THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Looked like you were getting a little frustrated out there in the first set trying to convert those breaks. Talk about that a little bit.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I couldn’t break at the beginning of the match. I lost many opportunities to start even better the match, and I got frustration after all that points.
But anyways, I been waiting on more chances, and the chances came in the end of the set, and finally I took one (smiling).
And then I played solid every service game, and I think I play much better than him in the tiebreak.
Q. You and Roger Federer are now the top two seeds remaining in the draw. Are you encouraged by that? Obviously you still have plenty of tough matches to play, but are you encouraged by that?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I’m not thinking about that. I just want to keep winning. It’s good to me feel with this confidence when I getting to the court and I play well, but I’m going step by step. I will play another Argentinian guy tomorrow, which is a special match for both. It’s not easy when you play against a friend.
You know, but still far away from the final, but of course any chance to play with Roger would be great.
Q. What are you finding the most effective for you on the backhand side right now? Hitting slice, drive, or running around?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I will say the slices. But I’m not good enough with my backhand at this moment of the tournament. I know I could hit much better than I did today, and I need a better backhand to keep winning and to improve my ranking and my game.
But it’s day-by-day work. I do treatments for my wrist. And after all that things, I came to the court and practice my backhand, but does take time and I’m still dealing with that.
Q. You played an extremely good final back in 2013 against Rafa. How would you rate your game today compared to how it was then?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I know I’m playing a different game than few years ago. I mix it up with the slice, dropshots. I try to come to the net more often than years ago.
And I think I like — I like the way I’m playing now. It’s more funny to watch, also. And I improved on other things in my game as my volleys and slices, and I think I have a complete game at the moment, but I know how to do to improve that.
Q. Talk about what’s difficult and what’s easy when you’re coming up against something like Leo Mayer, somebody you know so well.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don’t think I have easy things to take before the match with Leo. We practice a lot together. We train at the same club in Buenos Aires. We grow up together. We win the Davis Cup together. And we have dinners together and we spend a lot of time together.
It will be a special match for both. And I know if he has a good day, he’s very dangerous guy, and he plays solid from the baseline. He play very flat, and his serves are good enough to beat me or to beat anyone on tour.
Q. I’d like to ask you a question about Davis Cup. In the home ties, there is such a passion, such an energy for the fans in the different countries. Do you think with the new format that somehow this special quality in tennis might be lost?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Maybe, yeah. But I think if that change happens will be even better for the tour and for the players. I think they are working hard to take the better decision for the future, and they are considering all things.
But I’m not taking that decision, and I don’t know if I still playing tennis when that new format happens (smiling). But I like to play Davis Cup at home.
But anyways, we won the Davis Cup playing away all matches, and it was special.
Q. So if I’m hearing you right, you’re saying your game is more versatile now than it was before the surgeries of 2014/2015? Are you saying you’re a more complete player in a way now?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think I’m more complete player, because I can hit slices, I come to the net more often than years ago, and I can mix it up with my two-handed backhands, with dropshots, and my forehand is still working good.
But in terms of all my game, of course I would prefer to have again my old backhand, my old two-handed backhand. But this is the way what I play today and I have to agree with that.
Q. On the Davis Cup thing again, it may come into play next year. It’s possible they may try to get it in time so you would be playing then. If you had to vote yourself, would you support it or not support it?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I’m not — I don’t know too much about this new format or the new changes. I’m not thinking about Davis Cup anymore, to be honest.
We won the Davis Cup two years ago with all my — with my team, with Leo, Fedi, Pella. And after that we say, like, it was enough for us. I mean, now it’s time to change things for the future, but I don’t know what could happen.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2018-03-13 23:51:00 GMT