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May 31, 2018

Denis Shapovalov

Paris, France

M. MARTERER/D. Shapovalov

5-7, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. You had a pretty good start, but it turn, a tiebreaker in the second set, could you summarize the way it went on?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah. I mean, I went up a set and a break, you know, feeling good. I let him back into the match a little bit. After that, I was struggling a little bit with my serve. You know, I could have served much better.

But aside from that, I feel like that was the only real difference between us today. I mean, we both played really well off the ground. He's playing really good tennis, especially in the big points today.

You know, credits to him. If he keeps playing like this, I'm sure he can go far.

Q. You talked about your return at the previous press conference, that it was something you need to improve. When you made those break points in the fourth, do you think that shot cost you a bit today too?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Maybe a little bit. Honestly, it was tough to return his serve. First of all, he's serving big. Also, the court had a lot of bad bounces. So some of them were tricky, especially on the returns.

You know, it was going both ways. Yeah, it's definitely something I could keep improving. I haven't played many lefties, so it's a different spin, it's a different look.

Yeah, I mean, I can't be so upset at myself, you know, for these chances. Obviously I had a lot of them today, but I feel like every time I did, he was coming up with big weapons, big shots. And, like I said, it's big credits to Max. He played a really good match.

Q. You had a really good run in Madrid on the clay. So what was different here?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Nothing. Not every week is going to be the same. You run into guys that are playing well, playing hot. You know, in Madrid it was me; today it was Max.

Yeah, like I said, in Madrid I was serving a bit better. But apart from that, off the ground I felt pretty well today and physically I felt good. I'm happy with that.

Obviously I'm disappointed with the loss, but like I said, I'm only 19, so not every week is going to be a semifinals of, you know, of a big tournament. It's going to be ups and downs, and, yeah, I just have to keep enjoying it, keep enjoying the journey.

Q. Is there any reason why you shouldn't be successful on clay? Today it didn't seem like -- I always ask it myself -- why should this guy not be as successful as on hard court, on clay?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Appreciate that. Thank you.

Yeah, I feel like my game does suit this court, for sure. And I feel like in the future I could get really good on it.

You know, I'm pretty excited about that. I'm pretty excited to come back next year and, you know, play all these clay tournaments again.

But it's been more about not growing up on the surface, so I didn't really know how to play on it. When you're playing all these Europeans, they know exactly what to do on this court. Especially at the beginning, I was kind of getting lost in the rallies, you know, how am I supposed to, you know, use my game to win these points, to win these matches?

So after I kind of figured that out, it's gone a lot easier for me, and it's given me that confidence and inner self-belief that I can play on these courts, and, yeah, that I can do well.

Q. If you had to play him tomorrow on grass or hard court, would be the difference of the game being favorable for you?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I'm not sure. He has a pretty big serve so I don't think it was the surface today. Obviously he has a pretty heavy forehand, which is pretty effective on clay.

I'm not sure. Honestly, I don't know what the outcome would be on any other court. It's tough to say. You have to see when you play him on the other surfaces.

Q. You're going to arrive on grass with lots of confidence, great form. What's your plan now? A bit of rest? What is the schedule to get to Wimbledon? Because expectations will be big there, too.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, grass is going to be a big part of the season for me. I think, I always enjoyed playing on it. It really suits my game style.

But, you know, you don't always know with grass. You know, every year it's kind of different. You have different sensation.

I'm excited to go out there. Obviously I'm going to try to rest for a couple of days. I'm not sure where exactly I will go yet. I will talk to my team and make up my mind.

I start in Stuttgart next week. Probably get there around Thursday. Yeah, that's that.

I'm excited, you know, it's a short part of the season, but for me it's the funnest part.

Q. Considering how fast you have shot up the rankings, you obviously don't have too many best-of-five matches compared to many of the other guys obviously. How difficult is it maybe to temper expectations a little bit for the slams and say, Okay, I haven't had too many of those, three-hour, four-hour matches to keep things in perspective?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, absolutely. It's a different match. Today was pretty long. I think we went over three hours, you know, long four sets.

It's new to me, just like every tournament I have been playing, every city I have been going to. Everything is just kind of new. It's my -- well, I played at Davis Cup three-out-of-five on clay, but this is my first time playing at Roland Garros three-out-of-five.

I'm pretty happy how my body held up. I felt if the match went the distance that I would have been fine. Really happy with that. You know, it's really good news.

Yeah, I think, you know, I just gotta keep playing, gotta keep playing these tournaments. With time the experience will grow.

Q. Do you think that you can learn from any surface? Do you need more patience in clay, or your game, it will be the same all around?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I mean, at the end of the day I think I have to keep my character on the court, keep my game style, you know, which is being aggressive, dictating, coming to the net a lot.

Obviously on clay it's not as easy to do, especially with conditions like today where the court is pretty heavy, you know, Max is hitting heavy balls. It was not easy to come in.

Definitely a bit more patience is going to be better for me, just staying with these guys, you know, opening up the court more, stuff like this.

And honestly, that's just been something I have always had to do. I have always had that in me to go for the winner. It's always been about, you know, how do we work the point so that then you have the shot that you can go for the winner, you know.

Yeah, on the other surfaces, maybe it's a bit easier. On grass I can serve and volley more, I can come in.

But at the end of the day, to answer your question, yeah, I think I still have to keep my identity, keep my game style.

Q. For me, it seemed like somewhere in the third set you started having a bit more problems with his serve. Maybe I didn't see that correctly, but if it was so, what was the reason? Did he change anything about his serve?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I'm not sure. I struggled a bit the whole match, especially when there were new balls, the serve was flying really fast coming off his racquet well.

But like I said, I mean, first of all, I'm not the best returner, so I definitely want to keep improving on that aspect. And I haven't played against too many lefties, so it's a different view, it's a different ball. It was tricky a bit.

I don't think I returned awful today. I think it was all right. Obviously I could do a better job, but I think the biggest difference today was definitely the serve of mine.

Q. There was a lot of attention on you last year when you beat Rafa Nadal, and like you said, you're young, and Zverev is 21. How do you deal with the pressure of expectation going forward?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I don't know. I just try not to put any on myself, really, to be honest.

Obviously, you know, when you have good results, any player is going to have a lot of media, a lot of people talking about them. But for me, for example, I mean, I just try to stay in my bubble and stay with my team and my family and just listen to what they have to say, not what everyone else thinks.

Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, I play the sport for myself. You know, I come out, I enjoy it. It's not about, you know, what people will think about me. I do it for myself.

That alone, you know, it takes the pressure off me. If I lose, it's my bad. If I win, you know, it's good on me.

So I don't listen to what, you know, what people think, if people are judging me or not.

At the end of the day, I chose this sport because I love it; not because someone told me to do it.

Yeah, that's what keeps it easier.

Q. The match seemed to go a little bit flat in the third set. It kind of went in a lull. Why do you think that happened and could you have taken advantage of something there?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I think so. That was a very good part -- I think I had Love-30 at one game, and he played some really good points.

Yeah, the first two sets were just so high quality. You know, for sure, at some point the match was going to drop in level and quality. I mean, it always happens in tennis. You know, obviously I could have taken advantage, but we were serving pretty well. It was going pretty easy. Like I said, I had that Love-30, and he played a really good game.

Then a couple games later, he played well to break me. It's one of those days, you know, it's a little bit disappointing, but, I mean, like I said, credits to him. He played a really good match, and he deserved to win today.

Q. Any chance you go home now?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I don't think so.

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