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Juan Martin Del Potro semi-final

Friday 5 July 2013

Juan Martin Del Potro speaks to the media following his semi-final defeat by Novak Djokovic

Q.  Everybody is saying it was a great match, classic, everybody loved it.  I'm sure that's no consolation for you having lost.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Of course not.  I was so close to be at the finals here in Wimbledon.  But I knew my opponent.  I think I play really good tennis during four hours and a half, and he plays better because he won the match.

But was a really high‑level match during four hours.  He hit so hard the ball.  I think was unbelievable to watch, but, of course, I'm sad because I lost and I was close to beat him.

Q.  What was the difference today?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  I think just couple of points.  I survive in the fourth set when I saved the match points.  Then I think in the third set I had few breakpoints and I play well, but I miss an easy volley come into the net.

I should win the third set, but then you never know what's going on after that set.

I won the fourth set saving match points.

I had another breakpoint in 2‑All in the fifth and he served really well.

And in the end, I think he play unbelievable.

I know is the way to beat this kind of player, but is not enough when ‑‑ you can see I play my best tennis ever on grass court from a long time, but was not enough to beat the No. 1 in the world.

I was so close.

Q.  How would you compare your US Open victory and the way you played?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  I think I play better, but is another surface, another opponent.  Nole runs on grass like clay court or like hard court.  I hit many winners in one point, and always the ball come back.

He put me in pression all the time.  He returns so well.  I think he deserve to win.

Q.  You're back for sure now.  How long is it going to take you to attain your best form?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  I think I'm in good form.

Q.  What do you think you showed everyone about your heart and your ability today?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yeah, I really enjoy the match, by the way, even if I win or if I lose.  Was like a dramatic match, you know, many things during four hours.  I play an unbelievable points; he play really well also.

I think the crowd enjoying a lot the match.  For me was fantastic, because losing two set by one against the No. 1 in the world, if the crowd doesn't cheering for me, it's tough to come back.

They help me a lot for fight, to keep trying, keep going.  Of course I'm sad now, but in couple of day I will see how big was the match.

Q.  You had a lot of fun with the crowd.  Talk about how that helped you relax and how much fun that was to be a part of that because of that?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yeah, in that point was amazing.  Amazing.  I really enjoy watching them as well.  When I was down in moments on the match, I saw the crowd.  They clapping to me, and that's help me a lot for sure.

They don't care if I'm No. 8 or my opponent is No. 1.  They really enjoy the match.  They like tennis.  They put me fighter all the time.  Was incredible.

Q.  Was it frustrating to see Novak slide like that, bringing everything back, while maybe you had to be careful because of the knee?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yeah, sometimes yes, but I know him.  What I say before, he play here like clay courts or hard courts.  That's one of the reason he's the No. 1 of the world.  He can play very good tennis on all surface.

I need to hit harder my forehands the next time.

Q.  After a match of that length and intensity, do you think Novak can recover sufficiently in time for the final?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  First I will like to recover myself (smiling), then I wish the best to Nole.  He's a good guy, a good friend of mine.

He's very strong.  I remember the US Open I think after beating Federer in semis then he played Rafa in the final.  I don't remember really clear.  But he will be okay.

Q.  I think the crowd liked you because of your great shots and because you overcame your injuries.  More than that I think it's fair to say they liked you because of the man and your effort.  What do you think they liked in you that gave them so much joy, they wanted to support you so much?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yeah, I think they saw my effort, my big effort.  It's not easy jump to the Centre Court on Wimbledon and play against the No. 1 on the world my first semifinals here.  Many pression on me.

But I think they liked to watch us fighting with the best players.  And when the match is going really close, always the crowd are 50/50.  Or depends.  But I did a big, big effort.

Of course, I would like to say thank you to the crowd.  They help me a lot to survive in the fourth set and keep trying.

I think I will be very happy in a few days.

Q.  Do you realize that you won the hearts of many people because you, yourself, play with an open heart on the court?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yeah, but first I would like to win, then the other things come along.  I just did my job.  I did all my best.  Of course, it's nice when you get more fans and they like your way of play.

But I lost, you know.  I go home.  They have the chance to go to the final.

Q.  Lots of the British fans were calling out to you in quiet moments, calling you Del Boy.  Are you aware of who this character is?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  No (smiling).

Q.  Would you like me to explain?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yes, please.

Q.  He's a loveable guy who is always coming up with crazy schemes to get rich.  He's a bit of a dreamer.  He never quite makes it.  Now what do you think?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Well, I have a few nicknames, so one more, it's okay.

Q.  He's very popular in this country.  Everybody loves him.  Are you happy with that?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yeah, of course.

Q.  Can you talk about the relationship you have with Novak.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yeah, what I say before, outside of the court we are very friendly.  We have a fantastic relationship.  But when we are playing, we want to win for sure.  Is like a big battle down there.

Of course, when he fell couple of time I was worried.  He is my opponent, but also is my friend.  He asked me all the time about my knee.  That thing is very fair.  I love the way.

Q.  Are you a little surprised that Novak didn't try to go side to side to side to side on you?  Second of all, the fun part, do you think tennis could use more of what you did today to bring out more interest in individual players?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  I don't know.  I think this match is going to be memory for a few years.  We play for four hours and a half on very high level.  We didn't make too many efforts.  I don't know if the rest of the player can play like us today.

But if I still going in this way playing against Novak, Rafa, the other guys, is going to be very interesting for me.  Good fight, good battles coming.  I will be ready for that.


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