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March 1, 2012

Juan Martin Del Potro


J. DEL POTRO/J. Tsonga
7‑6, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  The guy on court said, Welcome back to the time big time.  Is that how you feel?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yes, I'm feeling really glad to be in the semifinals in this tournament with big names:  Djokovic, Murray, Federer.  So it's amazing season at the moment for me.
I'm trying to keep improving.  I already play many matches and I feel okay, so it's a good signal for the rest of the season.

Q.  How difficult is it to maintain such a high standard?  Last week in Marseilles you won, and now here.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Well, this tournament, and I think especially this match, was a big challenge to see how my physical is going.  I play many matches in Rotterdam and Marseilles, but here I already play three matches and I feel okay.
I'm trying to recovery as fast I can, but every day the matches is going to be worse and tough.  Hopefully be ready for tomorrow.  It's going to be so hard for me play against Roger once again.
But anyway, if I'm okay and if I have lucky, maybe I can win.

Q.  How long would you say you've been 100%?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  I was 100% in the beginning of the season, but after many matches it's difficult to recovery and to feel 100%.
But sometimes you can feel 100% mentally and it's too much.  So I don't know if all the players feel 100% with the mind, with physical, and tennis every day.
So you have many ways to feel confidence and to feel good when you go to the court.

Q.  Jo‑Wilfried said that you're rightly a top‑10 player; you could be top 5; maybe even go higher.  Do you feel that yourself, that maybe there is still a lot more to come from your game at this stage of your career?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Well, I feel I'm improving every tournament, every match.  I think I'm in the good way to get close of the top players.  I think Jo or Ferrer are the No. 5 or 6 in the world at the moment because they're playing much better than me this year and the last year.
But if I'm still in the same way, I'm still working and still winning, maybe I can fight with them to be in the top 5.

Q.  When you face Roger on a hard court, does your memory flash back to the US Open and the epic victory you managed over Roger?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yeah, I always think about that final.  After final in Rotterdam, he told me, You have the big one, so don't be sad.
But tomorrow and all the matches are different, all tournaments are different, and I'm trying to find a way to beat again him.  It's really difficult for me, his game.  He plays slices, dropshots, and he's one of the best of history.
So I just want to be ready for fight and to see how I'm going to play against him.

Q.  How important was the Davis Cup final for you in showing you that you can fight all the way?  I know you lost to Rafa, but it was one of the great, great matches of last year.  It just showed to all of us Juan Martin is now right back.  What did it mean to you?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Of course I was sad after losing Ferrer and Rafa.  I played like ten hours in only two days, so it's too much.
But also I say, Okay, I'm closer to fight like ten hours.  In clay courts it's normally my best surface, so I'm getting closer.  That's mean you are doing well your things, your work, and that give me confidence to keep working, keep trying.
I think I did a good preparation before Australian Open.  I made quarters there.  Then I feel good to play this kind of tournaments.  I already play like 14 matches in a row, so is too many after a year out of competition.  So I'm ready to keep improving and keep doing.

Q.  When you were out injured all those long, very sad months, did you watch much tennis on the TV, or was it too painful?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  No, it was too painful for me.  I was sad, trying to find something to get happy or to get glad.  But was really tough.  I get up every morning sad trying to like do my wrist movement, and still painful when I saw all the players playing all the tournaments.  Basically when I was in the beginning of my wrist problem, because I had the chance to fight for the No. 1 position.
But this is my present.  I think that was the past.  Now I have the chance to play tennis again, so nobody knows if I can be in that position again in the future.  But I'm working for that.

Q.  How did you get out of it?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  With family, friends, and I think stay calm, stay positive as much you can.
I think when you have everything to feel happy at home or with friends, family, it's much easier to come back.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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