Sportsdesk | October 8, 2013
Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro is ready for an assault on the top of the world rankings after winning his 16th career title at the Japan Open.
Here are four questions concerning the tournament and where he goes from here, answered by the man himself:
1. Where does this tournament victory rank among your successes? “This is a big tournament,” said the Argentine, 25, after beating Canada’s Milos Raonic 7-6, 7-5 in the final on Sunday. “I played really well, beating fantastic players. It’s fantastic for me to win this title and now I’m very excited to keep improving my game because I want to get closer to the top guys.”
2. What is your target for the rest of the year and 2014? “I believe in myself for sure. I’m working hard to improve. There is no bigger motivation than becoming No 1 in the world.”
3. How hard will it be to break the top-three stranglehold of Nadal, Djokovic and Murray? “I beat these guys in the past and I know if I’m healthy, if I’m playing well I will have the chance in the future to beat them again and get closer to them in the rankings. I was close to beating [Novak] Djokovic at Wimbledon [he lost 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 in the longest semi-final ever at the London grand slam at four hours, 43 minutes]. I just have to be fit and healthy.”
4. Edberg [four times], McEnroe, Sampras and recently Federer, Nadal and Murray have all won the Japan Open. Can you follow in their footsteps with further success? “It’s a really difficult tournament to win. If I stay fit and my serve and forehand are working good too, who knows what I can do? I will keep believing in myself and look forward to improve my game for the future.”
Highlights from the del Potro v Raonic final in Tokyo can be seen here.