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August 8, 2018

Denis Shapovalov

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you tell us what you and Fabio said in that changeover to each other that got the crowd booing?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Honestly, I'm not sure what he said. It was really loud. And unfortunately, I don't speak Italian yet, so maybe you guys can roll it back and have a slow motion. We'll see.

I just told him if he has a problem, we can discuss it after. But, yeah, I just tried to stay focused.

Q. Could you talk about what you were thinking when you were trailing 4-0 in the second set?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I told myself -- I just tried to, you know, go back to being a little bit more disciplined and building your points more.

And then I got the break at 4-0, so I told myself, okay, let's hold. Now you're only down one break and maybe you'll have a chance to break.

And once I was up 4-2, it felt like I had a lot of momentum rolling with me, so I took advantage of that game and played really well.

And after that, yeah, I just used my momentum extremely well.

Q. I want to ask you about something that Zverev said last week talking about your mother, along with his mother, Rublev's mother, I believe, and Tsitsipas' mother all used to play tennis together. He said he hadn't heard any stories from his mom, but any stories that she had spoken to you about the time together or anything that you've been able to use at any point in time to sort of motivation or anything.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Nothing specific. My mom, obviously she told me she knows all of them. No stories or anything. I think she's actually a bit younger than most of them. So they never really -- I mean, they kind of trained together, but they never -- you know, the other girls were a little bit of an older age, older group.

But, yeah, I don't have any specific stories, unfortunately. I should ask.

Q. Last night you spoke about how much you love playing here and being on center court. You were expecting to be on center court today. You ended up on the grandstand. How was the experience playing on the smaller court?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: First of all, I just want to apologize to the fans and friends that weren't able to see me today. You know, I just know how many friends wanted to come out today and how many fans were looking forward to seeing me on center court this week. And, unfortunately, with the rain delay, it got moved to grand stand. So it was a little bit disappointing, you know, just in that sense.

But the crowd on grand stand, I think it helped me a lot because it was so ecstatic, so energetic because it's so compact, that it actually bothered Fognini quite a bit, especially toward the end.

So it really worked in my favor, and I really enjoyed myself out there.

Q. A follow-up to the previous question. There's quite a few young guys sharing Russian heritage on the tour right now. Do you feel a connection there because of that?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Like with me and the NextGen guys?

Q. Zverev and Rublev.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, first of all, they're all great guys, so it's great to share a locker room with a bunch of motivated guys that are actually pretty nice and, you know, fun to be around. So it's a good atmosphere in the locker room.

And I just think it's such an unbelievable era of tennis, one of the best, I think, in the history because you saw the legends like Roger and Rafa and, you know, Novak, Murray, all these guys still playing.

Whereas, you have guys like Zverev and me and Rublev and Frances, all these young guys coming up that are so good and breaking into the top 30s and top 50s, stuff like this.

So it's unbelievable where the tennis level is at now. Every week you'll have crazy matches, and it's a really exciting time of tennis.

You know, and I feel like the young generation, we all kind of push each other because we're all so motivated. We're young. We want to play every week and do better than each other.

So it's a really healthy rivalry, and I feel that's why we've all come so far in such a short period of time. We're all just pushing each other to do better and work harder.

Q. I just want to come back to your comeback. To be trailing 0-4 and to come back and win that set and the match, how satisfying is that?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's unbelievable.

Like I said, honestly, I was just preparing for the third set trying to get a rhythm. Just getting ready to play big in the third.

And then, you know, once I got that one break, I told myself, okay, let's keep fighting and, you know, maybe you'll have a chance to break him again. You've done it a couple of times in the match so you could definitely come back.

And I just picked my level up. I kind of loosened up. And honestly, I was down 4-0, but I was just missing the balls by a little bit. So it was actually pretty close. I mean, I knew I was able to come back.

And obviously it's extremely satisfying to win that set, you know, not having to go into a third set, whereas, you know, the odds were so stacked against me.

Q. After the rain delay, you won the set and then you went down a quick Love-4 and it was kind of surprising how it slipped away pretty quickly there. It was sprinkling rain at that point. There was a lot of noise coming from the driers on the court next door. Was it a lot of distractions going on then or what was it?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I didn't feel distracted too much. Obviously it was loud and there was thunder, and there was a lot of stuff going on, but I don't think that was the reason for me going down 4-0.

I think, first of all, Fognini picked up his game a little bit. And I just, like I said, I was missing by a couple of inches a couple big points.

So, you know, it was a quick turnaround and, yeah, it just felt pretty fast to me. All of a sudden, I won a set and, next thing I know, I'm down 4-0. So I told myself, look, let's take some time. Regroup. Get your game back and prepare for the third.

But I just kept fighting. And once I got that first break, I just told myself, look, I can come back in that set. And, yeah, I just believed in myself.

Q. Just to piggyback on that grandstand thing, you sent out a tweet about the grandstand that I think a lot of us read as a sarcastic tweet and then you deleted it. Do you want to address that?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, definitely. I did make a tweet and, you know, it came out the wrong way, which is why I deleted it.

But like I said, the main purpose of the tweet was because I was disappointed, obviously not for myself, but because there was so many fans and friends that wanted to come watch me on center court and they weren't able to.

So it was nothing against anyone. It was just disappointment from my part that, you know, these fans that have waited the whole year to watch me weren't able to see me this year.

But, you know, luckily they'll have a chance tomorrow again.

Q. With the way you're feeling now, are you getting similarities to what you were feeling last year in Montreal when you started to make that charge?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, definitely. I think my game is at a very high level right now. You know, last week, even though I lost to Kei, it was a really good match. And I was telling everyone, I'm playing well in practice. I'm feeling really good.

And I think having my mom on the side has really helped me the last couple weeks. I've really picked up my game. We've really worked on a couple of aspects that have helped me in the last couple of weeks. So I'm playing really good tennis, and I'm really happy with where I am right now.

But I have a really tough match again tomorrow, so we'll see out there how I'm feeling.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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