Denis Shapovalov on the 'dream week,' new fans and the upcoming U.S. Open
The 18-year-old Canadian tennis star made a big splash at the Rogers Cup
Denis Shapovalov made headlines at the Rogers Cup last week, beating top-ranked players Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal.
The 18-year-old jumped from being ranked 143rd in the world to 67th by the time he lost in the semifinal.
CBC Sports reporter Douglas Gelevan caught up with the rising tennis star in Montreal.
Douglas Gelevan: How long have you been bathing in the glory of what happened last week?
Denis Shapovalov: I took a good couple days to celebrate with my family [in Toronto], celebrate with my friends.
Obviously it was a life-changing week for me. It was probably one of the best weeks I've had in my life. It was really a good time. But when I got back to Montreal, it was time to refocus and get ready for the Open.
DG: After the semifinal loss, were you more upset that it was over or happy that it happened?
DS: I was more upset with myself. There were a lot of big chances in the match that I couldn't convert. That's just the person I am. I always want to do better, even if I have a dream week.
But I was very happy with the week. There wasn't much more I could ask of myself. Beating Rafael [Nadal], alone, is a huge achievement. To make the semifinals of a tournament I grew up watching is a dream come true for me.
DG: Often tennis players try to block the crowd out, but you seemed to engage them. Why did that work for you?
DS: For me, it's fun. Honestly, my favourite sport is hockey. One of the reasons why is because the fans are allowed to get so into it.
It's so much fun when it's like that in tennis; the fans just cheering from their hearts. They feel like they know you, they really want you to win.
It's a really cool atmosphere. It's a lot to take in obviously, but also you don't get too many weeks like this where the fans are so crazy for you. I really tried to use every moment I had to try and draw them in.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.