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May 12, 2019

Juan Martin Del Potro

Rome, Italy

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel after your first training here, after your first matches of the year?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I'm feeling good. My game is improving after couple of days of hard training. That's what I need to get back in my high level as soon as possible.

Rome will be another good test to see how my body feels on court and playing in the match.

Q. In the last months you spoke several times about how difficult it was to overcome the knee injury. Was there a moment where you told yourself that the finish line could be crossed?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, yes, because when you got injury, everything comes down and you felt really bad after the rehabilitation time. The only thing that all the players wants to be is just playing tennis. I wasn't available to do that.

I was really sad trying to fix the knee problem. It tooks a little bit longer than the doctor says. But now I'm having the chance to play another tournament. I'm feeling little bit better than Madrid. I know how long is the way of comeback, but I'm ready to try once again.

Q. How important is it for you to perform well here in Rome, looking forward to Roland Garros?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, to be honest, I'm not looking for a good result of the tournament. I just want to feel good on court, and that will be my best moment of this tournament. Doesn't matter if I win right now because I'm starting to play again.

But also I have a tough draw. So I supposed to play with Stan or Goffin in the first round, which is really difficult match (smiling).

But anyways, if I play good, if I play another match and I close the match in good shape, will be great for me.

Q. With the recent results, the fact that Rafa hasn't won a tournament on clay court recently, which is very rare, talk about that in perspective of Roland Garros?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, I don't think it's weird that Rafa doesn't win a tournament on clay yet. Many players are playing good on clay. Rafa can lose because he's a fantastic player, but also you have other guys playing good tennis at the moment. Could be weird if Rafa doesn't win Paris.

But I think to my point of view, he's still a big favorite to win Roland Garros once again. What I say all the time: you can beat Rafa once, but to beat Rafa in Grand Slam, in Paris, is another big challenge for us.

We will see what happen.

Q. While you were away, there was this rise of young guns getting close to the top spots. Have you had the chance to play against them? What do you think about Tsitsipas and Augier-Aliassime? What do you think about Roger coming to Rome?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think the people will be happy to see Roger, more than me for sure (smiling).

I also think the young players are coming stronger than we are. They have a big future. They are the present, they have everything to become a better player in the future.

What I say, is tough to beat the top guys on the Grand Slam. They are still being the favorites to win the big events. Once they break that line, maybe they going to be in the top spots, for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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