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August 6, 2018

Peter Polansky

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That tiebreaker in the first set, you were two and eight in World Masters tie-breaks up until thank point and you managed to get that one. How important was that for your confidence moving forward in that match?
PETER POLANSKY: It was actually really big, because he was serving great, and I wasn't expecting to go up by so much early on. I think I was up 4-2, 5-2.

But I thought there would be a little bit more pressure on my service game because he was holding so easily on my service points, rather, in the breaker.

But it was actually very key in the match to win that tie-break and get a bit more momentum and take the lead early on to put some pressure on in the second set.

But I think I returned well in that tie-break, and I was able to get a couple of points and get that lead early, and that was it. That was really the factor.

Q. Potential second round clash with Novak Djokovic who waits. You played him nine years ago.
PETER POLANSKY: Nine years ago already?

Q. Nine years ago here. You had two pretty tight sets, losing 6-4, 7-6, 8-6 in the tie-breaker. Does that match give you some confidence if you are to play Djokovic?
PETER POLANSKY: Not really because it was so long ago. But I think his game style, he's a little bit better for me, let's say, compared to when I play Federer second round just because Federer takes the ball so early and really puts a lot of pressure on you with that.

I do remember when I played Djokovic, I was able to get into the point, and I was able to construct points the way I wanted to. Obviously, back then, I think 2009, he was a little bit of a different player back then. But I feel like his game style will just suit me a bit more compared to playing someone like Federer, one of the big three, one of the big guys.

But if he wins, it would be a match that I'm really looking forward to.

Q. If it is Novak in the next round or even if it's Chung, good chance that's going to be on one of the big courts. Having one match under your belt on center court, does that give you any sort of advantage, especially in front of the home crowd?
PETER POLANSKY: No. I don't think it's really an advantage. Maybe if I played Chung it could be a little bit just having the home crowd support. But I think Djokovic has plenty of experience in that department.

Q. You're one of five Canadians playing center court today. I'm just wondering how does Canadian tennis look today different from maybe when you first sort of arrived on the scene?
PETER POLANSKY: Actually, I was thinking about that just recently. I think it was a lot different.

When I was 18, I was an up-and-coming player. I had a good ranking, but I felt like getting the wildcard into the Rogers Cup was a little easier. If you were ranked high, just kind of assumed you were getting it.

Now, with the depth that we have, unless you're on top of your game at that very moment during the year, you're not going to be getting the wildcards here and having that opportunity to play in main draw of Masters Series event.

So I think the depth is just -- it's so big right now you can't -- like, even with my ranking before Granby was 120. I defended those points that I was defending, but it wasn't certain that I was getting the wildcard.

So it's always something to look forward to. Sometimes a little stressful because like, okay, I need to play all these tournaments to kind of like prove myself for the wildcard.

But in the end, it's events that I do like playing, so it's okay for me.

Q. The Deuce at 3-3 in the second set seemed like there was about 15 points exchanged there. Just talk about that battle and going point for point right there.
PETER POLANSKY: Yeah. It was for sure a key moment in the match. I think if I got broken there, the momentum would have turned just in his favor quite a bit but, obviously, I would have stayed in the match.

But it was only big just because I had so many game points. And I think it would have given a bit of a mental edge knowing that he could break me and take the lead in the second set.

But I think I was a little bit lucky. I don't think I faced a break point in that game, even though it was so long.

But it was a good battle I won. I had to focus. And those ad points weren't coming so easy. So it was tough. I think the first three or four I, didn't make a first serve. And then the last three or four, I was making first serves but he kept putting returns back deep in the court and getting into the point. And I didn't really have a ball that I could just tee off on or try to close that point out.

But it was definitely a big game in the second set that could have turned things around. I was fortunate to get that one.

Q. Following up on that comment you made about getting into the wildcards and the question about the depth of Canadian tennis. There's four wildcards for this event. One went to Andy Murray. There's a lot of talk Stan Wawrinka should have gotten one. You figure Vasek and Felix are going to get the other two. Were you thinking all along that you were going to be playing qualifiers or was there a commitment to you early on?
A. Well, there's zero commitment, so it's a little bit tough. Because, like, you kind of know Felix and Vasek are going to get one. And then myself, third highest ranked, maybe 20, 30 spots below Vasek, and I'm not a shoe-in for that wildcard.

But it's, like I said, it's kind of something I kind of need to fight for. You can't really earn a wildcard, but I'm happy that my ranking has allowed me to get chosen for it.

And, yeah, there was a lot of talk about giving that second one to Wawrinka, but at the same time it's a Canadian event. Giving one to Andy was -- I think it was good enough. I don't know about giving two away in your home country, regardless to a top player.

But even the Andy one, I was a little surprised by that one just because he was entered on his protected ranking, and the Federation decided to help him out so he could pull out with his protected and get a wildcard entry so he could save it for another tournament.

But I think one is good to give away to a top player, but two is, in my opinion, pushing it.

Q. In any way, shape, or form does a win today validate that in your mind?
PETER POLANSKY: No, I don't think so. I mean, it's nice to win these matches, but I don't think it validates, like, just this one match. I think it's been just a buildup throughout the year of results and doing well in other tournaments that kind of merits being an option for a wildcard. But I don't think just winning a match here is, Oh, wow, he won a match, so I guess he deserves it, that kind of thing. It's not like that.

Q. Just wanted to ask you because you recently won the Challenger in Granby. I believe you won on a Sunday and then you played in Mexico on Tuesday?

Q. Just how exhausting is that to have a tough week, win an event, and then take a 10-hour flight to your next match?
PETER POLANSKY: Yeah, it's pretty crazy, but I don't know. I don't know why I went. I wanted to go. I knew I played well there last year.

And it is pushing my body to the limit, but whatever. I was just happy to go and compete there. It's a nice play to go. That's another thing too.

And it's actually good preparation because it's crazy hot there. You play night matches.

But I think had it been a Challenger I was entered the following week, I would have withdrawn. But it was a tour level. It was a 250. I don't get to play main draws too often, and I just went there, just went to play and kind of enjoy it.

Q. The conditions today with the sun, a little bit tricky this time of day. How windy was it?
PETER POLANSKY: Yeah, the wind picked up quite a bit, especially until the second set. Actually, I was surprised at how well we both played and served given how windy it was.

But it was definitely tricky especially when some of those moments where it was 30-All, 30-40, and the wind picked up. And you tend to hesitate a little bit when it's windy.

But it was okay. It wasn't too bad.

Q. How much did you appreciate winning the tournament in Granby?
PETER POLANSKY: Yeah. I mean, it was only my third Challenger title. So, obviously, 12 years of playing three Challenger titles, every one you win, it's very special. And having it at home in Canada, I have won two in Canada now, one in the States.

So I was actually really impressed by Granby, just by the amount of people that came out to support the Challenger tournament. And the crowds, they were just very into the match and wanted all the Canadians to win. I was actually quite impressed this year. It's been nice every year, but this year every match was just completely packed. For a Challenger, you don't see that very often. So it's nice.

And having a Challenger win coming into this tournament is very big, too, because it's not anyone that just wins Challengers. You've got to win five matches in a row, five tough matches.

So I was really happy and just pleased with my results over the summertime.

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