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May 27, 2019

Denis Shapovalov

Paris, France

J. STRUFF/D. Shapovalov

7-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Second time you have faced him this season. The second loss again. How did you feel on the court today? You got a pretty good start and then what happened?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah. Yeah, it definitely didn't feel great losing. But, yeah, I mean, like, it was one of those days.

He played really on. I had a good start. Had a chance to go up two breaks. Didn't take it. And he really raised his game. You know, I think I did everything I could today. I was fighting, but he was really picking his spots especially in the big points.

He came up with some crazy shots. So credit to him. He played a great match today.

Q. After you got those wins in Davis Cup on clay it's been kind of a struggle. Talk about what's not been working. What are you finding is just not working for you up there?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's just not clicking. I don't think that it's anything specific. I think I'm putting in the work. I think my game is there, but it just hasn't been clicking in the matches. You know, I've got some tough draws, some bad luck with that. For the most part, I've been playing some good matches.

But you look at last week, I'm up 3-0 against Benoit Paire and the guy turns it on, plays unbelievable in the tiebreak, wins the match. This week I'm up a break, and he played some phenomenal tennis today. Obviously I don't think it was my best match today, but I think my level was good enough today. I think I was playing pretty solid.

But in the big points, it's just, yeah, just not going my way and that's been the difference.

Q. Physically was it a tough season for you on clay? Are you feeling all right for the next few weeks?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: No, I feel all right. I didn't play too many matches.

Q. You saw this guy right at the beginning of your clay court season in Monte-Carlo. He played a pretty good match in that one as well. Do you feel like his level is very, very high? Does it feel like there are a lot of guys on clay who may not be big superstars or anything, but you come out and play them and they really pull out some good tennis?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, but I think both -- today the level from both of us was way better than Monte-Carlo. I think Monte-Carlo it was the first match, so we were both kind of not feeling great. But today, you know, we had insane points. It was good rallies from both of us.

And, yeah, I mean, I think he's a tough player on clay. I think he's a tough player on any surface, but he's one of these guys who's kind of like a dark horse and he comes out of nowhere sometimes. And when he's feeling good and playing well, he's a guy you don't want to see in the draw. He's a tough player.

But, yeah, I mean, look, it is what it is. I did everything I could for this clay court season. Wasn't the best, but I'm still going to keep my head high and I know my game is there.

I know I've been putting the work in, and I'm excited for the grass court season.

Q. After Miami you started collaborating with Adriano Fuorivia. He knows you pretty well. You have great memories with him. But now your body has grown, your tennis has also grown and changed. How is he approaching you and what do you think about this collaboration right now?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think it's just good working with Adriano because he knows me so well.

And I think beyond the coaching relationship, we're almost like family. We're really close. And when we're separated for a couple years, in that time, I mean, we've still maintained a really close relationship. We're always hanging out in Toronto, you know, and yeah, it goes beyond tennis.

But I think he's a great guy to have on my side just because I can always speak so openly with him. If I'm feeling something, if I think we got to work on something here, you know, he's the guy that's going to listen and tell me straight up.

And I think another important thing is that he -- like I said, he'll tell me everything straight up. He's not going to sugarcoat anything. If he thinks I'm not putting in the work or not doing something right, he's going to be there to tell me. And I think that's so important for me to have that, have that kind of -- you know, these kind of people on my team.

And, yeah, I mean, I think it's been really good so far. We've been really putting in some good work in the clay court season. We've been going the extra mile. Obviously it's not paying off, but I don't think it ever pays off right away. It's going to take time. It's going to take three, four months, and I'm sure I'm going to see a lot of changes in my game.

And I'm very confident and I think he's a great addition.

Q. You're not losing by scores like 6-3, 6-1. They all seem to be scores like today. It must be frustrating because you're in all the matches.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, definitely. Like I said before, you know, I've been having some bad luck, and I just haven't been playing -- haven't been winning the big points.

And today in the match, I'm up a break, have a chance to go up a double break and I don't do that. And he picked up his level. I mean, since that moment, he was playing some big moments, big points. He was serving well on break points, on deuce points, and coming up with some big volleys.

So it's a little bit unlucky. I don't think I played a bad match today. I think both of our level was pretty good.

And, yeah, for sure it's frustrating because I feel that I could and should be winning these matches. But I'm a guy that I bounce back really quick, so I'm going to stay positive. It is what it is. It's over now, the clay court season, so I can put it behind me, try to learn from it and just keep going forward.

But I think the good thing about this is that I know that my game is there. Right, like you said, I'm not losing 6-1, 6-0. I know that I'm in every match and I have a chance to win. For me, that's very important and that gives me some confidence going into the grass court season.

Q. I just want to ask you about your double partnership with Verdasco. You obviously played in Rome. One how did that come about and how did you prepare to play a Grand Slam doubles? What is the decision whether or not you play doubles in a Grand Slam or not?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, honestly, we were in Madrid and we set up a practice, and we were just talking on the bench and he's like, Hey, man, are you playing doubles in Rome. I'm like, Actually, no, I'm not. He's like, Oh, do you want to play? I'm like sure, Why not? He's like, Okay, cool. I'll sign us up.

Pretty much since then, yeah, we decided to kind of play. So we won our first round against Tsitsipas, and I can't remember who his partner was, but a good doubles team.

And we were playing, you know, really well, so we were just like -- he asked me -- actually, his coach came up to me. He's like, Hey, you want to play for Roland Garros? We could see how it is? And I was like, Yeah, sure. I'm not against it. I had a fun time playing.

For me, doubles is not about results. It's about spending more time on the court and just enjoying myself, playing some more points, and just messing around, you know, enjoying it.

And with Fernando, he's such a nice guy and funny as hell. So in Rome it was a lot of fun. You know, I said, Of course I want to do it in France.

Yeah, so that's how it kind of came about.

Q. What did that fan say to you at the end of the second set out of the stands and you said something back to them? Do you remember?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, probably nothing bad. I like to chirp.

Q. She said something like try or something like that.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Oh, yeah. No, no. Listen, she didn't say anything bad. She was trying to motivate me. I'm just -- yeah, I was just mad at myself. So, no, she didn't say anything bad. She was actually trying to support me.

Q. How did you like all the updates on the Tsonga match on Suzanne-Lenglen. The PA system was really loud.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: The only time I heard it was, like, I think it was in the third set when there's like -- I don't know. They had a commercial where it's like, "Chk, ahhh," you know? (Laughter.)

And then he missed his serve and then right away, right after, it was like "Chk, ahhh" and everybody started laughing.

But that's the only thing I heard. I didn't hear it actually. Was it loud?

Q. It was really loud?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I guess when you're in the zone, you don't pay attention to it.

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