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May 17, 2017

Juan Martin Del Potro

Rome, Italy

J. DEL POTRO/K. Edmund

7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Over your last year, how good are you feeling about your tennis now compared to this time last year?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I think I'm playing better, for sure. Last year I was trying to win couple of matches in this moment of the year, and now I'm beating good guys, I'm playing well, and I think my game can still improving week by week.

It's going to be a big challenge to me playing three tournaments on clay in a row after many years, so I think I have many things positive to think.

Q. Speaking of challenge, how big a challenge is it going to be to play against Nishikori in the next round?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Is gonna be difficult match. I think he has everything to win because he's playing so good. I'm just starting to play in this surface after my family problem.

But we never play on clay court, so it could be interesting match. I need to play even better than today to beat Kei.

Q. Where does clay fit in your preference now? I mean, obviously hard court is your favorite surface. Where does clay come?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I like to play on grass a lot. I make good results in the last years. But I like clay, too. But I need time to adapt all my game on this surface. I made good results in the past. I made semifinals at the French Open one year, and I made semis in Madrid, quarters in Rome, so I won couple of tournaments on clay.

I always play good tennis in this surface, but if I had to take one, I keep taking hard or grass.

Q. You have done some selective scheduling in these past couple of years just to try to peak at the right times. I'm wondering what you think of Roger's decision to skip all the clay tournaments to save up his energy and health for grass and hard courts, and if you think it's a strategy more people could maybe benefit from?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, I think if you had the ranking to do that and you have the game to quit some tournaments and then come back and keep winning the tournament, it's a good decision.

Roger is very smart. His team are smart. For sure, it's going to be difficult for us to beat Roger on grass court because he's going to be in good shape, he's going to be free mentally, and I think he's doing in good way his career at this time.

Q. A stupid question: What's it like playing a match against somebody wearing the same outfit as you? Is that weird?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It's weird, but he wears hat, so that's the difference (Laughter.)

Q. When you're walking on court, you see someone wearing same shirt, same shorts...
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think it's my first time.

Q. Ever?

Q. Surprising with Nike.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: You have to tell them. (Laughter.)

Q. Could you give us an impression of what you think of Kyle Edmund's game right now? Have you noticed improvement over a period of time? Also, was there a bit of an issue on the court surface out there today?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, I think Centrale Court is much better than the other ones, but the bounce are the same for both players. And I never play before against Kyle, and he surprised me a little bit. His game is so good.

His forehand is good enough to be with a better ranking very soon, and I think he has good tennis to keep improving.

Q. I am from Serbia, and you are very popular in our country. Have you ever been there? And what is your opinion about Serbian players? They tell me you are very good friends.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, I remember when we play Davis Cup in Belgrade, we had a fun time in that week. And I have great relationship with all the Serbian players. The guys are so good with me.

I would like to come in Serbia one day, but I don't have the time to go. But I know the Serbian fans follow tennis very much, and thanks to cheering for me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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