Juan Martin del Potro got a great win in Shanghai, beating Alexander Zverev by 3-6 7-6 6-4. Thank to this result, the Tandil native will be back into the top 20 Rankings again for the first time since June 2014. 'I'm playing much better and confidence with my game', del Potro said in press conference.
He looks forward to 2018: 'I'm improving my backhand a lot since that tournament to now, and I think I have more things to improve looking forward the next year. I didn't play the Australian Open. I didn't play too much on clay.
So next year will be interesting to me if I stay healthy and I'm feeling in good shape. I will try to do a good preseason, and one of my goals for the next year is just to play a whole year. You know, around 20, 22 tournaments would be great for me.
If nothing serious happen, I will try to do it. And if my level continuing improving, I will get closer to the top guys. But it's not easy. I have been doing a big effort after all my injuries to play tennis, but I think I'm doing well.' Del Potro is currently 22th in the ATP Race and 900 points away from Pablo Carreno Busta, who would be the last player to qualify for ATP Finals at the moment.
'I'm not thinking about London', the 29-year-old said. 'Of course could be very good to my mind, to myself if I qualify for London, but I'm not thinking about that. I just want to keep playing as I did today.
I know if my level continuing growing in a good way, I will have the chance to play London in the future, but I know I'm not ready for that at this moment. There are six, seven players qualified already, so it's going to be a difficult challenge.
But if I keep playing well, I will get close to the top position and would be another good signal to me.' We tend to always look at your backhand to see where it is at. You have this massive inside-out backhand at some point.
When you say it is improving, is it because the power is getting back?' Yeah, I'm not having any pain at the wrist, and now I'm hitting my backhand as I do in my training sessions, you know.
But it's part of my confidence to do it that during the whole match. I think I'm doing more often. But in the end, when I have to play an important point, I'm still using my slices, you know. But against Zverev or Rafa, you need to play your best shots every time, and I would like to do it in the future, but I think I'm very glad with my success of the backhand.' When he broke Zverev in the fifth game of the third set, the German destroyed his racket.
'Well, I saw his frustration, for sure, because his serve is very important for the game, as my serve', del Potro recognized. 'But I think he's still very young and he needs to keep learning, as he's doing now.
I mean, he has everything to be in the top positions in the future, but these things happens. Remember when Roger was young. He broke racquets, too. So everybody can break racquets (smiling). But I think he's a great player and a great competitor on tour.' Del Potro, who plans to play Stockholm, Basel and Paris Bercy until the end of the year, finally commented on Argentine reaching 2018 Football World Cup final draw: 'I woke up at 6:00 a.m., and we have Messi, so that's enough to qualify for the World Cup.
And as Argentinian, I'm so happy for the players and for the results of the team and for my country, also.' .