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August 28, 2017

Denis Shapovalov

New York, NY, USA


7-5, 6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How pleased are you with how you played tonight?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think I played a very good match. Stayed very solid from beginning to the end. I had a couple fall-throughs, being a break up, having him break back. I did a good job of staying mentally solid on those situations and getting the break when I needed it.

Q. What did you think about the environment out there on Court 7?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: The environment has been pretty crazy all week. It's been a lot of fun to play under these conditions. I didn't expect to be in the States and have so many supporters coming out.

I know obviously a couple -- I heard some of the fans talking to me, they come from Calgary, from Montreal, from Toronto to come out and support me. All the other Americans that are looking after me.

It's so much fun to be on the court under these conditions.

Like I said before in Montreal, the crowd really helps me play my best tennis. They helped me out again today. So I'm very thankful to have them. Hopefully they come and support some more.

Q. To have put yourself on the radar, people have high expectations of you as an 18-year-old, talk about this experience.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It's been a lot of fun. For me, I grew up wanting to play in these situations, wanting to play at the Open, wanting to play at home in Montreal. I'm just enjoying my time on the court.

I don't feel any pressure, like I mention all the time. At the end of the day, I play for myself, for my team and for my country. Those three things I always take with me on the court. I play with my heart. At the end of the day it's a sport. I can win and I can lose.

Right now I've been winning more, I've been playing really good. That doesn't mean in the near future I could lose a lot of matches. That's how it goes. I'm ready for it to go both ways.

Q. The next match, a tough opponent.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, Jo has been on the tour forever. I grew up watching him play, just like I did with Rafa and DelPo. It's a match I'm going in with nothing to lose. Obviously the pressure is more on him.

Yeah, I'm just hoping to have a good fight, a good match. It's going to be very tough. He's an incredible player. He's achieved so much in his career. It's going to be a good test for me once again.

Q. One of the big venues as well.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Of course, yeah. It's such an honor first of all to be part of the tournament, part of the main draw here at the US Open. But to have a chance to advance to the second round, play against a great opponent like Jo, there's not much more I can ask.

I'm just going to go out there and have fun and enjoy this moment in my career.

Q. Your opponent today was another Next Gen young gun. Are you surprised at some point he didn't have a sustained pushback against how well you were playing? Never mounted any kind of a comeback effort at all.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, I was ready for it. He actually I think fought pretty well in the third. Second he had a little bit of a letdown, I thought.

But, yeah, I don't know. He was a little bit up and down today. He broke me back in the third. Then he gave me the game with three doubles. Thank you to him for that (smiling).

But, yeah, I mean, I was ready for everything. I knew he could come and fight in the second and third. I just did a good job of staying focused, playing my game, just trying to take it to him from the first point till the last.

Yeah, you know, I'm happy with the outcome.

Q. Were you ready for five? Never played five sets, have you?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I played four at Wimbledon.

Yeah, I think physically I feel very good. I think I was ready for five if it went there. Against Jo, I'm feeling fresh. It's going to take a lot of energy. If it goes five, I feel ready for that, as well.

Q. What do you think stroke for stroke you'll have to go against Tsonga?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I haven't thought about that ahead yet. Just coming off this match, so haven't really talked to Marty yet.

Obviously he has a huge forehand, very solid backhand. I think I'm going to have to pressure the backhand a little bit more, come in on him a lot, just try to dictate before he has a chance to.

Q. Is your backhand usual today?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I don't know. Yeah, I was hitting it well. I've been feeling my strokes really well.

I think I played extremely well today. I don't think any specific stroke was better than normal. I was just feeling the ball really well off every wing. Yeah, I was just playing really good.

Q. What was your reaction to not getting a wild card? Did you feel any different today having gotten your spot in the draw?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Not getting a wild card, it didn't affect me at all. Obviously America is looking after their players, just like Canada would look after theirs. They're not obligated to give me anything.

It would have been a huge privilege to get one. Yeah, going through quallies, it actually kind of motivated me. I had a great week in Montreal, but I knew I had to back it up with qualifying. I was really ready for it. It gave me that extra bit of confidence that I can do it.

Yeah, you know, I'm very happy to go through qualifying. Now I'm extremely -- I feel extremely privileged to be through to the second round, have a chance against a top player like Jo.

Q. The hat, flap wasn't showing.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I have a small head. When there's sun, I wear it forwards. Yeah, when it's dark, I just wear a hat so my hair doesn't get in the way. Guess the flap gets in the way, but I deal with that fine. It's funny.

Some people started joking around about it. One comedian in Montreal took a selfie with me. They are calling it Shapo-fashion. I don't know about that. Who knows.

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