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November 24, 2019

Frank Dancevic

Brayden Schnur

Denis Shapovalov

Vasek Pospisil

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Paris, France

SPAIN 2, Canada 0

BAUTISTA AGUT/Auger-Aliassime 7-6, 6-3

NADAL/Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. It was a terrific week in terms of the quality of play. As you know, this is the best performance by a Canadian team in the history of Davis Cup. Do you take some satisfaction from that, Denis?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, definitely. I feel like we've really come really far as a team, as a nation. And yeah, definitely we're super proud. Obviously it sucks, sucks losing in the finals. But I'm super proud of everyone, everyone sitting here, super proud of the people in the background.

We've put in 120 percent every single day. So it's, yeah, it's amazing how far we've been able to come.

Q. Frank, can you explain what happened with the substitution of Felix for Vasek?
FRANK DANCEVIC: Yeah, I mean, it was my decision, obviously, to make a substitution. But I'd rather not go into details with it. It was my call in the end, you know, to do the substitution today. And you know, I'll just leave it at that.

Q. Felix, can you talk about how it felt for you stepping on the court in that kind of atmosphere, first match in the final? How did it feel?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it's special, it's special. I think that's the word. I mean, you know, there was -- the captain made the decision and I was just staying ready, I was staying fit and ready to play.

As any individual would do on this team, I went out there and gave everything. And you know, when we step on court, we're a team. And you know, I hope -- I did everything to try and bring a point but I couldn't. So disappointing but at the same time, I'm going to take that experience and move forward with it, yeah.

Q. To Denis or Felix. You played here Davis Cup Junior. Do you think that was a good initiative? Do you still remember or is it nothing to do with today?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I don't know, Brayden, what do you think?

BRAYDEN SCHNUR: I wasn't there, so... (Laughing.)

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's definitely great memories, you know, winning in Junior Davis Cup here.

But I don't think it had anything to do with this week. It's a new event, playing the pros. It's nothing like playing the juniors. And yeah, it's different to be on the big stages.

But of course, you know, especially me, I feel like I've made semis here in the Masters and winning Junior Davis Cup. I feel like any time a player has good history in a certain spot, in a certain city, they're always likely to play well in that event or that place.

So I definitely think it does, you know, play some part. But again, it's, yeah, it's different in a way, yeah.

Q. Denis, what was it like playing Rafa out there today in front of that crowd and how hard was it to stay with him the way he was playing?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think he played a really good match today. He served really well in the first set. It was tough to kind of get into a rhythm off his serve. And then in the second set, honestly, I felt like I was the better player most of the games. We had a lot of long games.

And I was in most of his service games so he did a really good job of staying in it and playing really good in the tiebreaker. I think he recovered mentally really well after having two match points and me coming back.

But yeah, it was difficult but it was a fun atmosphere. I think it's pretty special to be playing in an occasion like this against world No. 1, he's playing at home, you know. And it was just a lot of fun to be on the court there. Of course, it sucks to lose, but it's just a big learning experience for me.

Q. Vasek, I'm wondering if you can think back to 2013 when you guys made the semifinals and how much has changed since then in terms of the composition of the team. At the time you and Milos were obviously the youngsters, Frank was there too. For you specifically in the context of Davis Cup, can you talk a little bit about then and now with these two young guys?
VASEK POSPISIL: Yeah, I mean, it feels like a little bit of a different generation almost. I mean, I feel like obviously it's not that long ago but it feels like it's quite a long ago. Obviously Denis and Felix were super young.

I think, you know, in both cases we had good energy on the team. I think that's why we did well back then. And now obviously, you know, making the finals is amazing to do that.

I mean, you know, there's only so many times that you can do something like that in the course of your career. And obviously these guys, I think they'll definitely -- I'll put money on it -- they'll definitely win this competition one day. And myself, hopefully I can be part of that at some point in the next few years.

But obviously, you know, the quality of tennis these two play is pretty amazing to watch. And yeah... I mean, I kind of veered off your question.

But both 2013 and this year were very special. But of course, making the finals is a whole different thing because it's Davis Cup Final; it's not Davis Cup quarters or semis or even -- that's special, of course, but this is just a totally different stage. This is probably the most prestigious -- I mean, for me at least, the way I perceive it, there's Grand Slams and then, I don't know, Olympics, and then Davis Cup Final. It's like all in kind of the same thing.

So it's pretty amazing to be part of it.

Q. Another question for Vasek. When did you find out that you were not going to play singles and how was your inside reaction? Because every player I guess will love to play a final, especially after this week when you played always pretty good and maybe even better than expected.
VASEK POSPISIL: Yeah, I mean, I found out late last night. And I mean, the reaction is, I mean, of course it's tough. I mean, you know, everybody wants to play. And you know, it was double tough obviously that we lost it today.

But yeah, at the end of the day, we have, you know, a full team capable of playing high-level tennis. And you know, at the end of the day, it's a team effort, it's a team decision -- well, so to speak -- and you just have to, you know, be ready to do your part.

Q. Did you sleep well?
VASEK POSPISIL: But, yeah, I had a bit of aid to fall asleep.

Q. Here is a question to the captain and the players. It's been a great year for Canada with Bianca winning the Grand Slam and Canada getting to their first-ever final in the Davis Cup. So can you tell us about how you feel about this year in terms of achievements that you have made and what impact is it having back home?
FRANK DANCEVIC: Yeah, it's amazing. I mean, everybody -- tennis is really hot right now in Canada. We're known for a hockey nation. With all of the results that these guys have had, you know, starting with even Vasek, Milos, and then these young guys, you know, Felix and Denis coming up and playing at such a high level, it's brought a lot of attention to the game of tennis. And you know, Bianca as well, winning the US Open. And then now again we're in the finals here.

So it's great for our sport. It's really wonderful to see this young generation is playing so well. We have a really bright future ahead of us, and it's bringing a lot of kids in clubs and playing. Our federation has been great at getting things going in the past decade, really. It's shown and it's made a big difference in what we've done.

It's a nation to be proud to be part of tennis right now.

Q. This is for Vasek and you also, Denis. What's your single favorite memory, your takeaway memory from this competition in this time here in Madrid?
DENIS SHAPOVALOV: For me, it's tough to pick a specific memory. I think the whole week as a whole and, you know, everything we've done, all the practices, the car rides from and to the hotel, the dinners, everything we've done as a team has just been amazing.

And for me, it's one of those weeks that I'm going to look back and really have a good feeling about it. You know, one of those really fun weeks in my tennis career. And yeah, it's tough to pinpoint one specific moment when you have a week like this that everyone, you know, just put their hearts on the line every day for so long. And you know, we all just, like, bonded really well so...

Q. Felix, did you expect to play against Roberto after what has happened to him this week?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, I think we heard about it yesterday that he could potentially play if they made the finals. So yeah, I was preparing to face him. And yeah, obviously it makes things more difficult, you know, top 10 or close, if I'm right. Great player. Playing at home. He did well, he played well.

For my part, yeah, it's disappointing to end on a note like this with all the effort that Vasek and then Denis had put in. But yeah, we'll learn and come back, yeah.

Q. Felix, in the first set you had some trouble with his serve. Was that nerves, getting used to the court, or how would you explain it? You had a lot of games that you didn't get into his serve very well.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I struggled more in the second set. I don't know. I think we didn't watch the same match because --

Q. Lost the first 12 points returning the first set.
VASEK POSPISIL: You were serving better.

FRANK DANCEVIC: Maybe just Roberto was returning better in the first.

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: But I think personally I was serving better in the first. I had the first break points.

VASEK POSPISIL: You didn't get broken in the first. Anyways...


DENIS SHAPOVALOV: You're just going to lose this question.

FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I'm going to say how I looked at the match. I think in the first set I was serving good. You know, I gave myself chances to have breakpoints. And as the set was going, I was returning better and better as in the first two games, and then didn't play a great tiebreak.

In the second, my serve I think let me down, starting hitting double-faults, not a high percentage of firsts. And he was getting more and more solid, he was hitting targets. I think he was hitting targets the whole match. And I just had a bit more chances in the first because of my serve, I think that's how I saw it.


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