatic, long-haired guy with a great forehand and backhand. Do you think you could have impact beyond Canadian borders, your appeal goes beyond that? Talk about that possibility of being a really appealing character for our game.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Definitely. I mean, just a couple of days ago in Central Park, I was just walking with my team and I ran into this kid who -- he was shaking, you know, seeing me. For me, it's -- you know, it's so nice for me to see.

I mean, this kid -- you know, I'm just walking, doing my business, and this kid comes up to me, and he tries to talk to me but he can't really start a conversation, he's shaking so much. He's, just, like, Oh, my God, wow, I can't believe this.

Yeah, it's honestly inspiring, and it's moments like this -- you know, I grew up wanting to play tennis. I want to change, try to change the sport and hopefully, you know, first of all, in Canada. But definitely in America, I think I'm making an impact, and hopefully I can continue to do so, because for me, I mean, the best thing in life is to see kids like this, you know, looking up to you and just aspiring to be like you.

Q. I don't know if you ever heard of Jimmy Van Alen who invented the tiebreak. He thought a longer match was illogical torture. Do you wish he hadn't invented it?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Maybe today (smiling). No, I mean, I think the tiebreak is smart, very smart, I think, to do -- I mean, it sums up the set. Otherwise, players can be going forever and matches could be -- every match could be like the John Isner/Mahut match. We don't want that in our sport. Eventually, we want to finish up the set and head to the next one.

Unfortunately, it just didn't go my way today. Yeah, I think I...

Q. Do you usually have a good record on tiebreakers?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It's up and down. I mean, usually, yeah. Usually I play pretty solid. Unfortunately, today I wasn't able to play well in those moments.

But, yeah, I enjoy playing the tiebreaker. You have to really focus on every point. Yeah, I think it's --you know, it's just like overtime in hockey. Next goal wins. It has that kind of feel to it.

Q. You seem to dream big dreams. How have some of those dreams crystallized during this summer and affected your approach to the future?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, well, my goals were, you know, always very initially doable. Obviously I didn't expect to be this far along at this part of the season. My goal was to be 150 by the end. And that was -- I thought that was a, you know, very good goal to have. I thought it's tough but doable.

Yeah, I feel like ever since Queen's I picked up my level. I mean, I took Berdych 7-5 in the third. From there, I just had that confidence that I could play these big guys and go for it. Obviously saving four match points in Rogers Cup helped tremendously. Could have been out first round.

After that, I'm just playing every match with the belief, just the belief I have within myself. I always wanted to play these guys and these matches, so for me, it's just a lot of fun to be on the court. I think that definitely helps me in the matches.

Q. In this match, what moment or point do you regret the most?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I don't know. There's always points that you would wish or want to change.

I don't know. I don't think there is one specific moment that changed the match. I had a lot of chances and so did he. But he just played better in the big moments.

He stayed very solid. I mean, yeah, I can't pinpoint one exact moment. I mean, serving for the first set, I had a couple of break points at 6-5 but he played too good. Played a bad tiebreaker. Second set, came back. Played another tiebreaker that wasn't too good. And then third set, up 15-40, 3-0, you know, he played another good point. I kind of got caught with my legs at one of the approaches.

Yeah, I mean, it's tennis. It's a sport. You don't know what's going to happen the next point, so it's always a roller coaster ride.

Q. You made the statement that you were glad you'd be able to show kids how to pick up a hockey stick as opposed to...
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: A racquet instead of a hockey stick.

Q. Yeah. Was that because of an individual versus team sport or because you think that more people should play tennis?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: No, I just -- I mean, I just love the sport so much. Obviously I love hockey just as much, but I feel like Canada hasn't been able to come up with, you know, a bunch of athletes just because there's so many kids going into hockey instead of other sports of tennis.

You know, they just don't have that belief that they can make it as a tennis player, whereas, you know, they're like, this is a hockey nation. I'll put my kids into hockey. It's doable.

You know, we have so many great players like Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid, so they have that belief in hockey; whereas in tennis, now they're just discovering that it's possible to do it in Canada, and there is places that can train your kids the right way so that they can come up. The kids themselves, they're just watching the sport more instead of hockey, so it's just a combination of that.

Q. Now that you have made this run here, how confident will you be in future Grand Slams that you can make a deep run, given what you have done here?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Definitely, there is still so much work to be done. I'm playing unbelievable tennis right now, but, yeah, it's not going to be like this every week.

I mean, I have been very lucky. I have been, you know, playing really well. There's going to be a lot of tough weeks ahead, and I'm ready for that, as well.

I think I really need to get back to work, and my team is making sure that, you know, first of all, I'm staying healthy, and second of all, I'm always trying to get better so that, yeah, hopefully in the future I can make some more runs. Hopefully, eventually, in the long term, lifting up a cup.

Q. Seven times you played in this Open. You must be especially tired. Do you think you should be awarded to receive the wildcard after your presentation in Montreal?

Q. Here.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Oh, no. No, it's a wildcard from America, and obviously it would be -- it would have been fantastic to get a wildcard, but, you know, they don't owe me anything to get a wildcard. Obviously they are looking after their players. It's a tournament in America. First of all, they look after Americans, just as in Canada, they would look after Canadians, you know.

I wasn't expecting a wildcard at all. I knew I had to qualify, and I was ready for that. I was actually really motivated to try to get through the qualifying.

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