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June 25, 2018

Denis Shapovalov

Eastbourne, England

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Welcome to Eastbourne. What are your first impressions of the town and the facilities here?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I'm enjoying it so far. It's a really chilled sort of environment before a slam. It's ideal, I think, for the players.

You know, normally in a slam it's pretty hectic, so players like to kind of have a calm environment. A tournament like this is perfect, right on the sea, you know, a small little town, so it's pretty friendly.

The tournament has done a great job. The courts are looking great. I'm getting really excited for this week.

Q. What are you hoping to get out of it personally to prepare you for the grass courts?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, just a couple more matches would be ideal to get ready for Wimby. Obviously that's the big one everyone is looking forward to and focusing on.

But, yeah, I feel like my game is really coming along. So I feel pretty ready for this week. Hopefully I can do some damage at this tournament. That would be great.

But if not, you know, it would be nice to get at least another match or a couple in for a little bit more grass time leading up to Wimby.

Q. It's interesting looking in the papers this morning, a debate about the merits of playing matches, playing exhibitions, just training, just practicing. If you had gone through, I don't know, to the semifinals at Queen's last week, shall we say, you'd have four matches, would you have thought twice about coming here because you'd have thought you had had enough games?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It would have to be sort of a decision on the spot, depending how I feel, how the team, what they would advise me to do and stuff like this. I remember kind of I was in this situation a little bit on the clay courts. I had Madrid where I made semifinals, Rome where I made the round of 16, and then I felt pretty fatigued and I was signed up for Geneva so I decided to take the week off there.

So might have been a little bit similar. I might have still played just because there are not that many grass court tournaments and I want to play as much as possible.

I definitely would have reassessed at that stage. But having lost in the first round, I definitely knew that I wanted to come here and get a couple more matches under my belt.

Q. Obviously you won the junior title at Wimbledon. What is it about grass that you particularly like? What do you think makes it work in terms of having a long run at Wimbledon?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, the fast courts just kind of tend to suit my game. I feel like I have a pretty aggressive game style, big serving. I like to come to the net, so that kind of suits the grass, you know, and from history, a lot of aggressive players that do tend to, you know, like to come forward have done well on this surface.

I feel like it's kind of similar to me in the juniors. I have always went for my shots. You know, like I said, I love coming in. It's really suited my game. Obviously I feel like I still have a lot of room to improve on the grass to still kind of learn on. I have a lot less experience than a lot of the other players on the surface, but I feel like potentially in a couple of years it's going to be a really good surface for me.

Q. When you saw the results at Halle yesterday, did you think, ah, he is human?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, of course they are all human. They have all been beaten before. Obviously they are legends at this game, at this sport, you know, to be where they are at at their age.

But at the end of the day, it's a sport and they can lose, anyone can lose on a given day. Borna's had a really good year, has played some unbelievable tennis. I saw from his match from Zverev where he was dominating that he's playing really good tennis this week.

It wasn't that big of a shocker to me that he beat Roger. Obviously it's always tough to beat a guy at that level, but like I said, Borna has been playing unbelievable tennis this year, so I'm happy for him. Hopefully he can continue it and take it to Wimbledon.

Q. It's an individual sport, obviously, but you're part of a big bunch of guys, NextGen players, making big inroads now. When you see a result like that yesterday, is that a boost for all of you guys, someone's knocking off one of the all-time greats, and gives you extra motivation you can do that, as well?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Of course. I mean, it just shows us that, like you said, it's possible to beat these guys. Even though they are so dominant at the sport, it's something that, you know, we have the potential to do, and it's honestly pretty cool to have a group of young guys like this with such talent and such a high level coming up together.

You know, for the most part all the guys are really nice guys, so it's fun to be around them in locker rooms and see them doing well.

Obviously at the end of the day we are competitors. We try to do better than each other, but, you know, it's pretty healthy just for the fact that we all kind of get along. And, yeah, definitely it motivates the rest of us to keep working harder, you know, try to do what Borna did last week, try to improve, try to get, you know, good results.

I feel like that's kind of been the trend nowadays. You know, one guy has some success and then you see another guy coming up and it's just kind of motivating each other to do better, and I feel like it's going to keep going like this.

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