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May 18, 2017

Juan Martin Del Potro

Rome, Italy

J. DEL POTRO/K. Nishikori

7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Quite a notable victory on the clay for you. What are your thoughts about it?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I am so glad to beat Kei. I think I played a really nice match. My game is improving in this surface, which means something important to my confidence.

I think I'm not very far away from my high level, so I'm happy for that. I'm looking forward to do it tomorrow against Novak.

Q. How anxious were you at the start of this clay court run?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I came just thinking to play one match and see how I feel, and then I felt so good on the surface in the first round, and my game is starting to do some problems to my opponents, and it was increasing match by match, and I think now I have confidence to play anyone.

I know still they are better to me in this surface and in this present, but I am getting closer and that's important.

Q. Your return since last year, last season, it's probably incredible. Just talk about the main feeling you get right now when you come on the court.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, my feelings are the best when I get into the court, the crowds cheering for me, and that's incredible for all the players.

But I have a big support around the world, and that means something special to me after all my wrist problems. I know they, how you say? I have been doing a big effort to come back on tennis, and they like to see me play again.

I think I deserve to be on tour again after all my wrist problems.

Q. Maybe Kei's strategy, especially in the first set, was attacking your backhand. How did you manage to deal with that?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I manage with my slices, and I think I'm hitting better on my two-handed backhand. I made a down-the-line winner with my backhand in the very important moment of the first set. It was surprise for me, surprising for him, too.

And then my forehands and serves are doing, I think, the break of the match. My shots are going faster than him. If my forehands and serves are working good, I feeling in a good shape to play all the guys.

Q. Today the public supported you a lot. What do you think?

Q. The public supported you.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It was amazing. It was like a soccer match for me. I enjoy a lot the crowd.

Hopefully tomorrow night it's gonna be -- I don't know who the Italian people will take to cheer, but will be a great atmosphere on the stadium.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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