Upbeat Juan Martin del Potro talks latest comeback, favourites for Madrid Open

Juan Martin del Potro press conference

He admits he had “a couple of cloudy days” in recent months, but Juan Martin del Potro says he is in a “good situation” and “feeling pretty well”.

The former US Open champion is making another comeback at the Madrid Open this week after spending the bulk of the last six months on the sidelines due to a knee injury.

He first picked up the injury at the Shanghai Masters in October and then made a return in February, but after playing a couple of games he was advised to give his knee a longer break.

The Argentine has a long history of injury woes, but he always tries to remain positive.

“I think that right now I’m in a good situation and emotionally I’m feeling pretty well and I think that the negative things, you have to leave them aside and right now, I’m trying to focus on the positive things,” he said.

“It’s a good thing to be here and I’m thinking just to move forward and with all the experience that I have, try to do the things properly, try to do it once again, try to face the problems and just be back and do my best.”

He added: “Emotionally, I’ve found some similarities to what I experienced a couple of years ago, especially in the past month, when I had a couple of cloudy days. As soon as I injured myself, emotionally it was very frustrating because I was fighting at a very high level for important things.

“In those moments, where you maybe are not so positive, or where you are not so strong, of course I started to remember the memories of the past and I started feeling what I might have felt a couple of years ago.”

This week’s ATP Masters 1000 event in Madrid is a star-studded affair with world No 1 Novak Djokovic, the King of Clay Rafael Nadal and 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer all in the draw.

Del Potro knows he will be rusty going into this week’s tournament and he fancies the Big Three along with Dominic Thiem.

“For sure I’m not the favourite player in this tournament right now. Of course, Rafa is one of the favourite players because Rafa dominates, and on clay I think that Dominic is one of the players that can beat Rafa,” he said. “Roger is playing here too and the conditions, I think they suit him.

“We have also seen surprises in the past, of powerful players, that they serve well and there are a lot of players like that on the circuit. Of course, the favourite players are always the same ones, and while Novak is the No. 1 and all that he represents, he will be on that list. He will be a favourite player to win this tournament.”

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