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November 2, 2019

Denis Shapovalov

Paris, France



THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. When did you learn that Rafa wasn't going to play today?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I was in the locker room right before the match and I had the supervisors let me know.

So hopefully, I mean, I hope it's nothing too serious. Hopefully he's back and healthy for London. I feel like he's had an amazing season, and it would be great to see him healthy and playing well in London. I think he can do really well there.

Q. I imagine it's not the way you wanted to reach a final. How much were you looking forward to the challenge of facing him? You obviously beat him the first time you played him, so what were you looking forward to and expecting? You obviously weren't, you know, not happy to reach the final in this way.

Q. You would have been looking forward to playing him. What were you expecting from that match?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Well, of course it's not the way I want to reach my finals, of course, first finals. But, yeah, nonetheless it's a great opportunity for me to be in the finals of a 1000.

In terms of Rafa, I mean, yeah, I've played him twice before. So I felt like on hard courts I could really, really kind of be aggressive against him and really play my game and kind of take it to him.

So I felt pretty comfortable, pretty excited to be going out against him. Of course it was going to be a really interesting and fun match for me to play.

Q. Thanks to this you're going to be in the top 15 regardless of the outcome of the final tomorrow. You could even jump to No. 11. Two-part question. First part, would you have expected this, I mean, at the start of the week or even in the last few months? And two, do you consider yourself already being at that level around guys like Tsitsipas, Berrettini, Goffin?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah. Definitely I think my level is there. You know, I've beaten most of these guys here or there. You know, or a guy like Goffin, I have gotten really close with him.

Of course I think my level is there and I knew, you know, it's just -- for me it's just a question of time. I've been putting in the work and I felt like, you know, everyone has their own route and path to kind of get and climb the rankings.

And it's just taken me a little bit of time to kind of improve my game and just grow as a player. But, yeah, of course I'm shocked that, you know, it's coming, you know, kind of not quickly but all in a spurt of one or two weeks.

At the same time, I feel like my game has been there almost all season. I've been pushing these guys. Just haven't been able to get through the finish line.

And something in the last couple weeks has clicked for me, so I feel like, yeah, I'm really happy with the way things are turning out.

Q. Do you think that your level against Monfils will be enough against Novak tomorrow or will you have to up your game tomorrow against Novak?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It's tough to say. It's going to be a different match.

But of course I feel like the way I played against Gael was unbelievable. It was kind of one of those days where everything was going in for me. So I hope I can bring the same kind of level that I did against him.

But at the same time, Novak is a different player. So it's going to be a different kind of game and it's going to be different tennis.

Q. Obviously Djokovic is a much different player and much more successful than most. Do you have to cut down some of the risks against him or do you go all guns blazing again?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I'm not one to cut down risk, so I'm going to go for it. It's a match where I have nothing to lose.

It's awesome to be in my first finals and it's just kind of a bonus for me. Honestly, I'm just going to go for it, see what I can do and just enjoy my time out there.

Q. What do you take out of the third time you have played him already? You lost, but each time you learn more about their game. Do you think it's useful?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Definitely I feel like every time I get little more and more input on how he plays. I think when he played me in Shanghai, he played absolutely amazing. I don't think I played bad at all, but he was coming up with amazing shots.

So hopefully he's missing a little bit more tomorrow, a little bit tighter. But hopefully I can also step up my game and play the way I've been playing all week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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