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November 8, 2017

Denis Shapovalov

Fiera Milano, Italy


4-1, 4-1, 3-4, 4-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just looking at the whole picture of this tournament and the guys that are around you, tennis is about rivalries, we have got some classic rivalries over the last ten years, are you looking forward to making some good rivalries with these guys?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Definitely. I mean, there are so many players here that, you know, have had so much success this year, have beaten top guys. I mean, everyone here deserves to be here. Even Gianluigi, he played a qualifying tournament, beat some tough guys. It's not easy to make it here. He's playing some unbelievable tennis, for sure. He's going to have an unbelievable season next year. He's a great player.

But even the ones that didn't make it, I feel there are a lot of players that just missed it by a couple of points, couple of matches that are just so good and they will be good players, as well. It's really cool to see a bunch of young guys coming up and playing so well. I'm sure in a couple of years we are going to see more and more changes in the rankings.

Q. How complete of a set was that second set? Nine winners, no errors, didn't lose a point on serve. Where was that in terms of how you've played all year?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I played really well today throughout the whole match. I was in control, had a couple of break points in third set, and he played an unbelievable point at the deuce point, making an unbelievable volley. He picked up his level. The crowd started going insane. It really pumped him up and he started playing really well.

I think I kept my level up. It was tough mentally to stay in that match, losing the third set in a breaker, not having many chances to break in the fourth. I kept fighting, kept sticking to my game, and eventually I was able to close it out.

Q. How much do you think the fact that -- when he would hit a forehand, obviously it would go to your forehand. How much did that help you in the early goings, especially, forehand volleys?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it was different. You don't play lefties much. It's never easy. It's a new look. Serve is coming at you a different way, the strokes, the tactics are a little bit different.

I tried to keep it pretty much the same. I knew with my forehand I could dictate most of the court, so I tried to play as many forehands as I can. He did a good job to pin me to the backhand in third and fourth. Like I said, I found my chances, took them. I was playing well today, playing aggressive. I'm very happy with the win.

Q. Playing at a tennis tournament like this, do you feel your international star growing?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Definitely. I mean, it's been growing all year, and this definitely is helping it. It's such a cool event to have, and it's going to be around for many years to come.

Like I said, very honored to be one of the top eight that made it to this tournament. Obviously it's got a global audience, so it's definitely promoting me, promoting all the other players. Yeah, I think the best part is just promoting the sport in general.

Q. At the net you hit 41 winners today. Do you feel your kind of brand of tennis suits this tournament, suits this format?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It's tough to say. I only played two matches on it. Both have been very difficult. A lot of tiebreaks. So, you know, it's always one or two points that decide it.

Yesterday I got a little bit unlucky. He played well today. It went my way a bit more. But, yeah, I feel like with this format it's going to go down to a lot more tiebreaks, a lot more intense moments just because there are so many less chances to break. Yeah, just even if you do break, there's not many chances to break back.

Q. Looking at what Alex Zverev has done this year, going up to No. 3 in the world, has that kind of set the level for you guys, set the bar very high? Do you think that's something that's achievable for you next year?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I definitely wouldn't put myself 3 in the world. What he's achieved this year is unbelievable. He's been playing so well.

Yeah, I mean, credits to him. You know, he's so young and doing so well. So I'm very happy for him. He's a great guy.

Yeah, everyone goes down their own road. I'm really happy with where I am this year. Like I said, my goal was to be 150. Just outside of the top 50. I'm extremely happy with this year.

We'll see next year. I haven't even set any goals yet. I'm going to finish the year off and then discuss with my team about rankings and other goals I have for next year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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