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May 8, 2018

Juan Martin Del Potro

Madrid, Spain

J. DEL POTRO/D. Dzumhur

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. First match in six weeks, how did it feel?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It feels good. I think I play well to be my first match on clay courts. We play good points, good rallies. I move pretty well. I think I'm glad with my level of tonight, so I'm looking forward to keep improving all my game.

Q. You didn't have the chance to play as many matches as you wanted on clay last couple of years. How are you feeling going into this Rome and Madrid and Roland Garros, physically and in your tennis?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, physically it could be the most difficult part of the season for me. But I made a good preparation for these tournaments. These three tournaments are pretty important on the year. I would like to go far, to play many, many matches on this surface, and keep growing up in the ranking, because it's important.

But anyways, my priorities is my health, and I'm focused on that.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. Does the altitude in Madrid suit your game? Normally on clay you play well.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, well, Madrid is a tournament that it's lovely, it's very passionate. I really like to play here. But I think that the conditions here suit the players that hit the ball hard, the players that serve big. It suits them.

Today, being my first match on clay since a long time, I think it was really acceptable. I was playing well out there. That gives me confidence towards the next match.

Q. You were saying you had a different preparation, better preparation than normal, due to your injuries. Have you done differently compared to other years?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I think that on this surface, you cannot play a lot with slice. I used to do a lot of slices due to my wrist problems, but here I decided to come, and on clay that means that I have to put my wrist to 100%, I have to try to hit the ball with two hands all the time. For now, my wrist is responding very well. I have treatments every day, so that my body is ready. I think it's responding.

Right now I'm calm because I think I'm responding and I'm able to play the tournaments I want to play.

Q. You were talking before with Alex that there are some players that have better forehands than yours. Which players have a better forehands than yours?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I cannot say that my forehand is the best forehand on the tour. I think that Federer has a great forehand. And Rafa of course, too. I think that we have three different styles of playing. The ball of the three of us flies differently. Some hit with more topspin, others hit flatter.

Particularly when I strike the ball hard, when the people cheer or shout, I just laugh because I have the control of the shot. I'm also enjoying that the people enjoy it or that they cheer me on or shout whenever I do one of my good forehands.

The only bad thing is that some of those forehands go way out, and some fall inside the lines. I like that feel with the people, the connection I have with the people that are supporting me.

Q. I wanted to ask you about the conditions today out there on the court. It's been raining. They closed the roof. Has it affected you? How did it suit your game or how did you adapt?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, I didn't have any difficulties. My training today was in the outer courts. It was cloudy. Then we started to play with the roof open, then they closed it. Maybe that was a little bit of a strange turning point.

When the roof is closed, it's really nice. I feel the ball well. Perhaps it's a little bit slower, but I think that I can play well. As long as my shots give my opponent problems, I feel good.

Q. What do you think about your next opponent, your game against him, and what are your expectations towards the next match?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, today he's won a really good match against Gasquet. On clay he's a very powerful player. He plays a very intelligent game. It's going to be a tough match, as all of the matches on clay for me. I will just try to play a little bit better than today.

As I say, sometimes with my game, together with my serve and my forehand, it's all on my side. So I will try to be concentrated, focused, and I'll try to stay in control of the match.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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