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May 28, 2019

Juan Martin Del Potro

Paris, France


3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. It was maybe a bit of a slow start for you. Can you talk about that first set and what you did differently afterwards?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, I had a slow start because of the weather conditions, because of his game. We never play each other before, and I was trying to found a way of the game.

But in the second set, I took the control of the match and then I started to play a little bit better. I feel better on court. And then I took all my chances, and I close the match much better than the beginning.

Q. Because of the change in weather conditions, because each set had a different condition, first, second, third, you played a very solid match, but it looked like you didn't want to go for straight, big winners, like you sometimes want to do, and maybe you went for placement and preparing the point. Was that because of the weather conditions?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, because of the weather and also his game. You know, he made a lot of winners but also a lot of mistakes. I wasn't be really solid from the baseline so I tried to put the ball in and see what happen with his shots.

But then in specific moment of the match I play aggressive, basically in the break points, and I broke his serves many times. I think I need to improve a little bit better, because all the matches depends of my game normally but not today. I have many things to improve yet.

Q. When we spoke in Madrid you were telling me you were taking things one day at a time, not making really decisions ahead. When did you decide that you would play here? And just walk us through your preparation for this tournament. What was the mentality like?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, of course I wanted to be here, because it's a big tournament. I have great memories from the past. And I feel good.

I'm playing tournament by tournament, as I said in Madrid. I finish Rome in very good shape after the Djokovic match. I had a week off for train hard, so I feel a little bit better than Madrid. The main goal to me is trying to stay healthy after this tournament so then I can make a smart schedule on different surface without thinking about my knee, and that would be much better for my future.

Q. That match with Novak in Rome, you almost beat him, obviously. I'm wondering, did that take you by surprise that you could reach that level so quickly with so few matches under your belt?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah. I think I surprised myself and all the tennis fans, as well. It was a great match for almost three hours. Very high level for both. In this comeback I lost two matches already, and both matches had match point.

I think I'm playing well at the moment, but my main goal is still the knee, my health. And I'm looking forward to be 100% in the second part of the year, trying to change my goals on tour and if I get that, I will be happy.

Q. You just mentioned you want to change your goals for the rest of the year. What are those goals? And how would you change them?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, because now my goals is what I said, is my health, you know, my knee, my rehab and different stuff.

But once I get in good shape again, I can be focused on the result, you know, in different tournaments, different surface. That's what I want to think about it, not only my knee or my wrist or whatever. That could be my best goal if I feel much better.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. What was the key for your victory? You started moving slowly with moves that were a bit slow. What do you think?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, indeed. I thought it was slow. I didn't have much energy. I had never played against him. And also, the weather conditions and also the conditions on the court. But I lost one set. That's not so much. It's not wonderful to start a match like that. It's something I have to improve in the future.

Throughout the match, I felt better. I started dictating the game.

Q. How do you feel, especially with respect to your knee? What do you think of your next opponent?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I'm feeling well. I'm practicing regularly. I play matches. I have played already three tournaments up to now. And after this tournament, we'll assess the situation and see what will be my next tournament, if my health is okay.

But I'm in a period of transition, rehabilitation of my knee and reaching perfect health state and trying to focus again on tennis and results.

Q. (Question off microphone.)
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I played against him in Delray Beach. He's a lefty. And indeed it will be difficult. There are always surprises. Everyone is playing well, and I hope things will be in my favor.

Q. Nicolas Jarry was saying you're like a mirror because you're both tall. How did you perceive him during this match? Although he doesn't have the same results.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: He has a great potential. He has a very comprehensive tennis. From what I had seen up to now, he's a good player in a good way, capable of winning against any opponent because he's very aggressive.

I faced that during the first set. He was dictating the game during the first set. Then his intensity decreased, and I was able to take over the control of the game.

But I think he has a great potential. He has a great serve, excellent shots, and on this surface he's playing well and other surfaces certainly well.

Q. You said that your priority for now is your health. After one match before coming to the press conference, do you have a ritual of recovery?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, there is a series of rituals. The knee, the wrist, and then I arrive here very early, and I have learned to live with these rituals. It's now part of my daily routine. I'm not very happy about that, but it's part of my daily routine.

Tomorrow I will continue to recover with the physio, with my staff, and to try to feel in the best shape for the next round.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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