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August 31, 2017

Denis Shapovalov

New York, NY, USA


6-4, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You played with the top 15, former top 10, and you won three sets to love, routine win. Is that your new reality?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, but I don't think that win was any bit routine. I played unbelievable today, very high level. Yeah, I don't know why, but I just managed to stay loose and go for my shots the whole match, except a little bit at 5-3 or 5-4, serving for the third set. Got a little bit tight, stopped moving my feet on a couple shots, sailed some forehands.

Yeah, he did a good job to break me. He stayed mentally tough there. Yeah, I mean, I just stayed calm and just waited for my next chance and took it.

Q. Is that something you've always had, an ability to stay calm and keep loose when playing guys who in theory are supposed to be better, more experienced than you are?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: No, I think it's been a long progress. I mean, yeah, I don't think I was always mentally solid as I am today. I've been working extremely hard on it with Marty and the rest of my team. Yeah, you know, I think it's improved quite a bit.

It also helps I've been in these situations constantly, playing these top guys. Against DelPo I was serving for the match and the same thing happened. It's a little bit easier the second time around and third time around. You get used to these situations.

Yeah, I knew I would have another chance.

Q. This is the biggest stadium in tennis. Any intimidation? Was there any adaptation you had to make?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I stayed loose from the beginning. I mean, I broke him first game. I mean, obviously it's intimidating, it's so big, there's so much going on. The screens are working during the points. Yeah, there's a lot of people moving and talking. It's not easy to play in.

But I don't know, I mean, I was playing loose. Like I said before the match, I was going in with nothing to lose. Yeah, I was having fun on the court. There were a couple times during the match I was just smiling, having a good time. I was enjoying the atmosphere. It's a dream come true for me to play a night match on Arthur Ashe. I mean, I grew up wanting to do this.

First of all, thank you to USTA for setting that up. But, yeah, I think I had a very fun night.

Q. I know you've moved on from what happened in October, but obviously you're playing Kyle again. Will it be hard not to think about that at all? Also he said that he felt it may have helped you because it made you mature maybe quicker than you would otherwise have done. What do you think about that?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Of course. I mean, I don't know, maybe you guys can tell me if, like, I've come a long way from the incident. Yeah, I've been working extremely hard on it. It's definitely helped me mature.

But I don't think this match has anything to do with it. I've apologized constantly before, and I continue to apologize for my actions. It's something I have to live with. But for me it's in the past and I'm a different person and a different player now. So it's a completely new match.

Q. Have you had a chance to look at the rest of the bottom half of the draw? Pretty wide open now. Do you see that as pretty wide open?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: No. I mean, I'm playing Kyle Edmund who is so solid. He's an unbelievable player. He goes for his shots. He's not afraid to take it to the guy. There's no easy matches here.

I mean, yeah, for me, a guy like me... Maybe for a guy like Zverev or Federer, you could say it's open a bit. For a guy like me, every match is tough and I'm going to have to battle it out.

Q. First match on Arthur Ashe, how did you decide who was going to sit in your player box?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Well, I knew obviously my team was going to sit there. Yeah, I don't know. I'm pretty open to who can sit in my box. Obviously I needed to know the guy. I don't like it when people I don't know sit in my box.

Yeah, I mean, I leave that to my manager. He set it up.

Q. He takes care of that?

Q. You came a long way from a few years ago when you won the doubles with Felix. A win like tonight over Tsonga, does that legitimately make you feel more comfortable, that you are legitimate, for real, you belong here?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Definitely. I think every win that I've been going through, it's been securing anyone's doubts or even my own doubts, whether or not I belong. I belong with these guys, playing these high-level tournaments.

So this win, it's definitely another confidence boost. It shows that Montreal wasn't a fluke week. To do it back-to-back, it's not easy. I've had to go through qualifying, which is also stacked with super tough players.

So I'm extremely proud of myself for how long I've come. It's going to be another battle against Kyle. I'm going to do the best I can to take it to him. But, yeah, it's going to be a difficult match.

Q. Obviously the game plan was to go after his backhand. Are you surprised how well it worked?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I knew being a lefty would help me. Obviously I could take it more with the out-wide serve. It's my forehand to his backhand.

Yeah, I just think my shots were there when I needed them today. Yeah, like I mentioned, I stayed pretty loose throughout the match. It definitely helped me a lot. But, yeah, not every day is going to be this pretty. I'm going to have to try to figure out some things. Might be a little bit tougher in other matches.

Q. Having gone through qualifying, can that be either an advantage or disadvantage? Which way do you see it, having the extra matches, adding to fatigue or adding to momentum?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's a bit of both. Like you mentioned, the fatigue. I played five matches now. I'm feeling good, but if some of my matches were tougher, it could have been a serious issue. Yeah, also you never know who you're going to draw in quallies. Like I said, it's super stacked. It's not like it was 100% that I'm going to make it through it. I played some really touch matches.

On the other side, I've gotten to know the courts. Yeah, I've gotten to play those extra matches, extra points, that give me just that extra bit of confidence playing guys like Jo or Medvedev yesterday.

Q. You mentioned watching this tournament, always wanting to play on Ashe. Do you remember the first US Open you watched, who was playing?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: That's a tough question. I don't even know how far back. The one match I do remember was sitting with my best friend watching I think it was Djokovic and Murray in the finals. I think Murray actually won that. Yeah, that's one of the big matches I remember.

Obviously it's a little bit tough to go that far back in time, to remember the first kind of matches I saw.

Q. You never played a match with so much of a buzz or noise. Probably never played a match where there's a lot of people had the extra thing to drink. Were you aware of any of that?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It was pretty funny. Like I said, I was enjoying it. I noticed a couple of guys had a little bit too much to drink. I mean, some of them were standing and, like, just talking to me as if we're buddies. I was up a break in one game, I think it was probably 40-15, I just miss a backhand. He's like, Aah, no.

I'm like, Don't worry, man, I got this.

Yeah, I mean, I was just taking it all in. Like I said, it's a dream come true to me to play night match over here on Arthur Ashe. So for me it was fun. Obviously it's not easy to play under these conditions. But I managed to put a positive spin on it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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