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May 3, 2016

Juan Martin Del Potro

Madrid, Spain


7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. How are you feeling physically this season? Will you be available to play the Davis Cup in July? What do you expect of the Olympic Games? Do you know with which team you'll go to the Olympic Games?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I wasn't expecting to start with those questions because there is still a long time until this happens.

I have just played my best match since I came back to tennis after my surgeries. Well, today I go match by match and tournament by tournament. This is the first time I've been able to play two tournaments in a row, Munich and Madrid.

So it is what I would like to achieve in the future. But after this tournament, I will see how it goes. You know, I cannot schedule a very long-term calendar because this is the way it goes.

You know, I would like to play every single competition, but today that's not the reality. I go week by week. If I feel good, I'll put up the level in the calendar and also the number of tournaments I attend.

Q. How did you feel today during the match? What do you expect of this tournament?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, very well. I felt good. I've had a great test against a very high-level player. During some moments I felt very comfortable; perhaps in other moments I wasn't so comfortable because he has a very high level and plays very well on this surface.

Incredibly I was able to win the match and I'm in the next round in a very tough tournament. They have always treated me really well here in Madrid. They respect me a lot and they love me, so that makes me feel very comfortable here in Madrid. I enjoy this great tournament.

Q. You make to two times in the semifinals. Could this be the best tournament for you, the one that suits you the most?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Of course, yeah, I have good results in this tournament. I have good memories about this tournament.

Well, today the reality is completely different to what it used to be before when I came nearly as a favorite here to this tournament.

Well, to win a match is always a surprise. It's a great merit for me. That's the way I feel it and the way I live it. That's why I'm so happy today. As I said, they have always treated me really well here in Madrid.

I felt very comfortable in this tournament, and that's why I enjoy playing it so much. I didn't want to miss it anymore, so I decided to come and play. I was able come and do well manage my first match. I'm happy about that.

Q. You were very emotional after the match. We seen that you put the towel on your head. Were you crying?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, well, it's quite difficult because I was fighting one of the best opponents that I can have. I knew how well I was playing and my conditions these days, and I am missing a lot of what I need be to at the highest level, the level I want to be, because I've been through very difficult things in the past years.

First of all, being in a competition like this, for me, it's a lot of merit. If I'm able to win matches, even better. Even more emotional. That's why sometimes it's difficult to handle the emotions.

But I think that today I have a lot of joy. I'm very happy. It's because some great things are happening to me right now. I wasn't crying because I had to leave or because my wrist were hurting or anything. I was just very happy about it.

Q. (In English.) You are hitting without hesitation and with both hands-on it. Do you feel much better on this side?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: (In English.) Yes, I think I improved a lot since my last match in Munich. Today I hit it really well. I'm growing up with my backhand. I'm getting confidence with my backhand, too.

I need more matches, more progress with these guys to improve that shot. I'm still calm. I can keep patient. I want to be hitting backhands in a good way. Maybe in the second part of the year would be nice for me.

Q. When you realized that winning was possible today, what was going through your mind? You said was a big surprise to get a win over a player like Thiem. At what moment did you feel like you could win and what does that feel like?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I believe in myself all the time, but when I won the first set I thought I couldn't win this match. He's playing really well this season. He's playing great on clay courts. That's what I'm surprised with my level, too.

But in this tournament everything can happen. All the players are good. I'm so excited to looking forward with my level on this tournament and then see if I have more tournaments on clay or I do a different schedule for the future.

Q. (In Spanish.) Even though it's still 100 days until the Olympic Games, if you went there with good feelings, would you ask for a wildcard to play if the Olympic Games?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I'm always very happy to play and looking forward to competing in the Olympic Games, especially with the experience I had in London. I won a medal. That's something unique in this world.

You know, from what I know with my protected ranking, I will be able to enter, so that allows me to play. As I said previously, it's still a long time to that. Still have 100 days before the Olympic Games. I am just thinking about next week, if I'm going to be able if play or not.

Of course I would love to prepare a calendar in the long-term with all the tournaments in it. I just have to go week by week and match after match. It's something I have in my mind because I know how beautiful it is. As I said, I already had one experience in London. That's really far away, so I have to think about that later. Not now.

Q. You said you were very happy today. I wanted to know when was the last time that you were so happy before a match and are you thinking to bring someone else to your team, a new trainer? Have you thought about that?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, yeah, of course. I'm looking for the correct people to work with me, the right ones. As you know, I'm still not so confident. I prefer to wait a little bit longer.

I'm still treating my wrist, and those exercise take me a lot of the time. Today after my tournament I'm just looking after my wrist. I'm thinking about that.

I cannot pretend to get new trainer because I'm still spending a lot of time doing exercises with my wrist. If I'm closer to achieving my goals, of course I would like to think about a new team as soon as possible, and good, strong team.

But I'll still not thinking about that. I am just trying to recover. The important thing is that my hand is recovering and we'll think about the rest after that.

Q. (No microphone.)
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Today I was very happy. You could see it out there on court. I wasn't expecting this victory. That's the reality.

But, well, it doesn't mean more than it is. Just a special match perhaps, but just I see that with a lot of sacrifice and work perhaps in the future I will be able to come back this great group of big players and play in these kind of tournaments more often.

Q. (In English.) Federer has pulled out of your section. Feel like maybe you can go really deep in Madrid now? How do you feel?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I'm not thinking about that. I just enjoying this match, this match of today, and I'm looking forward to play even better tomorrow.

I don't know who could be my next opponent after tomorrow. I just going match by match and that's it.

Q. With your injury and everything, are you still having to think constantly on the court or is anything starting to feel natural or automatic yet?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Starting to feel natural. I'm feeling much better with my backhand in this tournament than a couple months ago. That means that very good improvement on my game.

I think I believe on the way that I'm working now, and that's what I have to do to get better in the future. I'm getting closer every day, but still I'm very far away from my highest level.

I'm glad with my success in this comeback.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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