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February 3, 2021

Peter Polansky

Denis Shapovalov

Steven Diez

Milos Raonic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Team Canada

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Peter, obviously some really close matches today, more great performances. Can you sum up your ATP Cup experience for Team Canada?

PETER POLANSKY: Yeah, I thought yesterday obviously having such close matches and coming out today looking to rebound a little bit, obviously, again, we ran into some tough matches, but first tournament of the year, I thought the guys played well. Obviously everyone here, all the teammates were just doing their job here. I felt Dennis and Milos played really well. Stevie did a great job on the bench and a great job in doubles today and I think seven of the eight sets going 7-6 today, losing them all pretty tight, it was nice to get the doubles win at the end, but overall a good week.

Q. And just a word from the rest of you guys on the performances and the week it's been.

MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, for me it's a first experience playing this event. Obviously it's a lot of fun. It's a lot of fun to do it with these guys, especially when it's at the beginning of the year. Everybody is eager to be playing, and I thought a lot of very good tennis out there.

It's definitely a positive start for the year.

Q. Dennis, can you talk about your performance today?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, definitely another tough loss, but good to get these kind of matches before a Grand Slam. Definitely want to be winning these, and I feel like I'm right there, and I should be. But I'll try to make a couple adjustments, work harder, and hopefully I can have a good Aussie Open.

Q. Steven, I feel like Team Canada has had a great atmosphere this week. You guys have all been out supporting each other every match. Can you talk about that aspect?

STEVEN DIEZ: Yeah, that's one of the main reasons I came back this year with this team. Last year was so much fun. It was a great experience. This year was with Milos, this year was with Felix. Dennis and Peter, I think we all get along, and unfortunately it was only four on the team and he wasn't able to make it, but that was the main reasons that I decided to come. Peter and myself, we were not playing main draw. Unfortunately we lost in the qualifying rounds, and we went through a two-week quarantine because we had so much fun last year. It was great. Definitely you get to live side by side with these top players and try to learn as much as possible from them, and it was really fun, and hopefully I can be back next year again.

Q. Peter, the experience that you've just gone through, it's still pretty new I would say for you being captain. How much have you enjoyed it, and if you had to pinpoint the most positive aspect, what would that be?

PETER POLANSKY: Yeah, I've really enjoyed these last few days, being on court with the boys. Obviously they both play extremely high level, so I try to help where I can and give them some feedback where I can, but I felt this week was a little bit, like you said, new for me. Yeah, I thought I handled it well. There was a little bit more logistics stuff that I had to deal with, mainly from COVID and all the things that are new. But as a first time I had a lot of fun, and good to take that role and take the lead a little bit and just guide the boys in a certain direction. But I would happily do it again next year if I'm asked to.

Q. Milos, this experience for you, I know you've touched on it, but being part of the ATP Cup Canada team, how important do you think that could be for the rest of the year? You're guaranteed X number of matches to start the season, going into a major, as well.

MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it's something that I think attracts a lot of players. I think that's why you have, I believe it was 12 of the top 13 guys playing here, and the one that wasn't was due to injury.

I think there is no better preparation. Obviously the days are long and normally there is that week in between, which I'm sure a lot of the guys would appreciate, but it's also during a regular would be three matches you're at least guaranteed, so those are all positive things that I'm sure many players look forward to.

Q. Denis, another tight one for you. Obviously there's disappointment with the result, but do you also take encouragement away from it when you break down how close the match was?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, of course. But I think it's more disappointment than anything, but for me it's just a lesson to work even harder and just clean up a couple things because I was in control of that tiebreak and I make a couple less mistakes and I feel like it could have went my way.

Yesterday's match, as well, was very close. So it's a couple points here and there just to clean up. For me it's not about being happy about being tight with these guys. I know that I'm able to compete on their level and beat them. For me it's about making that next step to get to the finish line and start beating them. So for me it's just a lesson to keep working harder and keep improving.

Q. If there was one aspect of that match that you'd like back, what would it be?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Probably the forehand. I think it was at 3-1 or something like that. Just ticked the top of the net. I make that, go up, and I think it's pretty tough for him to come back from that lead. It's a little mistake, but you've got to make that shot in a situation like that and at least force him to come up with a big passing shot.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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