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July 5, 2021

Denis Shapovalov

Wimbledon, London, UK

Press Conference

D. SHAPOVALOV/R. Bautista Agut

6-1, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was pretty impressive, straightforward. Tell us how you felt and how that went.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I mean, for sure played some really high-level tennis today. It's really, really tough to pick on many things. Obviously I got a little bit nervous in the third set. I think it's completely normal. I dealt with that really, really well.

Other than that, I played really, really flawless. Super happy with myself.

Q. I think this is the second press conference in a row I heard you use the word 'flawless' to describe your play. What is it like for you on court as you're reaching the later stages of this tournament?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I'm very happy with my game. Obviously Roberto is a very, very tough player to play against. To beat him straight sets at a tournament like this, it backs up my level from Andy's match. For sure I'm just happy that I feel like I'm improving every single match.

Honestly, it's been really, really fun out there. I feel like everything's kind of working for me. Obviously it's not a guarantee that it's going to continue like this. But, for sure, I'm super, super happy with the way I've been able to play the last two matches.

Q. What is the difference between Denis Shapovalov of this year at Wimbledon than the Denis Shapovalov who lost in the first round two years ago?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I mean, two years is a long time, especially for tennis players. I think I'm just a different, different person, different player. Obviously, like I said before, I knew it was going to be a process on this surface the next couple years to really develop my game on it. Obviously I had great success in the juniors. But it's a different game in the pros.

I've always loved playing on it, but it's about getting comfortable with it. Obviously the season is so short, you don't have that much time to work on it. I knew it was going to take a couple years. I'm very happy I've been able to come out now.

I think, yeah, just mentally, physically, tennis-wise, I'm just a different person than I was two years ago. It's really not comparable.

Q. Great atmosphere out on Court 3 today. I think you won over a lot of fans on Friday night, the way you conducted yourself after you played Murray. Do you feel you have extra support? Would you like to be the adopted home favorite now that there are no more British players left in the draw?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I definitely felt the support today. It was amazing, especially at the end. It really gave me like goose bumps, just the moment in general, how well I played. To turn that third set around after I was a little bit nervous, to win that set, it was a really, really special moment.

For sure it's always amazing when the crowd's on your side. For sure I think it helped me quite a lot today. For sure hopefully I can have the crowd with me again for the next matches.

Definitely, like I said before, I always thrive when I have that support. I always feel like when they give me some, I try to give back. That's when my best tennis does come out. For sure it's a great feeling out there.

Q. What do you remember of your Davis Cup match with Karen? What are your thoughts about facing him on grass next round?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I mean, it's been a while since we played. It was completely different surface, hard courts, altitude. It was a different game. Not really going to look at that one too much. I feel like we're different players, as well, from back then.

He's been playing really, really well. Obviously he had a great win against Sebastian. When I saw Sebastian play in the first set, I thought he was playing amazing. It definitely shows a lot of courage, shows that his game is there for Karen to beat a player like Sebastian.

For sure once you play a match like this, five sets, you're always dangerous the next couple rounds because you have that confidence behind you. Obviously I'm expecting a long and tough battle. He's a great player, Karen. He's definitely proven himself time and time again that he's able to beat top guys and play really well.

For sure it's an exciting match. I'm really happy with the way I'm playing, as well. I just feel like it's going to be a lot of fun out there. It's going to be some really nice tennis.

Q. I follow your rap catalog. There seems to be a frequent theme of wanting to prove doubters or haters wrong in there. How much is that some motivation for you? Where do you sense that coming from?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think proving people wrong is what has made me who I am today. I was a kid who grew up without the help of a foundation, on my own with my parents, literally spending every dollar that they make from work into my career. Always having to prove myself, always not being good enough, not being chosen to teams and places. It's always been that for me.

For sure it's always a constant theme. It's how I keep inspiring myself or keep myself going. For sure I'm not a hateful person at all. I don't think I hold grudges. But it does motivate me in terms of the athletic side of me, how I am on the court.

For sure it's always something I come back to to just inspire me.

Q. Where do you sort of pick up those doubts, the detractors? Media? Other players? Experts?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Everything. Like I said, the foundation from a young age. Comments on Instagram sometimes. Sometimes commentators. It's from anywhere really. Yeah, all of the above. All of the above and none of the above. Just depends. It's nothing specific, but moments here and there.

Q. Everybody is happy that the fans are coming back full capacity tomorrow. Numbers are rising in Great Britain. We know from the Euro, from football, a lot of cases have to do with the Euro. What are your thoughts on this? Is it the right decision or the right time?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: I mean, it's tough for me to answer this. I feel like it's the government's call. As a tennis player, of course it's great to have fans out there. Every country is doing it differently. It's really tough to say what is the right way, what is the wrong way.

For example, I mean, Canada has been closed for a while. It's a lot of cases. It's not going down. Sweden has been open, and it's a lot of cases. Nobody really knows what the good side is, what the bad side is, what is the right way.

Especially for me it's really tough to tell. I just think we're in the bubble for a reason. The HP and everything is doing their job to keep us safe. Then what the government chooses to do with fans, that's their decision.

Q. How would you describe Karen's style of play, how it meshes or doesn't with yours?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: He's definitely very aggressive. He likes to dictate with the forehand. He has a really big serve. He likes to control the play. It's actually pretty similar to me. Obviously we're two big-hitting players.

I think it's going to be a lot of shot-making. It's going to be a pretty, like, aggressive game in that match.

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