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May 2, 2021

Denis Shapovalov

Madrid, Spain

Press Conference


6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You looked super strong out there. What were you the most happy with in terms of your game today?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, nothing in particular. Just definitely felt a lot better today. I felt very good on the court. Yeah, I mean, I'm just happy to get the first win.

Q. How important do you feel like this week is to your preparations for the French?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, definitely super important. I feel like these next couple weeks are big tournaments and tournaments that I like to play at, I have had good success on. So definitely a great couple weeks to lead up to French.

Q. I notice that your mom is there this week. My question is how is the week different when she is there as opposed to Youzhny? More coaching, less coaching? Less guy banter? What's the difference?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Just different. I mean, they are both super, super helpful and super good. They are just different, you know, a little bit.

But I think they have the same coaching style. They say a lot of the same things. But it's always going to be different having my mom or having Misha.

So, yeah, I mean, I can't really say how it's different, but, like, of course it's different, you know. But I do have a lot of history with my mom obviously, and she knows my game very well. Yeah, I mean, for sure we have been just talking the last couple of days also, not just about tennis, about everything, about my mental and, you know, just kind of clearing everything up. So, you know, for sure I definitely felt a bit more relaxed today on the court.

Q. How important was it to get out there and play a good match on clay and to put your two-match losing streak behind you?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I mean, I didn't focus on -- you know, I don't care if I lose 40 matches. It's about the next match.

Yeah, I'm just happy. Like I said, I'm happy to get the win. But, yeah, now it's back to work getting ready for the next match which just continues. It's nothing to dwell on.

Q. It's a very crucial question to the furtherance of tennis history: What was the decision to lose the trademark backwards ball cap and go to the bandanna?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I don't know. I was just feeling it (smiling). Yeah, actually I had a haircut, and it went a little bit too short, shorter than I wanted it. I did want to get it short but not this short.

No, it was definitely kind of like the look I wanted to just kind of change up. But it's tough to wear a bandanna when you have long hair. So I have no idea how Rafa was doing it back in the day (smiling).

The hair always gets in my face, you know. I wanted to cut my hair a bit shorter and just try out the bandanna look. I definitely like it. I feel like it's different.

I wore a bandanna when I was really young, so it's kind of cool to just change it up. It's just like, I don't know, I was just bored, I guess (smiling).

Q. Just a couple days ago in Estoril you mentioned how you weren't super decisive on those transition shots, and you certainly looked confident out there today. My question for you is, like, what changed? Were you feeling a lot better on court today?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, definitely felt a lot better. I feel like, you know, obviously not much can change in the span of a couple of days, but Madrid is a place where I have had a lot of success, you know, from back in juniors, making semis here in the Masters and finals of Davis Cup.

So it's just a place where it just kind of feels like home to me and I just feel so comfortable. For sure when I'm out on the court here, I do feel a little bit more comfortable. And I wasn't thinking too much. I was able to just play my game and just kind of have that same feeling from, like, couple years back from Davis Cup. So it definitely felt very good today.

Like I said, I hope it continues. Just gotta focus now on the next match, and hopefully I can stay this way.

Q. How important is it to be able to play in front of fans again, especially this week in Madrid?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, it's unbelievable. Honestly, it's tough to play without fans. You know, obviously we have had to do it. We have had no option.

But it's definitely much more fun to be out on the court, and it does feel like a tournament environment when you're playing in front of people, in front of fans. I always say we're showmen, so we're able to put on a show again this week in front of a live audience, I mean, and for sure it's something special and something just super positive.

You know, hopefully we're kind of over the hump, and, you know, hopefully in the near future we'll have a lot more tournaments with fans again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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