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March 10, 2019

Denis Shapovalov

Indian Wells, California


6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is it hard to hang around this long at a tournament and then finally play your first match?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it was kind of weird. I was telling my team I just can't wait to start. I got here obviously a week before, Friday, expecting to play Thursday. I didn't really remember that the seeds have byes. It's first time. So, yeah, found out I was playing Sunday. I had a couple more days to prepare, which was actually good.

But I started feeling well in practice, and I just kind of wanted to start off. So it was nice to actually also start with doubles yesterday, get a feel for match play.

And then, yeah, a really good one today.

Q. What were you most pleased about today?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Everything, really. I stayed really composed in my match today. I think the level was really high from both of us. It was just fun to play in that atmosphere, you know. There were so many Canadian fans. I felt like I was playing back in Canada.

It was a great environment, great match, and I'm just really, really happy with everything.

Q. Felix yesterday, Stefanos, and today we just talked with Bianca, into the round of 16...
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's unbelievable. Obviously for Felix to get his first top-10 win, I was so, so pumped. I remember still warming up, and I was asking my team, I was, like, Did they just finish? It was so quick. He really just outplayed Stefanos yesterday, from what I saw. So I was really happy for him. I gave him a big hug.

To be honest, I'm not shocked. I mean, like, I was telling everybody, it's just a matter of time until Felix and Bianca show up. They both had unbelievable games in the juniors, and I grew up with both of them. So honestly, I knew the potential they have, and I knew it's just a matter of time until they are gonna have these big results. I'm really happy for them. They are both really good people.

And hopefully we can just keep going like this to make tennis a really big sport in Canada.

Q. Do you feel any kind of energy or momentum from their success?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Of course. Of course it's always great when another Canadian is doing well, but especially Felix or Bianca, just like I said. We are all really good friends. They are all really good people.

So, you know, it really motivates me when I see Felix doing well, first of all, just because we are so close. Second of all, he is also a rival of mine, so it does motivate me and just inspire me to do as well as him or try to, you know, like today, win my second-round match like he did yesterday.

Definitely we both push each other. That's what we have been doing since juniors and since we were young. So it's kind of a great little rivalry we have.

Q. Have you looked ahead to the next round?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I play Marin, right? Yeah, obviously it's a tough one. I haven't thought too much about it. Played him once before, so I kind of have a feel of him going into the match, but he's a tough player. What I saw today, he was playing really well.

So I'm expecting a battle. I feel good, as well. I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Curious what you thought about Chris Kermode not being extended in the contract. You went to NextGen, got to know him. Are you surprised by the decision?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Definitely I support him. I agree with Rafa and Stan on what they said about Chris. But going on Stan's notes, as well, you know, for me being so young and I haven't had so much experience in the ATP Tour, and I'm not involved on the board, you know, so I don't know all of the insights and all the details.

But from what I know of Chris, he was unbelievable. I really liked him. So it's definitely a pity to see him go.

Q. End of the match, was that for Bruno?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah. Bruno just passed away, I think it was yesterday three years ago. And he's definitely a huge role model of mine. He taught me so many great things. I remember working on my backhand a lot with him.

So it's this time of year I always get emotional a little bit with it. And, yeah, honestly I just wish he was around to see how far I have come and how much -- you know, I just hope he would have been proud of me.

I definitely dedicate today to him. You know, it's not a day that goes by that I don't think of him and I don't wish that he was still around us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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