home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 27, 2018

Denis Shapovalov

New York, NY, USA

D. SHAPOVALOV/F. Auger Aliassime

7-5, 5-7, 4-1 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What can you say? Obviously a crazy way for the match to end.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it was definitely a tough way to win. First of all, I mean, it was a great match playing against Felix. The level was high at times. At first I honestly think we were both very tight, and I don't think the level was great. Then in the second set, I think it was a lot better from both of us.

At the beginning I was playing really good, then towards the end he picked it up. What happened in the third set, it's tough to see a friend go down like that. It was tough. When I saw that he was struggling, I still had to keep trying to win, keep kind of pounding it on him. It wasn't easy for me.

But, yeah, obviously it's tough how it ended. But I think this match, it's great for Canadian tennis, two young guys that are coming up that have grown up together playing against each other. It's really good. I feel that's the reason why so many Canadians are picking up tennis racquets. Honestly, it's great when these matches happen.

Q. What did it feel like seeing him on his back with his legs in the air?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I'm not exactly sure what was going on. Obviously he was struggling with something. Yeah, it's obviously not easy to see, like I said. I saw he was really struggling on the other side the next couple games. It's tough to keep pounding at it when he's a brother to me. Obviously I want the best for him, for him to be healthy.

It wasn't easy mentally-wise for me. Yeah, like I said, the first two sets the tennis was very high and it was fun to be a part of.

Q. How long have you two known each other? What was it like at the beginning being out there at a major tournament looking at him across the way?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, I think we grew up -- we grew up together. I think I've known him since I was seven or eight. Our whole lives we've known each other. It's been a pretty crazy ride with him. I remember playing him at Nationals, under 10s, under 18s, junior tournaments. Now we are here playing at a Grand Slam.

I told him at the net hopefully one day we'll be playing in the finals of this tournament. I told him to keep his head up. We're going to have so many matches together. Obviously it's never easy playing against him because he's such a close friend of mine. There's a lot of noise going on, a lot of hype whenever these matches come around. Obviously that's great, like I said, for Canadian tennis, raising the level.

It's not easy when you know the person. It's actually a pretty tough match for both of us. Yeah, it's been a crazy ride with him. Hopefully it continues.

Q. Even though it was a short match, quite emotional, how do you assess your level right now as you move into the second round?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I don't think the match was short at all. We played two sets over two hours. It was pretty long. The third set was starting, but I still felt pretty good. I'm really happy with that. Like I said, it was two long sets, very physical. I feel happy with my body.

My game was pretty good. I thought I should have had the second set. After I took the washroom break, I just came back refreshed, refocused for the third set. I had a really good start with the break in the opening game.

My game, I'm feeling confident, feeling good. Obviously I have another tough match ahead find me. Everyone in the draw is tough. It's proven today that in my opinion can play. Yeah, I'm feeling good. I don't know.

Q. What did Felix say to you about what was wrong with him, if anything?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I don't know. It was just kind of in-the-moment kind of thing. I don't want to talk too deep about it. He was definitely struggling with his stamina or something. Yeah, there's not much I want to say publicly just in terms of his sake and my sake.

Yeah, there were a couple words at the net. Obviously he was struggling seemed like breathing or something, so yeah.

Q. How much are you aware of the young Canadian NBA guys like Andrew Wiggins? Do you see a parallel between their explosion and tennis players like you and Felix onto the scene?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I met Andrew once. I don't know him too well. But obviously, yeah, there's a couple of good Canadian basketball players up-and-coming, playing really well. Yeah, it's the same kind of in tennis.

But I feel like, I don't know, a lot more kids still play basketball in Canada than they do tennis. It's a little bit more common to see basketball players come up. What me and Felix have, it's truly incredible. Like I said, it's truly making the sport bigger in our country. Hopefully we just continue to do that.

Q. A year ago you were the young 18-year-old. How is it for you today being the veteran?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I kind of like being the veteran out there. It gave me that kind of sense of confidence that he's new to this, he's never played a three-out-of-five. I knew even if he takes the early lead, in the long run I'll have a little bit more experience under long matches. It's kind of a cool sensation.

Obviously, most of the matches I play, I'm not the underdog, but the less experienced player. Yeah, definitely pretty interesting for me out there today. I think I did a pretty good job of just controlling myself and remembering that I've had more experience than him in these type of matches.

Q. Given that you've been competing and practicing with Felix for so long, what are the aspects of his game that you admire the most?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Honestly, he's a really complete player. He's got everything. I wouldn't tell him to fix one thing about his game. I just think he needs a little bit more time, he's going to have a breakthrough very soon. He's such a talented player. He goes for his shots, which I really like. He doesn't hold back. He's got a huge serve. When it's on, it's unreadable and untouchable. I think he's going to be an unbelievable player in the next couple years coming up.

I just think it's about a matter of time when he has that breakthrough and when he'll come into the top 100, top 50, so on.

Q. We heard you had a couple of training sessions with Seppi, your next opponent. What do you know about his game?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: We've hit a couple of times. Never played a match. He's definitely a super steady guy. I wouldn't say he's got crazy power, so he's not going to blow me off the court. He's really crafty, a really smart player. He's another guy that's got so much experience under his belt. He's definitely going to be a lot more experienced on the court out there.

It's going to be a tough match for me. Like I said, he's a very experienced player, he's really crafty. He's super solid from the back. It's going to be another fun match.

Q. What's the difference in the attention you're getting this year compared to last year? About the same or up a notch?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: What attention?

Q. Fans and reception.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, it's been crazy every year for me in New York, ever since I came here the first time. I fell in love with the city, mainly because the fans were coming out so much and cheering me on. Obviously I've always played well here.

It's an incredible feeling coming back here to New York. Everything is happening so quick. That's kind of how I like my pace. I like to do everything pretty fast.

But, yeah, the fans tonight were incredible. I thought they were actually pretty even tonight. Obviously two Canadian players. They were really good today. It was really fun for both of us to be out there.

Yeah, I mean, from practices, there have been a lot of people watching, supporting me. Like I said, it's always great to be here.

Q. You always take the opportunity to talk about kids in Canadian playing tennis. Vasek was winning his match at the same time you won your match. Milos won his match. How important is for the Canadian kids to see Canadians having success?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It's definitely huge. I remember growing up watching Milos, Vasek, them playing Davis Cup, supporting our country, just playing tournaments in general. It gives you that belief that you can make it as a player coming from Canada. It's not impossible that if you work hard enough, you can be like these guys.

I truly feel like obviously Milos and Vasek have paved the way. Now guys like me and Felix are coming up. It's really shown that it really is possible to be a Canadian tennis player and make it as a pro athlete in Canada.

I've seen so many more kids picking up racquets, parents and fans getting into the sport. I read tweets from fans saying, I don't normally watch tennis, but I love watching these guys playing, it's really gotten me involved with the sport. I really feel it's grown in the past couple years in the country. Hopefully it just keeps growing.

Q. You mentioned you met Andrew Wiggins. Where and when? Did you say anything to each other?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: We met at a video or photo shoot. Actually, I was pretty shy at the time. He was shy, too. We didn't say too much. We just talked a little bit. It wasn't anything crazy.

Yeah, I mean, he came across as a really nice guy, to be honest. Obviously, like I said, he was a little bit quiet, but so was I at the time. You could say I still am pretty shy around athletes like him, so...

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297