Back home after an impressive run to the fourth round in his U.S. Open main debut, tennis’ newest sensation Denis Shapovalov spoke to the media in Toronto on Thursday about a wide range of topics from his new found fame to which nickname he prefers to the size of his baseball cap.
“My life has definitely changed in the past month,” Shapovalov said. “For me it’s inspiring to get recognized, all of these little kids, they get excited when they see me so it’s cool to know that I am motivating young kids to pick up racquets to play tennis.”
Thanks to his meteoric rise since Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Montreal, Shapovalov has become a fan favourite, especially here in Canada. “I really like that the country is supporting me, has my back. The Canadian fans are supportive whether I lose or not,” Shapovalov added. His new fame also comes with perks, including attending the premiere of “Borg vs. McEnroe” tonight at TIFF.
He also put to rest the nickname debate and cleared up any confusion about how to pronounce his name.
#Shapo it is.
Denis Shapovalov has taken a liking to the nickname – Shapo.
The well-spoken Canadian taking any and all questions in TO. pic.twitter.com/dFZ2qOhLvX
— Kelcey Brade (@KelceyBradeTSN) September 7, 2017
“It looks intimidating on paper, there’s a lot of O’s and A’s. The nickname I probably prefer is ‘Shapo’, I hear a lot of fans calling me that. It stands out and it’s pretty simple,” Shapovalov said.
Shapovalov had high praise for his compatriots, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Vasek Pospisil, and Milos Raonic and looked ahead to Davis Cup in Edmonton next week and the Laver Cup in Prague at the end of the month, his next two events.