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August 29, 2018

Denis Shapovalov

New York, NY, USA


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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. In your short career, how eventful, draining, dramatic was that match?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it was pretty crazy. Yeah, it was long. It was long and physical. Obviously I feel tired now. I'm lucky, I'm only 19 years old. I feel pretty good. I'll be ready for Friday.

But, yeah, through the third set, it was a little bit difficult. I had the break up, then my serve kind of fell apart. I let go that set. I just told myself, Listen, just pick it back up, fight for every point, just go out there and battle your heart out.

That's what I did, and got the fourth set 7-6. I used that momentum in the fifth. I was feeling really, really good at the beginning. At the end I was feeling pretty tired. But the beginning I was really jumpy. I felt like I was moving really well. I'm happy with the way I was physically, mentally, you know, I don't know, tennis-wise.

Q. Were you frustrated? The second serve isn't a weapon. Were you overhitting it? Was that the problem mostly?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: No, no, I don't think that was the problem. It was a good match from both of us. Yeah, honestly, I think what I struggled the most was with my serve. At times it was going really well. Other times, I wasn't serving so well. It's just something I'm still focused and learning to improve and to get better at.

It was a great match. It was long. A lot of momentum switches. It was pretty fun to be out there battling against him. He's such a great player. I remember growing up watching him. Yeah, it was a great match to be a part of.

Q. (Question about kissing you for good luck.)
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: She kisses it for good luck? Really?

Q. She does?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I didn't even know that.

Q. Can you explain that?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Oh, can I explain it? Yeah, there was no question.

Q. What's behind it?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: To be honest, I kind of tried to resemble myself to a wolf. I like to have a couple friends with me. I have a close group of friends with me. I can be pretty, you know, not playful, but I like to joke around off the court. When it's down to business, when I'm hunting, when I'm on court, I'm pretty fierce, intense. I show my teeth. I'm very emotional, very similar to a wolf.

We kind of started calling ourselves the Wolf Pack. We thought we needed a mascot. We found this northern wolf in Brisbane. It was actually in the airport. We thought, Listen, we've got to take him. Yeah, we got to adopt him into our family. He came with a little tag. His name was Storm.

We didn't even have to think of a name, which was good. We weren't too good with names.

Q. The weather conditions are tough recently. What did you do yesterday? How did you prepare for this match? How many hours did you practice yesterday?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Four-and-a-half. No (smiling).

I tried to stay out of the heat as much as possible yesterday. Yesterday was crazy, as well. I tried to practice. We picked the court with a little bit of shade so I could just get a good rhythm, feel good. I didn't stay too long, maybe 45 minutes max.

Today in the warmup, too, I stayed 25 minutes at the most. It was really hot. I didn't want to be out there.

I felt good. We wrapped it up quick. It was pretty tough, especially in the first two sets with the sun out. If we played a little bit earlier in the day, it would have been extremely tough to play this five-set match. But we were a bit lucky. Towards 6:00, 6:30, the shade kind of kicked in. We felt a lot better. There was more room to breathe. Felt a little bit more refreshing.

Q. Speaking of your mother, is there a specific part of your game that you attribute to her and her guidance, your attitude?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I don't think she would like me to attribute my attitude to her (laughter).

Yeah, everything really. She started my game. She put the racquet in my hand. She taught me how to hit a forehand, backhand, serve. Everything I know today is because of her. I'm very blessed that I have such an unbelievable coach with me from day one. I think she sees the game really, really well.

I've got a little bit of experience with several, just talking around the locker rooms, several coaches like this. I really think my mom has the level of these guys tennis-wise. She has a very good vision for the game. That's why I feel like we've been working so well recently together. She's really good at scouting the opponents.

At the end of the day she knows my game better than me. When something is off, she literally sees it before I even feel it. She'll see it creeping up. No, no, no, we got to work a bit more on this to make sure it's ready for tomorrow. She has an unbelievable eye. I'm very lucky to have her around with me, especially in these big tournaments.

Q. She was a junior in Russia?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: She was a good player, yeah. She was one of the top juniors. She played professionally obviously back in the day in the Soviet Union. First of all, it was tough to leave the country. You always needed permission to leave. She didn't have a lot of money to travel. She mostly played in the Soviet Union. I think she got about to 300, 400. Like I said, unfortunately she wasn't able to play more.

Yeah, she was a really good player, lefty as well. She kind of gives me a little lefty insight.

Q. What is the update on Marty Laurendeau's health? Are you expecting him back on the team any time soon?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, he's still recovering. Unfortunately the recoverment [sic] has been taking a little bit. I spoke to him recently. He's still walking with a cane. I'm not entirely sure how long it's going to be. For this season I think it's safe to say he's not going to be with me. It's better for him to recover and get 100%. After this tournament, you have to go to Asia, you have to travel far. If something like this happens again, he's so far from home, it's going to be awful.

I think we mainly made a decision that this year is kind of a write-off. I'm going to be traveling with my mom a little bit more. Yeah, we'll see from there.

Q. Are you going to bring anybody else in this season or sticking with your mom?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: For now I'm not sure. Not sure for now. We'll see soon. Right now just my mom.

Q. There was one point in the fourth set where he hit a shot, you were in good shape, I think you had a game point or breakpoint, he tipped the top of the net on his shot.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Fifth set, 30-40.

Q. How do you get through disappointing moments like that?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I just tried to refocus. Honestly it's really bad luck. But I put my -- first of all, I put myself in that situation. I went down Love-40 on my serve. I played two points to get back, hit a good forehand, came into the net. When you put yourself down Love-40, the guy can get lucky one point. That's exactly what happened.

I told myself to refocus, you've broken him four times this match, you can do it again, and that's what happened. Sure enough, the next game I broke him back. Obviously it's a little bit disappointing, especially in a fifth set, when something like this happens.

It's the game of tennis: anything can happen. Yeah, like I said, I just refocused myself and just played the next point.

Q. Kevin Anderson next match.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, I've never played him. Obviously he's an unbelievable player. He's made multiple Grand Slam finals. He's no walk in the park. He's going to be a tough opponent, tough to get a rhythm with him. Obviously he's serving unbelievably huge.

I've had a little bit of experience playing guys like this. I'm ready. It's going to be a lot of short points. I'm going to try to use the chances that I get. Obviously it's going to be another battle. I'm ready for that.

Yeah, I'm just going to go out there like I always do and just enjoy myself.

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