Delpo 'Would Love To Be In London'
Juan Martin del Potro is still in the hunt for a place in the Nitto ATP Finals. The Argentine kept his chances of playing in the year-end tournament alive by defeating Joao Sousa 6-2, 6-2 in his opening match at the Rolex Paris Masters on Wednesday. Still, it's his health that remains his top priority.
"I'm tired, but I'm still on track to achieve my goal for the year," del Potro said after reaching the last 16 of the final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 of the season, where he'll face Robin Haase on Thursday. "Five weeks ago, I was [No. 47] in the Emirates ATP Race to London. Today, I'm in a different situation, but my ultimate goal remains the same: to finish the year healthy."
Del Potro is proud of his recent form and values the fact he's been able to stay active. Since his semi-final run at the US Open, del Potro has played in Beijing, Shanghai, Stockholm, Basel and now Paris, where he's competing for one of the two finals spots in London. His busy schedule is in stark contrast to past years, when injuries plagued him and he cut his seasons short.
"It's the first time in several years that I've been healthy enough to play this many tournaments in a row," del Potro said. "Last year, I didn't even play here. I think I've played more matches than anyone since the US Open this year."
Del Potro has taken steps to maintain his conditioning and to guarantee his longevity. The 29-year-old, who has undergone four wrist surgeries, is aware he needs to be in peak physical condition to keep pace with the top players on the ATP World Tour.
"I’ve been working on my stamina and in other areas to stay in shape and to keep evolving," del Potro said. "I feel like I'm improving every week since my return. I happen to compete in a very competitive era. It's a privilege to have the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray as rivals, but in another era, I might have had more Grand Slam wins on my record."
With momentum now on his side and health issues finally behind him, del Potro relishes the chance to play in the Nitto ATP Finals if he can clinch his spot this week.
"I would love to be in London," del Potro said. "I'm making a very strong effort to be there; I'm putting myself through a lot, but I'm enjoying every minute of it. After that, I can think about vacation, but if I can finish this year in good health, I'll be very excited for 2018."