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May 31, 2018

Juan Martin Del Potro

Paris, France

J. DEL POTRO/J. Benneteau

6-4, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. It was the last game of Julien Benneteau today. Two days ago Nicolas Mahut said it was maybe last day on clay. And playing against Roddick in US Open it was last game. Are you on mission or something like that to send player into retirement? I don't know.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: And it was Marat Safin, also. (Smiling).

I didn't expect to do that for them. But Julien made a great career. He shows a better good level of tennis today. And I'm happy to see him playing in front of his family in Roland Garros in the main stadium, and it will be a good memory from here.

Q. This is not a question about the match, but I wondered, do you know who Roland Garros was?

Q. Can you tell us?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: He was an aviator. A-ha. You're surprised?

Q. You're the first person in here that's got that.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Because they asked me a few days ago and I Google it.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. Do you think you're at your best level? How do you feel?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Very well. I feel better than in the first round. I was able to make more wins, to run better. The level of my game was a bit higher.

So this made me feel good, and I'm happy to know that I'm improving day after day, that the day after tomorrow I have another match to try and feel good.

Q. It's not the first time that a player playing against you is leaving tennis. What's your feeling about that?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, honestly, once the match is over, it's up to the person to decide whether they want to leave. It has happened several times to me that people after that decided to leave the tour. But it's up to me to do what I have to do.

Apart from the matches, it was a situation which was important for my opponent, and I lived this emotional moment with him, because he had his family, he was in the Court Philippe Chatrier in Paris, where many players would like to win and to play.

Q. What does one feel from your position? Because it had happened with Andy Roddick and Safin, as you said. From your position, apart from the emotion, which is logical, what comes through your head? Do you think, Well, it's going to happen to me one of these days?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, obviously it's going to happen to me. I don't know when, but it's going to happen.

As I was explaining, it's an emotional moment, but during the game, you have to think that you're not going to retire and that you're going to play many more matches. In this way at tennis level, you can manage things.

But in the end it wasn't the usual routine after the game. I'm the one who won, but he was the one getting the ovation from the public. And I felt very close to him and we hugged and it was a great situation.

Q. Could you tell us a little bit about your next match against Albert Ramos?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I believe as he's left-handed, his forehand is his best stroke and my backhand is my best stroke. So the Spaniards, they like to play long matches, so it's going to be a difficult challenge.

Q. In the first game of Nadal on this court, he didn't feel that it was pleasant. What did you feel about the court?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think it's okay, but it could be better. With the days they are certainly going to improve this. And also, in the middle, it rained a little bit, so it got a bit wet, and so it was a bit slower, and then the sun came out. It was a bit faster.

But you have to compare with the days when we practiced a week ago. I can tell you the court has improved a lot.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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