French Open Interview: Juan Martin Del Potro May 26th
J. DEL POTRO/M. Llodra 6‑3, 6‑3, 6‑1
Q. You're one of the new members in the top 10, a lot of new faces compared to a year ago. Can you just talk about this change at the top of the sport?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Was a big change for my game, for my career. Now I'm in top 10players. I'm a long way to be a good player, really good player like Nadal or Federer. So I'm working on that. Every day I try to improve my game, to give my goals.
Q. What I mean is we have several new players in the top 10 from a new year ago, you, Monfils, Simon, Murray. Quite a different group than one year ago.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Everybody's playing very good since July of 2008, especially Simon. He wins on every surface. We can play with every player. We can beat sometimes the four best players. But we need to win matches in every tournament like Nadal or Djokovic.
Q. So there's still a big gap between you and the top 4?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, of course, yes.
Q. Could you tell me about your potential next opponent Lukasz Kubot?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: He's losing. I never saw him. But he did final two weeks ago in Serbia. I know he's a very good doubles player. He has a very good serve, but maybe he lose.
Q. Are you going to see his practice?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don't know. I don't know yet. I'm enjoying this victory.
THE MODERATOR: Spanish questions.
Q. Today was your best match here at Roland Garros. You've gained points.
JUAN MARTIN DELP OTRO: Well, winning is something wonderful. This is a nice tournament here in France, in Paris. I'd like to continue on the same path. I feel good. I've played very interesting matches. I feel good. I think my style is adapted. I hope I can continue on the same tracks and make the most of it.
Q. You've played on clay, like almost never.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, yes, absolutely. But last year I played really well on clay,and now I have different feelings.
I must say I've played other Masters, and my results were good. The matches I played were good, as well, but a Grand Slam will give you unique feelings. The matches are different. It's five sets, you know. Well, possibly. So many things can happen. I feel good, which is what really counts.
Q. I don't really know where to start, but I'd like to know where your family name comes from, Del Potro. Is it Spanish or Italian? What's the origin of your family name?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: My grandparents were Italian.
Q. Do you know where they came from?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, I have no idea.
Q. It's important to know where your roots are.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I only knew my grandparents, but my family name comes from my great‑grandparents.
Q. After today's match, what do you think you can improve and work on?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, frankly, nothing in particular. It was in and out due to the rain, and I don't really know what I should focus on.
I played volley or a number of aces. I don't really feel good when it's baseline, but I think what I did well is I played well the moments I had to play really well, and this was sufficient. I had to break during each set, and I won the match.
But next match will probably be different. We'll have longer rallies. It's going to be more baseline playing, and I'll have to be very careful with my serve.
Q. Is it not a problem to stop and start again when you've started playing, and then there's a break? You have to stop for awhile. Is it not difficult?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, yes, of course. It's always a problem for everybody. You don't really know what to do. You have to wait. Sometimes you go back to the cloak rooms, and then they say they're going to stop for something like 10 minutes, but then you have to stop for a longer while. It's a feeling that no players like at all. But it all depends. It all depends how you feel during the match.
Q. Have you looked at the draw? Do you know who you'll be playing against in the top 4? It's a big challenge for you, probably.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, I don't know who I'll play against. We'll see.