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May 13, 2018

Juan Martin Del Potro

Rome, Italy


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel heading into Rome? And I guess how much practice have you managed to have here on these courts?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I feel good. I like to be in Rome. I have a lot of fans. And they were everywhere here.

And it's an amazing tournament.

I'm feeling good. I have good feelings with the ball. I already practice twice. And I'm hitting good.

But I need to keep improving my game on clay. It's not my best part of the season, what I say. But, I like to keep improving my game anyways.

Q. I know you were thinking about possibly shortening your clay season, which is funny to hear from someone from Argentina, with all the background in clay court tennis. Are you unique, or is clay not as important as it once was in Argentina?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, of course, it's very important for me, for my colleagues, for the other Argentinian players.

We grow up playing tennis on this surface. But, because of my style of game, I prefer to play on hard or grass courts.

But anyways, these tournaments are so important for the season, for keep going up in the ranking as well. And I would like to do even better than Madrid. So, I will try to play better here in Rome.

Q. Rafa's streak is over at the moment, after he lost to Dominic Thiem. I'm just wondering, when Rafa does lose a match on clay, does it give more hope to you guys heading into the French Open?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I think he's still the man to beat on this surface.

Of course, he's the favorite to keep winning these kind of tournaments, to win in Paris.

But, if he doesn't have a good day, also, another good guy on tour can beat him. And we will try to -- I mean, to do our own schedule/our own tournaments.

But, it will be great to see Rafa winning and winning because he's making history in this sport, and it's great.

Q. You said your style of play suits other surfaces more. What's the toughest thing about clay for you?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don't like to run too much ( laughing).

And you must play long rallies here on clay.

But, I mean, if you play aggressive on this surface also you can be dangerous. But, you need to be 100% physically, mentally, free of pains in your body.

And I'm just trying to stay healthy in this part of the year, to improve my game and hold my body in the second part of the season.

Q. Madrid was your first tournament in a while. I just wanted to know, what was your biggest takeaway from there? And what maybe are you pleased the most with your game, what are you worried the most about?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: To be my first tournament I think was okay. I lost against like a specialist on clay. Lajovic is a good player on this surface.

And I had my chances to win that match, and I lose it.

But with the days, I think I will be improving my movements on clay, my forehands, my backhands. And I think I have too many things to improve, and that's important.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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