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March 12, 2016

Juan Martin Del Potro

Indian Wells, California

T. BERDYCH/J. Del Potro

7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Give us an assessment of how you felt about your play today. I saw you grabbing your knee early in the match. Any problems?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, no, just body movement. But I think this will be my first match against a top-10 player was okay. I played a great first set. I had my opportunities to win that set and I miss it.

I think of course I'm sad for my lose, but I'm in a good way to get better in the future. It's not easy play against Tomas. Even if I'm 100%, he's a great player. He plays so aggressive all the time, and I had to run a lot today.

But I think the positive thing is I'm in a good way to improve my game.

Q. Looking ahead at the rest of the season, Argentina is playing quarterfinal Davis Cup in July. How does this fit into your -- would you like to play?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don't know if I'm going to play tomorrow match. July is very far from now. (Laughter.)

I'm going day by day. I have a lot of treatment to do now and hopefully be fine to practice again tomorrow.

I said before I'm so happy to be playing tennis again, and I would like to play in everywhere, every tournament. But I need to keep calm and still go day by day.

Q. Do you think it all comes down to getting more matches or more rhythm, or still physically you feel you're not ready to fight with those guys?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I mean, these guys are the best of the world. Tomas and the top 10 players are the high level in the world. Maybe it's too soon against them, but is the only way to go through and to get better.

I need to keep playing matches and tournaments. I can work hard at home physically, mentally, but I need matches to improve, you know. This is the only way. I will have to play against very good players at the beginning of the tournament because my ranking.

But that is my present now. And what I say before, I just want to play tennis healthy, and I'm looking forward to get the goal.

Q. Reality, you understand the reality; you talked about it. You missed so much tennis that you're sort of building up again. Yet when you get into a match against people you have played before, a top player, and you kick a little bit, is it frustrating that you can't do what you did before you got injured?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No. I don't think about that. I'm trying to build another career to me, and I'm still fighting with my wrist problems. I have to do many treatments every day. I don't mind if I beat them in the past or if I'm going to beat them in the future. I just work hard to improve all my game again.

I felt okay because I played a great first set after almost two years without competitions. I didn't practice with them in the beginning of the tournament, and it was my first time against a top 10 guy, you know. I think it was okay.

But I'm very far away from my high level, and this is a goal.

Q. Congratulations on making it back. I'm just wondering about your backhand. Since the multiple surgeries, have you changed the way that you swing now from that side? What is your plan on sort of -- you mentioned you have been building that stroke. What is your plan in the next few months to continue to progressing with the backhand?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, the idea is still progressing my backhand. My wrist, I need stability in my wrist, more strength and flexibility, everything.

More or less these things I will get playing the match. I don't know how is my backhand now, but I'm looking forward, I'm stay positive to improve that weapon, because I need it to play these guys.

But if I'm not get that goal, I will play like I did today or like I did before. I'm always do my best. I never give up. If I can't get into the court, it will be fine for me.

Q. The same technique with the backhand that you've always had?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I didn't see my technique yet. (Smiling.)

Q. Are you like consulting with doctors or medical personnel or trainers regarding how soon you'll get back in the swing of things and how much you do on a daily basis, or is it your call? Is it depending on how you feel on a given day?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, actually, I'm in contact with my doctor. He trusts me and I trust to him. He put me in this way again.

I'm positive to get fine as soon as I can, but he start, you know, after three surgeries on my wrist left, it's not gonna be easy to me. But I want to play tennis, and I don't care if I have to survive with these kind of pains or these backhands or slices. I just trying to do the most what I can, and that's it.

Q. Does it still inhibit you mentally a little bit that you feel like, you know, there is something you want to do but you feel like, well, I might hurt it again or I might -- it might not work?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No. I'm trying to be smart and seeing what is my present. I came here just to play a few matches, and I did. I have a few days to rest and practice before Miami. I think I'm going faster than what I expected before because I already won four matches of six.

I play against top 10 guy today and I didn't lose 6-Love, 6-Love, you know. I was close to win a set to Berdych. That's mean something, you know. These guys going to show me how far I am to them and in the present, and I have many things to work.

Q. It must have been really, really frustrating to be off the circuit. I think you mentioned in Florida that you watched a lot of TV. But when you were off the circuit, what was the one or two most frustrating moments that you had, that you had to deal with?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It was take the decision to make another surgery. It was the worst part of this road to get better.

I was close to quit tennis, as I say before, but I'm here. It's amazing for me, you know. I'm here with friends and with my team, and they are always pushing me to stay happy. Because few months ago I was close to quit tennis, and now I'm here playing a great event at the stadium.

I have the chance to play tennis for more years, so it's now my present change a lot, and I'm looking forward to keep changing better.

Q. Just talk about how tennis is in your blood, how it is so much a part of your life.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, because I'm still feel feeling young to keep trying. I did this for all my life, and then I will have time to do different things at home. Now I want to play tennis for a few years. I need to be calm and smart, to fix my wrist completely, and then enjoy the tennis again.

Q. Do you think it's possible for you to get back to where you were in the top of the game with a slice backhand? I know Steffi Graf won 22 Grand Slams with backhand slices. Do you think it's possible for you today on the ATP? And have you thought about trying to develop any sort of one-handed drive backhand?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Maybe I must call her. (Laughter.) She needs to teach me the slice and volleys.

But with these guys, not. I don't think it's gonna be possible just playing slices. They play so hard. They are so strong. Even to return his serves is almost impossible.

But now I am still working on my backhand, and we will see what happen in the future.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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