In a press conference at the Australian Open, Denis Shapovalov revealed details behind his practice session with Roger Federer on the Rod Laver Arena last week. Shapovalov said he got destroyed by the 20-time Grand Slam winner, who still spoke highly of the promising Canadian star after his win over Denis Istomin on Monday.
Reflecting on his practice with Federer, Shapovalov said: "It was fun. Honestly, every time I'm hitting with Roger, I was like in shock still. Every time I'm talking to him, I've spent so many times chatting, he always stops and talks to me.
He's honestly my hero. Every time I see him, I'm still shocked, couldn't believe it. I was practicing with him. It was honestly kind of a proud moment for me. I was like, Wow, my level is there to hit with a guy like Roger Federer and practice with him, you know? So honestly, it was really inspiring for me to be on the court with him.
Obviously he's such a super cool guy. He's so loose and chitchatting, having a normal practice. For me, I was like, Oh, my God, oh, my God, I got to hit these shots, have a good practice for Roger. Yeah, honestly it was great.
It's pretty crazy to see, what is he now, 37, 38 years old? He's honestly still so fast. Obviously he's got the best timing. It's unreal what he can do with the ball. But I never realised how quick he was until we actually practiced a couple days ago.
We were playing points. I felt like certain shots I should have had a winner on it. He's just right there flicking another backhand at me. I felt like he's constantly at the ball. I think it's crazy to see how in shape he is, how good he is at his age.
It's honestly something nobody can imagine to do. I can't imagine myself playing tennis at 37, you know? It's shocking. But it's so great to see. Honestly, he's such a great ambassador for the sport. I don't think there's anybody better than him.
The way he carries himself, the way he carries himself with other people, it's not a show. From the day I came to the scene, he's always made time to talk to me, see how I'm doing, just out of niceness, it's just the way he is."