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July 1, 2016

Juan Martin Del Potro

London, England

J. del POTRO/S. Wawrinka
3‑6, 6‑3, 7‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You always say that next year you will be very dangerous given some time. You looked pretty dangerous today.
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: Well, thank you. But I'm still know my present. I would like to be 100% for the next season.
As you can see, my backhand is not 100% yet, because now I'm playing too much slices. But on this surface, that is a great game to do it, because the grass help to me a little bit when I hit slices or when I came to the net.
But I know how far I am from my high level. I've been working hard to be 100% on next season.

Q. What were your emotions at the moment you won and from that moment until you left the court?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: It was great. I mean, the last time I been in the Centre Court was against Djokovic, in that amazing semifinal, what I lost. Now I came again.
The crowd was unbelievable with me. The atmosphere on there was amazing. They have a respect to me. It's very nice just be on the Centre Court of this magnificent tournament. Is great for all the players.

Q. You said on TV after the match that winning made you feel alive. What about playing out there makes you feel that and how much did you miss that when you were out?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: Well, I miss it a lot. Now I'm feeling so glad just to be playing tennis again. Of course, when you beat these guys, everything change in the good way.
But I am still need time to feel 100% with my wrist. Sometimes I scared to hit harder with my backhand, as I did in the last game. I play a cross‑court backhand, and it was two bounces. It was strange for me and for him and for everyone. It's not normal, but it works.
I'm exciting to go far in this tournament. But anyways, I think I'm very pleased with my success at the moment.

Q. Are you going to ask Argentina to change surface and play all the tournaments in Argentina on grass?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: That could be a good idea, yeah (smiling).
But we have a lot of clay court in our country. That's what I came one month ago, to feel good on grass court because my game today is doing well on this surface. But I need to learn in the other surface, too.

Q. During the darkest points, how close did you come to quitting the sport? Was it for moments like these that you persevered?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: I said before, this could be my second or third career after my surgeries. It was really tough to come back on the sport after my third one. But now I'm enjoying tennis again.
I don't know if I can be in the top positions again. But if not, I will be happy just to be playing tennis again. If I'm still doing the good things, maybe I have chance to be better in the future because I can play in the same level as the top guys in all surface. That's means something good to me.

Q. What do you know exactly about your next opponent?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: Ooh. I know he's a nice guy (smiling). He already beat Young in three sets. He's very dangerous. I mean, I know him because he's working with my old manager. He has a big talent. In third round in a Grand Slam, everything could happen.
I don't know if I will be tired or not because I just finished my biggest match after my comeback. But I will try to be ready for that challenge.

Q. How did you regroup your game after the first set?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: Well, Stan plays so well at the beginning of the match, and I never get up because I was doing my game in a good way. After lose the first set, I start to serve even better. My forehand start to getting on the court, and the game changed a lot after the second set.
In the third, when I had lucky in a few moments on the tiebreak. Then in the fourth, I was very focused all the time trying to do a break. I did in the last game.
I mean, I felt nervous to close the match, but I was a break up and I had another chance if I lose my serve, so...

Q. You say you are not 100%, but you would like to be for next season. Where would you put yourself now percentage‑wise, and how can you work for making that happen?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: Well, I don't know which number should I put. I just beat the No.5 or 4 player in the world on the Grand Slam.
But what I said is very simple to know, because you can see my backhands, and it's not harder as I play before. But every single day, every week is getting better. That's why I'm keep positive and working hard on that shot because I know I'm in a good way to get better as soon as I can. But sometimes the wrist needs time to recovery completely.
If I finish healthy this year, I will do a good preparation for the next season, and hopefully I can be playing harder in all my shots.

Q. We know you're a religious person, and you met the Pope. I'd like to ask you about him and what your thoughts are on him emerging as such an important figure in the world.
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: Well, first we are so proud to have the Pope from Argentina. In our country, he's doing everything well for us. I think he's trying to change few things in the world.
But at this moment, the world, it's very aggressive in all the countries, as few days ago in Turkey was really sad moments to the people.
I know him. I met him. It was really nice moment for me, for my family.
I think he's doing well, but also is really difficult to dominate the world in that position. But we have to pray for him and still waiting, and in the future we can see if he's doing well or not.

Q. In your comeback this season, you've had some good wins. But in the following rounds, it seems like you've struggled to go even further. Why do you think that is? Do you feel like this time it could be different?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: I hope so (smiling).
But after one match, I felt exhausted, mentally, physically. I'm doing a big effort in every match. I only played five or six tournament on this year. It's not easy to manage all of that things, but I'm starting to feel better every day.
I don't have a day off tomorrow, so it's going to be a challenge for me, another fifth‑set match right after today. I think something could help me is the surface because on grass you don't play the longest matches. I can take advantage of that.

Q. You said with the wrist, it's maybe a problem with your backhand still. You served excellent. That is not a problem for your wrist?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: I'm not using my wrist on the serve. No, I think I've been working really hard on my serves and my forehands, because that was my biggest shots on the game.
But, anyways, I'm trying to hit my backhand as I did in the past. But sometimes I not feeling confidence enough to do it, but if I can play good slices in this tournament...

Q. So the wrist is not the problem for the backhand?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: I have many things in my backhand, in my mind, in everywhere. But I will be better in the future.

Q. About the wrist, you said you play fine with the slice, but you cannot play hard with the two‑handed backhand. What do you need to do to do that? Is it lifting weights, doing some strength exercises? What can you actually do and to what extent can you force yourself to do strong things so that maybe next year? What does the doctor say, that you can go back to where you were?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: Yeah, he say that, but he doesn't know when. I don't know if I could do that next week or next month or maybe next year.
But I do two or three hours a day with treatment on my wrist. I do exercise, I workout, flexibility, everything.
After that, I go to the court for practice. That take me a long time a day to deal with this. Then I have to work on the backhand. It's not easy to do it in every day because sometimes I get tired after the treatment.
But I'm still confidence to get back on my old backhands. The doctor says, You can do it. But now I have to deal with a lot of stuff on my mind. But I think just two or three months ago, I only play slices, and now sometimes I hit with topspin. On the returns, I can go harder. That is a small thing to me, but it's important.

Q. Have you been practicing the backhand slice since you got injured? Now do you feel more comfortable hitting that shot?
JUAN MARTIN del POTRO: Yes, yes, of course, I've been practicing for one year with slices, serves and forehands, and that's it. That's why I'm playing much better with my slices.
I think three or four years ago, I never use my slices during the game. Now I get another shot to my game, but now I don't have my normal backhand.
So if in the future I can get all the shots on my game, I could be a better player.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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