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October 12, 2017

Juan Martin Del Potro

Shanghai, China

J. DEL POTRO/A. Zverev

3-6, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. (First part of question off mic.) ...quality players this year. Does it feel like to you that you're having a more consistent year?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, I know how was my level in that moment of the year, but I know how I'm playing now, and I'm playing much better and confidence with my game. I'm improving my backhand a lot since that tournament to now, and I think I have more things to improve looking forward the next year.

I didn't play the Australian Open. I didn't play too much on clay. So next year will be interesting to me if I stay healthy and I'm feeling in good shape.

Q. You are aiming to return to Australia in 2018 at this stage?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I hope so. Yeah, I will try to do a good preseason, and one of my goals for the next year is just to play a whole year. You know, around 20, 22 tournaments would be great for me.

If nothing serious happen, I will try to do it. And if my level continuing improving, I will get closer to the top guys. But it's not easy. I have been doing a big effort after all my injuries to play tennis, but I think I'm doing well.

Q. Coming into this week, did you consider London next month as a possibility? You obviously have to continue going well here, but did you think that was a chance of happening?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I'm not thinking about London. Of course could be very good to my mind, to myself if I qualify for London, but I'm not thinking about that. I just want to keep playing as I did today.

I know if my level continuing growing in a good way, I will have the chance to play London in the future, but I know I'm not ready for that at this moment. There are six, seven players qualified already, so it's going to be a difficult challenge. But if I keep playing well, I will get close to the top position and would be another good signal to me.

Q. We tend to always look at your backhand to see where it is at. You have this massive inside-out backhand at some point. When you say it is improving, is it because the power is getting back? Is it because you can play back-to-back matches without pain? Where do you see that it's getting better?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, I'm not having any pain at the wrist, and now I'm hitting my backhand as I do in my training sessions, you know. But it's part of my confidence to do it that during the whole match. I think I'm doing more often.

But in the end, when I have to play an important point, I'm still using my slices, you know. But against Zverev or Rafa, you need to play your best shots every time, and I would like to do it in the future, but I think I'm very glad with my success of the backhand.

Q. At one point you won 11 out of 12 service games to love. What were you doing right that it couldn't just be your serve?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think I didn't play well the first game of the match with my serve, but I also, when I lost the first set I saw the stats on the TV, and I was winning more points returning than him, but I lost the set. I say to me, Okay, you're playing good. You have to just try to keep going. And that's what I did for the second and the third set.

Q. Do you still have to be careful when you plan your schedule? And consequently, what tournaments are you going to go and play from here? Where are you going to play?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, if I feel good, I will play Stockholm, Basel, and Paris. Could be a good finish of the year if I'm allowed to play all these tournaments.

But when I say I'm not expecting to qualify in London for now, so I just want to play good tennis in all of these tournaments and see how my body is to finish the year. And then I'm very exciting to do a good preseason, looking forward for the first week of the year to the end.

Q. You broke Sascha in the fifth game of the third set. He obviously had a meltdown with his racquet and stuff. Does that allow you to think, well, I've gotten into this guy now? He's pissed off? I have made my mark? Or you can't think that way?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I saw his frustration, for sure, because his serve is very important for the game, as my serve. But I think he's still very young and he needs to keep learning, as he's doing now. I mean, he has everything to be in the top positions in the future, but these things happens. Remember when Roger was young. He broke racquets, too. So everybody can break racquets (smiling). But I think he's a great player and a great competitor on tour.

Q. (Question in Chinese.)
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, that is my personality on court, off court. I try to be calm every time. I like to be, as I am doing in this tournament, I am enjoying to play in front of the Chinese fans. They are very calm, too. I think we make a good team, so I will try to keep staying few more days in China.

Q. (Question in Chinese.)
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, I did. I woke up at 6:00 a.m., and we have Messi, so that's enough to qualify for the World Cup. And as Argentinian, I'm so happy for the players and for the results of the team and for my country, also.

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