I've been on his bandwagon since he won the Legg Mason this year. He impressed me last summer, but I didn't think he was a clutch player. That all changed in the FO against Roger, but he still gave up a lead in that match. But his form in Montreal and Cincy was unbelievable and he proved to me that he has nerves of steel when he beat Andy in that third set tiebreaker. He showed the same abilities to do so against Rafa in that first set tiebreaker in Cincy, pulling out an ace to win the first set.
I don't know too much about him yet, but he definitely is a great player, and the one that I picked to win the U.S. Open, so it's amazing noone has driven the bandwagon since June 10th. I don't know why, but I also like him as well as his game. I think he comes off as a really cool guy. I've always felt he composed himself well on the court and was talented, but he seems to be approaching a new level, and it is refreshing to have a great new competitor at the top. This is what I always desire in tennis, many players who are great at the top of the game.
Here is his interview from today's win over Cilic:
Q. I'm wondering if after the soccer result from last night, were you more fired up to make people happy in Argentina?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Actually, I don't think about that. When I was on the court, I tried to do my best, tried to do my thing. And of course, fighting until the last game, last point.
If you do that, you have many chance to win many matches. That's what I do now.
Q. Were you watching the game last night in the hotel?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah. I not talk about that.
Q. How about tennis?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: If you want.
Q. Dropping the first set, you really came back and by and large dominated today. Do you feel really good about the way you were able to turn things around and take control of the match?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Was a good comeback, you know, the crowd cheering for me at 1‑3 in the second. I start to play better after that moment. Of course, I enjoy the match and I did good things.
Of course, I need to improve for the semis a lot, but I'm happy with my match and with the result.
Q. What do you need to improve do you think most? It's obviously going to be a tough match either way?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, of course. I cannot start the match like today. I was thinking other things, and the weather was bad. But it is for both player, you know.
I need to be focus in the beginning of the match until the last point and do my game, and that's it.
Q. Why do you think you've had such a good summer? I think you're 15‑1 since Wimbledon. What is it? Did something change?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I like to play here in U.S., and I like hardcourts. I like this tournament. I like everything. So I work hard for this part of the year, you know. We are fighting for the Masters, so I am in good shape now.
Q. What do you like about this tournament? What is it that you like about it?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Everything. The stadium, the crowds, the people, the city. Everything. It's so lovely.
Q. After losing the first set and then the first two points on the second set, when you're down, do you think, I'm going to lose the match after losing the first set and then the first two points?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, no, because first set was just a break, one good point for him in the third game of the match. He did a very good passing.
Then I always thinking of my chance, you know. If you fight until the final, of course you will have opportunities to do breaks or to do a better game, so...
Q. What does it mean for you? You talked about how much you love this tournament. What does it mean for you to be able to play in the final weekend? You're 20 years old, and here you are in the semifinals of the US Open. What does that mean to you?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It's like a dream, you know. My dream is win this tournament. I'm so close to do it, but now I am focusing the semis. I have both players so tough for me, and they will ‑‑ they want to win, like me, you know.
Now I'm enjoying this match, and then we will see what can I do in the next one.
Q. Is this the Grand Slam you'd like to win the most?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, of course.
Q. Can you explain why?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don't know. It's my favorite surface, the biggest stadium than other ones. Many Argentinians come here to see the match, so I think, for me, it's the best one.
Q. I know you played some soccer, but did you ever consider basketball, soccer? Was it always tennis?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: When I was young I played soccer better than tennis. I don't know what I am doing here.
Q. You were better at soccer? What position did you play?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don't know. My father say, You go to the tennis. And I'm here. I'm joking.
Q. Were you pretty good at soccer?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: So‑so. Now I cannot move my legs playing in the soccer.
Q. When you play tennis, you have so many strategy to use on the court to win. It's like a dancing Tango. Do you dance Tango, too?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, I don't. (laughter.)
I just play tennis.
Q. You had a great presence against Federer in Paris, and the moment wasn't too big for you. Would you like to see him again, Roger?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Of course not. (laughter.)
Because I was so sad after the semifinals. If I be in the final, maybe I have to play Roger or Novak, but I don't know. First I have to beat González or Rafa.
Q. Just that match alone, what did that tell you about yourself? It was a great showing against a great player on a big, big stage. Did it help you in your development, as well?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I learn many things. I was so close to beat him, and was my first semis. Now I have another opportunity to play another semis. I'm very, very focusing on my things, very relaxing.
I have everything to learn, you know. I want to be a good player in the future. I want to be like them, you know. I'm very happy I'm on my way.
Q. Do you feel that in order to be like them, to be at that level, you need to play them over and over, talk about how you learn from your losses, as well, when you face place players like Roger?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I remember in that match I have my chance in the fifth set, 3‑All serving, and I did two double faults. So you cannot do that against Roger in the semis in the five sets.
Now when I have a little lucky today because I lost my serve in the 5‑All, but I have a good defense. So that's point: You have to work hard to be sure the there's the difference with them.
Q. Can you tell us about the possible opponent for next round?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, they are playing now, but will be tough, both of them. Rafa is a great player. Fernando has experience. He made the final in Australian.
For me it will be the same, but I have to fight a lot.
Q. Does your game match up better against one or the other?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, no, both will be tough for me, for my game.
Q. What do you say about the New York fan who root for you every time play here?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I say thank you to come and watch my match. Of course I fight until the last point and it's my show, is my way. Thank you for coming.