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November 23, 2019

Frank Dancevic

Denis Shapovalov

Vasek Pospisil

Paris, France

CANADA 2, Russia 1

RUBLEV/Pospisil 6-4, 6-4

SHAPOVALOV/Khachanov 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

POSPISIL-SHAPOVALOV/Khachanov-Rublev 6-3, 3-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Okay. First question, please.

Q. I want to know how you feel about this tough match? And then for the reason of being for the first time in a Davis Cup Final for Canada. Thank you.
FRANK DANCEVIC: Who was the question for?

Q. Your sensations, for the two of them.
VASEK POSPISIL: What was the question?

FRANK DANCEVIC: You have to direct the question to somebody if you want them to answer it.

Q. Denis, Vasek, how do you feel about this tough match, three sets, three great sets, with Andrey and Karen? They have played eight matches in six days. For the other part, how do you feel about classifying Canada for its first Davis Cup Final? Thank you.
VASEK POSPISIL: I'll answer the first part.

I mean, yeah, today was an incredible match. I mean, the doubles, just with the buildup, obviously getting to this moment the last five days, I mean, it took a lot of emotions even just to get to this match.

So, I think, just it's kind of like building, building, building, and every match feels that much more, you know, emotional and like a huge success. Obviously it was to win that in the third set tiebreak makes it that much more dramatic and that much more special.

So, yeah, I mean, it's pretty incredible to make the finals first time in history for Canada. To do it the way it happened was pretty special to be a part of.

Q. Denis, first for you and then Vasek. Of course great congratulations.

Q. Canada is cold. It's not that big. But...
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Canada's not that big?

Q. Population-wise. It is almost ten times smaller than my country. You beat a team called Golden State. Bianca had an incredible year.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: You're talking about the Raps? I was so confused.

Q. You and Felix have had great years. Could you just talk about the success of Canada and the success of Canadian tennis? It's just extraordinary.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I think it's amazing. I'm a huge Raps fan so I'm really happy they were able to win the Championship.

But in terms of us, yeah, I think it's spectacular what we've been able to do, especially me and Felix. Felix has had such a tremendous year. It's not a shocker for me that he's doing as well as he is. He's an unbelievable player and an even better professional and hard worker. So it's amazing to see him doing so well.

In terms of what we've been doing this week, it's -- I mean, there's really no words for it. I don't think any of us, any of us expected that we could get this far. Obviously, we knew we have a great team. But, you know, you have to have a little bit of luck on your side and just play some ridiculous tennis and play at a ridiculous level. And I think we just absolutely played ridiculous tennis (laughing).

Yeah, I mean, I'm super-stoked to be in the final. It's one of my dreams, you know, to play in Davis Cup Final. And to be able to bring the country to this position, it's just a dream come true. It's ridiculous. (Laughing.)

Q. (Off microphone.)
VASEK POSPISIL: Just the same question?

Q. Yes, the same question.
VASEK POSPISIL: Denis pretty much summed it up. It's incredible to be in the final. For me, I've been on the tour for 12 years now and this is an incredible moment to be part of this. You know, especially -- and I've brought it up a few times. But I was injured at the beginning of this year, had surgery and, you know, wasn't sure how much, you know -- how many moments like this I might have.

But, you know, I got back to a really high level much faster than I expected, which was really nice. And, you know, I worked really hard for that. To be here now and playing finals of Davis Cup for Canada is incredible. So I'm pretty thrilled.

Q. Denis, this is a question for you. Like, you have Russian origin, your parents are coming from there, and you also have a Russian coach in Mikhail Youzhny. So your thoughts on playing Russia. Do you have any emotions when you face Russia in particular? If you're not playing them, would you kind of support them? What are your emotions?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: No, I don't think it changes anything for me. You know, I'm Canadian and I was representing my country. So I don't think it played any part today or made any difference.

Historically, I mean, of course, yeah, the two countries that I do support is Canada and Russia. But I mean, more than that, I think Karen and Andrey are amazing guys. So yeah, it was amazing to see them get this far. And of course, if we can win today, I would wish them the best and hope that they could lift the title. I think they're just amazing players.

But yeah, I mean, of course, my background's both Russian and Canadian, you know. But I consider myself Canadian, you know. That's the country that gave me a home for me and my parents when I was growing up, and that's the country I represent.

Q. (Off microphone.)
THE MODERATOR: You have asked a question.

Q. A question for Vasek. At the match point, what did you pass in your mind? For example, I saw that your first serve was going a mile away.
VASEK POSPISIL: Yeah. No, honestly, I was not -- I was, you know, my first serve looked more nervous than I was actually feeling. I think maybe I just went for a little bit too much. I wanted to just finish the match on a big serve maybe.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: It was a big serve.

VASEK POSPISIL: It was big but far, far from the target.

No, I thought we played an amazing breaker. We played such a high level, we played all the big points well. All four of us. It was a really high-level match. Then we got to the match point, of course, you know, the adrenaline goes up and we just did the right moves tactically. And fortunately, put a good second serve in, Denis made a good move and the match was over. Then all the emotions ran through the body and, yeah, it was time to celebrate (smiling).

Q. Vasek, they're not a traditional serve-and-volley doubles team. Can you talk about the style you're playing in the match. Also, how did you hit those two service winners when you were down 0-3 in the tiebreak?
VASEK POSPISIL: It was a tough doubles, to be honest. They were really hitting the ball hard. Andrey Rublev came up with some unbelievable shots when they needed, and Karen was playing well, too. It was not easy. I mean, we really had to be at the top of our game and play some of our best tennis to win that, which fortunately, we did.

So just one of those matches, you know. I felt like we were -- we felt like we had a little bit of the upper hand for a good part of the match. But then it really evened out at the end there as we approached the tiebreak, I just felt like it was anybody's match. It was like a coin toss.

Yeah, so -- then when you're in the breaker, if you're down Love-3, Love-5 or if it's 2-All, you don't have time to think about what could have been or what the score is. You just have to go point by point. I just remember, you know, thinking, Okay, it's our serve and let's try to get two big points here, and then it's close again. Luckily I put in two big serves and, yeah, we were right back in it.

Q. A question for both Vasek and Denis. I was wondering if you could talk about your partnership. Not sure how close you were before this week, how much doubles you've played together. You've obviously shared something really special on court together this week. How has your relationship grown and what have you learned about each other?


DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I think for me, it's amazing to partner up with Vasek. First of all, I just watched him playing for so many years. I watched him win Wimbledon, I watched him playing Davis Cup with Danny. So it was almost kind of like a dream to be on the Davis Cup team and one day play some doubles with Vasek.

And it's actually been a while. We've talked about playing and we just never had the chance to. This week is the first time we've been able to play together. And for me, it's such a pleasure to be on court with him. I feel like, I feel like we are both really positive on the court. And not only do we play well together, we're able to enjoy the moment and enjoy the match I think.

I think today we were having fun and regardless, win or lose, I think we were both enjoying it. So I mean, for me it's unbelievable to be able to play with a guy like Vasek.

VASEK POSPISIL: Yeah, for me, I think when you share this kind of a week or this kind of a historic moment for your country and for your careers, sharing it with Denis, everybody on the team, everybody, I just feel like it's -- of course specifically Denis because we were spending time on the court as well playing the doubles. I think it definitely, it's something that you take away for the rest of your life.

I mean, I think it definitely brings you closer I think as people and as teammates. So I think this will just create a strong bond for the Canadian team I think for the years to come. Obviously Denis and Felix have already shared incredible moments together. So they have a tremendous energy.

For the crew that we have here right now, I think this can help even for the future years. And yeah, I think, there's a lot to say about the importance of team chemistry. I think in an event like this, I think that can make the difference. I mean, sometimes it's really positive energy in the locker rooms and everywhere, in the car ride, dinners, whenever you're together.

That kind of positivity can do a lot of great things when it's time to go on the court.

Q. Denis, well played. You became well-known especially in Britain for a Davis Cup tie against Britain in 2017. Can you reflect on your journey from Ottawa to the final here in Madrid? I'm not sure if you believe in fate, you could be playing against Britain and maybe Kyle Edmund tomorrow.
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, that tie has nothing to do, for me, with where I am right now. It's in the past.

Where I am today is because I've been working hard over the years. And yes, it's a team effort, but I played an unbelievable match today. So yeah, I'm really happy to help the country get to the finals.

Q. Congratulations to both doubles players. I'd like to know, because you played very well both doubles, the only doubles you lost was against Italy. Does it make a difference to play when you are 1-1, or to play when you are down or up 2-Love? I mean, once you are on court, you feel some kind of difference?
And to Dancevic, you were very much criticized because you didn't play the doubles when you were up 2-Love. There is this rule of 6-Love, 6-Love that many people don't think is fair. I would like to know your comment, even if I understand you have only two players and you must rest them.

FRANK DANCEVIC: It's hard to be criticized when I had injured players. The truth is, my players were hurt going into the doubles match. And I'm not going to send two injured players going out in the match and hurting themselves more, because we'd be never be in this moment right now. Somebody would be in the hospital injured or sent back home. So I'm not going to risk that for my players.

You know, it was a decision that the doctors here made. They assessed the players. They said they're not fit to play, and that's it. That's pretty much...

Q. (Off microphone.)
FRANK DANCEVIC: I don't know about the rules, I don't make the rules. You know, I mean, it's not the first time and not the last time it's going to happen, that a team is going to pull out in this event. So we know we do -- I'm doing the best thing I can do for my team, for the guys, and assessing them and having our doctors look at them and having, you know, the doctors on site look at them, and that's it.

We're doing everything we can to, you know, play by the rules and do things right.

Q. A question to both players...
VASEK POSPISIL: Just to answer that. Yes, I mean, it does make a difference if it's 1-All or 2-0, for sure. There's a difference.

I think for me playing Italy, I mean, I didn't play as well on that doubles court for the first set. But it can be a combination of also, you know, the fact I hadn't played doubles in a very long time.

So I don't know how much of it is the fact, when there's more on the line, you raise the adrenaline. Obviously, it was an important match. We knew we had to, you know, win as many matches as possible in the group stage.

But I think still, like, there's maybe something, some kind of energy that when, you know, the tie is decided. I don't know. But I think there is a difference in general if you're playing a decisive doubles match versus one that's not as important, let's say.

Q. A question to both players separately. This, obviously, is a historic achievement already. But what would it mean to you and your careers to win the Davis Cup?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think, of course, it's -- I think it's every tennis player's dream. I mean, like I said, I grew up watching guys like Vasek, Danny, playing the Davis Cup, trying to win it. It's not an achievement that many teams and many players can have. So to win it, it would just be incredible.

But I think nonetheless, the ride, the week we've had is already just unbelievable. And tomorrow is just about enjoying it and just showing our games and just putting it all on the line.

VASEK POSPISIL: Yeah, Davis Cup is so prestigious. So it's such a special event. I mean, to be able -- even just being in the finals is incredible, but obviously we'd love to be champions.

I think it's one of those things that, you know, it's hard to compare even within the tennis world what you compare Davis Cup to. It's just difficult because there's nothing like Davis Cup. There's only one team competition where you play for your country; obviously Olympics is another one. But, yeah, even that is a little bit different because you're there as an individual unless you're playing doubles.

For me, it would be, for sure, along with winning doubles at Wimbledon, it would be incredible. It would be right up there with it.

Q. It went from best-of-five to best-of-three to take the physical load off the players to some degree at the end of the season. Talk about physical load that you're experiencing, obviously your shoulder is bothering you. And since you've played a lot of Davis Cup, could you just compare the emotions. I know it's a big match today compared to some in the past, do you feel like it's an equivalent level of adrenaline and tension?
VASEK POSPISIL: Yeah, absolutely. I feel like the emotions, the emotions are comparable. To be honest, this is the first semifinal -- I don't know if it was even more emotional. I feel like there's been such a big build-up to this day, we played so many matches to get to the semifinals.

So it's, you know, yeah, it's the best-of-three format now, but I wouldn't say it's less taxing on the body, especially if you have to play singles, doubles every day.

I mean, I feel like it's pretty similar, at least my feeling. I still feel like it's we're playing Davis Cup, there's so much on the line. You know, you have -- we have great fans that flew in.

So it just felt very similar to playing any other Davis Cup tie except, for some reason, it feels like there's more on the line because all the players are here, all the teams are here. So in some ways that you know, makes it kind of feel even bigger, if that makes sense. I don't know.

But yeah, it feels amazing and I would still say that, from a player's perspective, from my perspective, it feels very similar, yeah.

Q. Frank, a question to you. As a player you never got to achieve something like this, but now as a captain you've achieved this, and what no other Canadian team or captain has done. What are your emotions like? What was it like sitting court side with the three matches? And how do you feel now and what has been achieved so far as a captain?
FRANK DANCEVIC: It's been an amazing ride so far as a captain. It's quite new to me. I've been doing this for two years now. I believe two-and-a-half years. So it's quite new. And to be in this position, this early in my captain career, is amazing.

I mean, these guys, I have a great team, you know, to back it up. These guys are world-class players and they're playing -- this week they played lights out.

And I just think that, you know, I'm really happy with everything that's going on. I wasn't expecting it, to be honest. I know we have a great team, I know we're great player. But to be in the finals of Davis Cup is a really big deal. And to be here it's sort of surreal. But, you know, it's kind of gathering emotions right now and we have a shot at the title.

So it's great. I was telling these guys on the chair when I was sitting on match point, my heart was beating so fast, I was actually starting to black out a little bit before the match point, and I was trying to control my breathing and just telling myself to breath slowly, stay calm, we're close to this.

It's definitely an emotional roller coaster, sitting on the chair, because there's lots of emotions going on, lots happening. But at the end of the day, it's an amazing feeling, having wins like this and having your players perform like they did today and put 110 percent on the court.

From the first match this week, these guys have been giving 110 percent and playing their game styles and playing with no fear in the biggest moments and that's amazing. As a captain, you can't ask for more.

And, you know, I'm just really proud of my team and everybody what they've accomplished so far. And, you know, we're just going to go tomorrow. It's like you said, it's a new experience for us, we're in the finals. But we've had, at the same time, being serious all week, we've had a great time and we've been relaxed as well, even in practices and off the court.

So it's going to be a great experience for us. We're going to go out and I know these guys are going to let loose and whatever happens happens. It's a win-win situation for us.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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