The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

PRESS CONFERENCE: Denis Shapovalov (l. Thiem) R2

August 8, 2019

Wednesday, August 7, 2019
D. THIEM/D. Shapovalov
6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Q. Do you feel like that was one that got away from you today?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, it was a good match. I think we were both playing well. I definitely had a lot of chances to win the first set.

Yeah, definitely the better player in the first set, no questions about that. He did a good job of holding, serving big when he had to. Didn’t take my chances. Then he played a good game to break me.

Second set, good kind of change-up. I think we both picked up our game, raised the level. Third set was also very good. He really started serving a lot better in the second and third. Yeah, he managed to play pretty clean in the last set.

It’s a tough one. But just going to take this… I think it was a great match for me confidence-wise. I showed myself that my level’s there, that I’m able to compete against a player like this and have chances to beat him.

It’s nothing bad from this match. It’s only positives that I can take from it.

Q. You’ve lost, but do you feel you’ve taken some rhythm and confidence this week?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, for sure. Obviously playing two great matches here was extremely important for me. It’s been a while since I played a match, been over like three weeks. It was great to be back out there just fighting.

It was enjoyable. I really enjoyed my two matches on court, even today losing. It was a lot of fun to kind of go out there, play against a great player like Dominic, really put it to the test, see what damage I can do.

I think if a couple of shots had went my way, I could have definitely won the match. It’s obviously a little tough to swallow. But like I said, it’s something that I can really look at in a positive way.

Q. An awkward question. The second-to-last game, the smash, the reason? Lights? A miss?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: No, I just missed, yeah.

Q. You were at the net 17 times today. Is the goal to be coming to the net a little bit more? You’ve been playing doubles lately. Are you trying to incorporate that a little bit more into your game?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: For sure, that’s my game. That’s what I was doing really well two years ago here in Montreal, kind of fearless, just coming in. Kind of went away from that a little bit.

So I’m definitely trying to implement that. Especially with the doubles, it’s really helped my volleys. I think my net game has improved a lot.

I don’t think I volleyed great today, but it’s tough to come in on a guy like Dominic. I think I did a lot of good points coming to the net. Definitely somewhere I’m still trying to improve and make really solid.

I feel like in the future it’s going to be really a key kind of place on the court for me.

Q. What is the plan for you for the rest of the hard court season in singles? You had to take a break from tennis. Are you going to have a less busy schedule until the US Open?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: No, actually I’m going to play every week. I had my downtime, now it’s kind of back to business, being on the court, playing these tournaments.

Yeah, I’m super excited for what’s to come. Cincinnati, I had a really great week there last year. I’m excited to go there. Then I never played Winston-Salem, but I got a wild card there. So thanks to the tournament director and to the tournament for allowing me to go play there.

So, yeah, I’m excited. I got a couple events leading up to the Open to get some matches, get a little bit more confidence, play a couple more points. Hopefully I’ll be really, really sharp for New York.

Q. What is it like after being here, going to Cincinnati? You did it last year. A lot of attention here. In a way is it refreshing to be a little bit more obscure?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Yeah, I think it’s just a different week. Obviously you go from playing in Canada to playing away from the crowd, away from the sport a little bit.

Honestly, I think I’m pretty lucky. I have a pretty good fan base anywhere in the world where I go. I remember last year when I played, I had a lot of fans, a lot of support from them. So I’m excited to be back. I had a good couple matches against Kyle, against Frances over there. I’m excited.

Yeah, it’s a bit of a different pace. It’s really slow. You have a lot of time there. There’s not too much to do. But, yeah, those weeks are enjoyable for me, as well.

It’s the North America kind of tour right now. I feel like I’ve always enjoyed this part of the year, always managed to play well. I’m really excited to head over there.

Q. On a lighter note, I was watching you practice on Sunday. You were out there, many fans watching. You were wearing a cut-sleeved shirt. Your arms are looking shredded.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Thanks, man (laughter).

Q. Are you on the Rafael Nadal workout plan?

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: Trying to pick up on it (laughter).

Yeah, I don’t know, you definitely just saw my left arm because my right arm is not even close to it.

Q. He’s the same.

DENIS SHAPOVALOV: He’s the same, yeah.

No, honestly, man, I’m just trying to get a tan (smiling). I’ve been training with my shirt off, trying to get a tan. It’s not working out, guys. I don’t know what to do.

Yeah, I mean, who knows. Maybe if in the future if Nike creates kind of a sleeveless line, that would be pretty cool. I’m not against that. I think I do try to put on a little bit of gun show here and there (smiling).