Monday, May 28, 2012
Q. What's going on exactly with your knee and how tough was it to go through this match?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, it was tough match to start the tournament. All the Spanish players on clay are really difficult to play.
But even with my knee problem I think I play well in the beginning of the match, and then in the end. I'm glad to go through. I will have two days to work with the physio on my knee. So I have time to recover and to be in good shape for the next match.
Q. You're suffering from Madrid or before? Is it threatening for the rest of the tournament?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, after Madrid the pain start. I'm still working with the physio every day, trying to recover and to feel better for the match.
Q. Do you remember the first time you had to enter in a central court here in Roland Garros? I would like to know what happens or what happened for you in the corridor that brings you to the central.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think it was against Rafa, but long time ago.
Yeah, it's something different than the other Grand Slam. The corridor you have to sign every time when you go to play on center court, and that make it special, the central court, than the other ones.
I got lucky today. I win my first round on center court. So that change and that's another difference than three or four years ago.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish, please.
Q. Apart from the pain you have in your knee, what do you think about the heat?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Fine. It was fine.
As I said before, at the beginning and at the end of the match, those are moments when I felt in very good shape. I have three days ahead of me to get better, to continue my treatment for my knee, and I'll be in good shape for my next match.
Q. Given this is the leg that you use most for your serve, is it a problem?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, it is a problem when you can't find your balance as you're used to, but I'll use these few days of rest to get better. If I go on the court, it's because I feel good. I want to continue playing.
Q. What are your feelings on this court? In 2006 you already played here.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, it was on another court with Ferrero. I played Nadal in 2007 on this court. The central court is a beautiful court. On the Sunday there are very few matches. I played my match. It's a very good experience. I'm very happy.
You know, here in Paris, the crowd knows about tennis. There are many elements that make it nice to play here.
Q. In 2009 you were playing the semifinals against Federer. That's probably what boosted your career. Do you reckon you can achieve such a beautiful result again?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: This is not the kind of question I want to ask myself. I play little by little, point by point, match after match.
In Australia I managed to reach the quarterfinals and people ahead of me are players who really are at the top of their game. So the ranking is a good reflection of reality. We are all where we should be.
I think it's well deserved. I continue nicely. I look at the matches, and I focus on one match at a time.
Q. Yesterday you were serious when you practiced on the central court. It was during the Children's Day. With regards to your personality, maybe it would be interesting for you to communicate more with the crowd. You were serious yesterday during the Children's Day.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I was a referee, so I was supposed to be serious. I'm a rather quiet person, anyway. But if I was serious, it was because I was the ref, I was the umpire. But it was also great pleasure for me to be there. It was important for me to be here.
I'm a bit more shy than Djokovic. I'm not going to start jumping and shouting, as he did. We all have different personalities, but it was a very nice moment. It was great fun, great pleasure, and it was for the kids. The most important thing is, for me, to have a happy crowd.
Q. Last time you played Roger Vasselin, do you remember that match? How will you prepare yourself for the next match you'll have against Roger Vasselin?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, he plays very well. He has an incredible serve. He is very dangerous. Even the French are very dangerous.
Some of them hit the ball very hard, and you need to be very careful, because they all play very well. Roger Vasselin is very strong. So I don't want to focus on the player; I want to focus on my game, on my tennis, and I want to dictate my game.
Q. I feel that you managed to win this match, thanks to your concentration.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, the first round is always very difficult, but I succeeded. Sometimes I played well, sometimes I made mistakes, and I hope that for next round I won't make those mistakes again.
But you need then to continue to win in order to be able to go to the next round and continue progress for the tournament.
Everything is important. This second round, against a French player, it's going to be very difficult. You don't want to believe he is easy to play, so I need to play my best tennis right from the beginning.
Photos Getty Images