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August 8, 2018

Peter Polansky

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

N. DJOKOVIC/P. Polansky

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It never seems like you get easy second-round matches here at the Rogers Cup. How would you assess how you were feeling coming into this one against Novak and then how it went for you out on the court today?
PETER POLANSKY: Yeah, I don't think there's too many easy second-round matches here given it's a Masters-level event.

But I felt really good going into the match. I thought I played very well. And, yeah, had a couple chances, not many, but I had a couple of chances. 30-Alls, maybe a couple break points that he played solid on. But I thought it went really well out there. 6-3, 6-4, probably a little closer than the scoreline said.

But, yeah, I'll take it as a good experience and look forward to the next event.

Q. You've managed to be able to get into the three Grand Slams via lucky losers. Do you have any strategies for the US Open?
PETER POLANSKY: Well, step one is getting into the last round of qualifying. And then step two is -- I don't know. Don't really need to play that last match, I guess.

But I don't know. I kind I want to get in directly, but a small, a very small part of me wants to get in as a lucky loser into the US Open and make history.

Q. Just where do you rank this year for you in terms of you've had a lot of ups and good things that have happened, obviously the lucky loser stuff, but you've played some main draws. Just talk about your year and where it ranks in terms of years for you.
PETER POLANSKY: Yeah, I think in terms of wanting to be a top 100 player before the summer, I would say my results have been okay, maybe average, again, for being a top 100 level player. To be a 150 to 200 level player, I think my ranking up until the summer was pretty good. So kind of relative to where you want to be.

But with that Challenger win, winning a round here, I think I have turned that around here a bit, and I've once again put myself in a good spot to get closer to the top 100, perhaps inside, maybe by the end of the year if not early next year would be really nice.

So I think these last few results and just staying the course the whole year, even though I haven't had the results I wanted probably for the first four or five months, now I'm in a good spot.

So as I said even before the Challengers when I was talking to some media, just my game was in a place that I really wanted it to be where I was just feeling good in how my level was and how I was competing and mentally where I was.

So, yeah, really happy with how these last few weeks have gone. I'm going to play Vancouver next week and then US Open. I'm not sure in the fall just yet. Kind of depends on whether I get the call for Davis Cup or not if I go to Asia or stay in the United States.

I'm just in a very good spot right now, just where I want to be, and looking forward to finishing the year and see if I can get into that top 100.

Q. What makes Novak Djokovic such a tough opponent to play against?
PETER POLANSKY: I would say, number one, in the big moments, he raises his level on the big moments. I only got one free point on, like, a 30-All or, you know, deuce or break point.

But what I found trickiest out there was just his serve locations. He doesn't have the biggest serve, but he's putting every serve, like, on the line or an inch from the line every time. So that kind of got me.

He was serving out wide on the deuce side a lot. And I even knew he was going there a couple of times. But, again, it was just like every time it was just right on the line or next to it, which made it a tough serve. And even when I got it back, I was kind of out of position to get into the point. So unless I was making a really good return, I felt like I just wasn't in the point.

Other than that, I felt for a guy ranked top 10 and who's been number one for so long, when we got into those baseline rallies, I felt really good. I felt like whoever had the first cut was just going to take the point.

And I felt like we were actually trading baseline points. It was pretty even out there. Even when I was able to get a forehand, I felt in control, which has given me some confidence, you know, against a top 10 player.

Q. Back to the lucky loser thing. When you got one and then two and then three, what was sort of your reaction to that? Do you feel lucky for lack of a better word?
PETER POLANSKY: I like your questions.

Well, I had this weird feeling in Australia, like -- because I was actually -- in Australia, I was number five. I was waiting on Vasek's match. And if he lost, that would put me at number five. But he won, so that put me into number four.

In Australia, I just had this weird feeling as soon as -- because there were automatically two that I knew of. And I was like, bam, like, I'm going to get it. And I did.

For French Open, I was a little bit tight, but I ended up getting it. I still felt like there was a good chance. And then for Wimbledon, I was actually the most, let's say, nervous. But I was walking to the referee's office after the matches, and I could see two guys that were already so happy and smiling. I'm, like, what's going on, like, you know, kind of thing.

But I went to the office. And I wasn't directly, like, one of the initial guys to get in. So I was, like, okay, this is interesting.

But it was surprising the number of lucky losers at these Slams. You know, eight and seven, I think it was, the last two. I think it has to do more with the fines that have been given out. No one wants to take the risk of not playing healthy.

I would say I'm a little bit lucky, but at the same time I've had to put myself in that position to get into the last round of qualifying consistently every single time and also being one of the higher ranked players losing.

So I've given myself a chance. That's all you can ask for. And if you do get the lucky loser, you get it. If not, you don't.

But last year, for Wimbledon and US Open, I think I was second alternate. I didn't get in. So I lost last round quallies there too. So could have said I was unlucky there but made up for it this year. I think it goes -- like, you can't expect it. It just goes hand in hand. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you won't.

Q. Just wondering if you caught any of Felix and Denis' matches yesterday and your thoughts about their performances?
PETER POLANSKY: I watched some of Felix. I thought he played very well, playing so aggressive. And I thought Pouille, you know, he didn't play a bad match. So I think it's credit to Felix for that one. He played well. He played super aggressive and took his chances, and he won those big points.

I didn't catch any of Denis' match, but I'll probably watch some later this week. I think they both have got potential to do some damage around here. So we'll see.

Q. With this being Daniel Nestor's last Rogers Cup and you have spent so much time around him I'm assuming over the years with Davis Cup and things like that, can you sort of share some good memories of being around him and the effect he's had on the rest of the Canadian crew.
PETER POLANSKY: I think he's always been one of the guys to look up to, especially early on, like, maybe five, ten years ago. He's been kind of the face of Canadian tennis up until Milos came around. And even then, he's one of the guys you look up to. He's had such a great career. The longevity of his career has been outstanding.

And I think he's a role model just for someone who's always been at the top, always played at that level. And, you know, I can't even imagine playing at his age right now. Like, that's just not going to happen with my body. So I'm going to happily hang up my rackets in the next, you know, whenever that time comes, five, six years.

But, yeah, he's a great guy to be around. He's got a lot of energy, especially during Davis Cup and whenever I do see him at the Grand Slams.

But he's definitely a personality to remember in the locker rooms.

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