World No. 13 Denis Shapovalov admitted it was weird returning to the Indian Wells Masters, the place where everything started and the Tour got suspended. In the March of 2020, the Indian Wells Masters was called off at the last moment and it was just the beginning of a five-month Tour suspension.
“It’s a little bit weird being back here because it’s kind of where everything started,” Shapovalov told reporters at a pre-tournament press conference, per Tennishead. “It’s just been a lot [since then].
[I] definitely feel like a completely different player coming into the event this year. A lot more experienced, a lot more relaxed on the court”.
Shapovalov happy with the progress he has made in the last year and a half
“I’ve been through the ride a couple times now so I know exactly what to expect from myself,” Shapovalov continued.
“Just, overall [I’m] happy with the way I’ve been able to grow since everything kind of shut down [during the pandemic]”. A couple of days, renowned tennis coach Gunter Bresnik dropped a big praise on Shapovalov.
"The player I love the most on the tour is Denis Shapovalov, because he plays the most attractive tennis for me. Lorenzo Musetti and Holger Rune are also interesting to me. On the ladies' side, I like Fernandez a lot, even though she lost in the US Open final.
In terms of play and technique, his performance is the best I have seen in a long time," Bresnik told Kleine Zeitung. Also, Shapovalov expressed hope that his close friend Felix Auger-Aliassime will make the Nitto ATP Finals.
"Definitely, I think that Felix has a great opportunity to contest the ATP Finals 2021. I think he should be there: he has had a spectacular season and I am very clear that his place is among the eight best in the world," Shapovalov told Tennis Channel.