3-6, 6-3, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. I know it wasn’t an easy one out there, especially on your return game. How did you manage to turn things around?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It wasn’t an easy match as everybody see. But I was waiting my chance to find the way of the game, and I did after the first set. And then my games improve a little bit, and I find the way of my returns. I play more aggressive with my two-handed backhands, and I play more down the line.
I think that was the big key of the — big change of the match.
Q. How is your back feeling?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, all my body feels tight. Has been playing a few matches in a row.
But this is the last effort of the weekend, and I’m in semifinals, and I’m trying to keep winning. It’s going to be a really tough, tough match tomorrow.
But my body, after that, will have a few days to recovery and I will need it (smiling).
Q. It’s pretty unusual to see you getting so frustrated out there. Was it more that you weren’t able to break when you had the opportunities? Was it the situation with your back? What was it?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No. It was my chances of break. I made easy errors with my forehand, and doesn’t happens too often for my game. And I got frustration after all that break points. And I’m a normal person with character and sometimes happens.
Q. On the court interview, you said you could have quit tennis a few years ago. So actually, how close were you to quitting the tennis?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I’m not thinking about quit tennis now, but I was close to quit tennis because I made three surgeries on my wrist, and I couldn’t fix the problem. I got depressed at home for a long while, and I wasn’t happy doing the effort to recovery my wrist.
In that moment of my life, I was trying to find a different way of my life. That’s what I was thinking about, quit tennis.
But thanks God I’m here and healthy, and I’m playing tennis again. I’m in the top 10 again. I have too much love from the crowd, for my fans, and I’m doing this because I love it.
Q. What do you hope people learn from your story and your career?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I mean, they know how much effort I did to survive on this sport to make surgeries, for never give up. And I think it’s a good story for the kids to learn about the effort of the life, you know.
Everybody has to do efforts to get what you want, and I wanted to keep playing tennis. I paid very high price to do it, but I did it and I’m so happy to solve the problem. I’m staying here with this level.
Q. Tennis has been very difficult for you and your body, but it has also taken you, I think, to four really special experiences. Could you just briefly, just in a word, tell us about winning the US Open and then meeting Pope Francis and the Olympic medal and Davis Cup. Just what have those meant to you?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, they are special moments of my life. I couldn’t take one because are different. And every moment make me feel so happy and make me change my life.
You know, after winning the US Open with 20 years old, my life changed a lot. But a few months after that trophy, I got injury in my right wrist, and I couldn’t playing for the whole year, and again my life changed.
And then I met the Pope, which is so special to me. And we won the Davis Cup. I got a silver medal in Rio, having the most happiness week of tennis in Rio.
And now I’m here in the top 10 again, and I don’t have anything — nothing to lose playing tennis. And that’s what I’m enjoying a lot, all of these matches.
Q. Masters 1000 title, a lot of them went to the big four. I guess, what would it mean to you to win this one?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I never win one of these, so I couldn’t tell you what could be.
But I lost many finals, and I would like to be in the final again. But I know Milos is another guy who can win the tournament. Roger and Coric are playing so good. So everything can happen.
But I’m looking forward to win the first one here.
Q. I guess you can relate to Milos’ season last year where he had to take so much time off because of injuries and surgeries. What do you think of the comeback he’s made?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, he has everything to be in the top again. His game is so good. His serves are very strong. He’s very good player.
So he just need couple of weeks to improve his ranking and be what he deserve to be.
Q. When you come back from these awful injuries, is it more a matter of frustration or doubt, or do you find you’re calculating on your strokes? Just talk about that.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No. I think all my injuries are in the past, completely in the past, and I am not thinking anymore about my old problems. That’s the way what I take the life, you know.
And now I’m here just thinking in my present, looking forward for the future, and hopefully stay healthy to play the whole year, all tournaments what I like to play.
I’m not thinking anymore about bad moments to my tennis life. It was enough with all my wrist problem, and I’m so happy just to be here.
Q. What you just said, when you said the US Open changed your life, the injury changed your life in a different way, what did you mean by — what changed in your life in both those situations?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, after winning the US Open, I was the guy who has the conditions to be No. 1 in the world. I was No. 4 with not much points to defend at the beginning of the next year, and I was trying to play for the first position.
And also my popularity changed a lot in my country, around the world, and, of course, the changed life after a big event like the US Open is.
But then I got injury and everybody stop talking about me for the whole year (smiling). And, of course, the life changed again.
But I never care who the people talking about me. I just doing my job and doing what I like to do. And if I can make happy the people showing my tennis is so good to me, but this is my job and I try to do my best all the time.
Q. Davis Cup has announced changes. Now looks like the ATP is still trying to do the World Team Cup. You’re looking at a possible Davis Cup for one week, 18 teams end of November, and then World Team Cup with 20-plus teams in January, beginning, just five weeks. Is that even possible from a player’s perspective? And what do you think about that?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I think they are still working on the changes. They are not pretty sure to do it, so we must wait and see what is the final decision. But to me, living in Argentina, very far away from all these countries is not easy to play.
And I think what I say all the time, we won the Davis Cup with the old format, and that was amazing moment for me and my partners, and I’m not thinking anymore about Davis Cup.
Q. To play it, you mean?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: To play.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2018-03-17 00:03:00 GMT