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August 31, 2020

Denis Shapovalov

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference


6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Regarding Open debuts, yours at 2017 was impressive, came on the heels of what you did in Montreal. Can you reflect for me a little bit what it was like to get that first win against Medvedev here at the US Open and what it meant to you back then.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it was before then because I had to go through quallies. So I think my first win was actually against Denis Kudla. So it was a long road to get through quallies and Medvedev and then Jo.

But I feel every year I played here I have had amazing support. And especially that win against Daniil, I beat him in straight sets, and I remember using that confidence from Montreal, playing the big points really well.

It was a really good start for my career, and it's left such a great feeling for me every time I come back to New York, I always have a little bit of confidence, just because I feel like it all kind of started for me in Montreal, and as well as New York.

Q. What was it like this year not playing Felix in the first round at the US Open? And also, what was it like just being out there on the court today without any fans?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I was telling Felix before the tournament that I don't care about the draw. I know they will put us against each other. I was already prepared for Felix (smiling).

No, I mean, Sebastian was not so much easier. He's definitely a great up-and-comer. He has a huge game. So it's just a little bit of time for him and he's definitely going to be an amazing player. So it was actually a very tricky first round. I'm really happy to get through it.

And playing without the fans is definitely different. You know, I love to use the fans to kind of pump me up. So I had to do that within myself the last couple of matches.

But I'm getting familiar with it pretty quick.

Q. Last week I was talking about your music. I didn't get a chance to bring up what it's been like for you to work with Mikhail Youzhny. I saw on Instagram you posting it was you hitting with Youzhny and Safin. Can you tell me a little bit about your relationship with Youzhny, what that's like been like for you and how he's helped you grow your game?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's been really cool. Misha was definitely one of the players I looked up to when I was really young. He was one of the first players I actually had a picture with.

I remember him practicing at Rogers Cup and I followed his match. I followed his match. I remember watching him beat Seppi in Toronto.

It's pretty crazy to be working with him, first of all, but just to get to know him as a person and as a coach, and I feel like he's helped my game so much. He's definitely made me a smarter player out there. I feel like he was very smart when he played. He was just, his positioning, the way he read the game, it's just another level for me.

So to have that partnership and the opportunity to work with him, it's just been so good for me and I feel like I have learned so much from him.

Q. Are you going to post that picture of little you with Youzhny at some point?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, maybe at some point I will bring it out. I think I sent it to him when we started working. I was, like, Do you remember that? Yeah, maybe at some point it will come out.

Q. The question that I had was you had some physical issues on the court today. Can you enumerate the body parts that were worked on? And where it came from? You played a couple of tough matches but you had a good break in between and you come out in your first match and you were feeling it.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I'm not sure. I think I was just a little bit extra nervous and tensing up a little bit. That's what led to it. It just tightened up in my back a little bit. I was feeling it when I was serving, but actually once he worked on it, he asked me later if I could put some hot cream on it or whatever. But as soon as he just, you know, worked on it a little bit, it went away.

Yeah, it didn't really bother me after that.

Q. It seemed to work, whatever it was he did.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Q. The last two years, you played on Louis Armstrong in the third round obviously but didn't have the best result. How was it out there today to maybe finally get that win on that big stage?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I was telling Stacey before the tournament, Whatever you do, don't put me on Armstrong. I've had some brutal losses there. Surely enough, first round she puts me there. (Laughter.)

No, even though I have lost on that court, I have had some amazing matches and played some of my best tennis on those courts so it was good feelings coming back out there. But it was actually interesting the match today, because it was probably the first time that I felt like I was the veteran on the tour, you know, and he was a bit of a rookie.

It was an interesting match, but, you know, it's definitely a great court to play on, and I'm always honored to be on one of those courts.

Q. What's this whole experience been like with the bubble and not having fans even walking around on the grounds of the US Open? It's not the normal US Open atmosphere.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Definitely not. New York is known for its vibe, for its energy, the fans are so electric. I remember, like, the last couple years I played against GaŽl, against Kevin, we have been able to pack up the stadiums and it's just been so electric.

It's definitely a change, but it's kind of peaceful, you know. We have our own suites and it's really nice. We have so much space on the grounds.

It's been a pretty peaceful two-and-a-bit weeks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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