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Del Potro: ‘The Chance To Play Well Is Very Big’

The switch from clay to grass can provide players with a difficult challenge in a crucial part of the ATP Tour season, but Juan Martin del Potro is relishing the opportunity to adapt his game and achieve success ahead of the Fever-Tree Championships.

“I like the surface because my game can adapt really well,” said Del Potro. “I love the faster points, the aggressive game and I like to move on grass as well. The chance to play well is very big.”

Del Potro will need to find his feet on grass quickly if he is to advance beyond the first round at the ATP 500 event. The third seed will meet #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov for the third time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series (1-1) in his opening match.

The 6’6″ right-hander is making his first appearance at the grass-court tournament since 2016, following his fourth-round exit against Karen Khachanov at Roland Garros. Del Potro owns a 5-4 record at The Queen’s Club, highlighted by his run to the quarter-finals in 2013 (l. to Hewitt).

“I love this tournament,” said Del Potro. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t play these past few years but this time is a different moment for me. I want to be ready for Wimbledon and this tournament is a special one, so I am very excited to be here.”

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Del Potro also shared a positive update on his recovery from the right knee injury which forced him to make only one appearance on the ATP Tour between the Rolex Shanghai Masters in October 2018 and the Mutua Madrid Open last month.

“I think I am getting better after my knee injury,” said Del Potro. “I played well in Paris and now we move to a different surface, which I like. This tournament is also a good preparation to see how my body is, and my tennis level, also, and I think I will be fine.”

Del Potro: ‘The Chance To Play Well Is Very Big’

The switch from clay to grass can provide players with a difficult challenge in a crucial part of the ATP Tour season, but Juan Martin del Potro is relishing the opportunity to adapt his game and achieve success ahead of the Fever-Tree Championships.

“I like the surface because my game can adapt really well,” said Del Potro. “I love the faster points, the aggressive game and I like to move on grass as well. The chance to play well is very big.”

Del Potro will need to find his feet on grass quickly if he is to advance beyond the first round at the ATP 500 event. The third seed will meet #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov for the third time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series (1-1) in his opening match.

The 6’6″ right-hander is making his first appearance at the grass-court tournament since 2016, following his fourth-round exit against Karen Khachanov at Roland Garros. Del Potro owns a 5-4 record at The Queen’s Club, highlighted by his run to the quarter-finals in 2013 (l. to Hewitt).

“I love this tournament,” said Del Potro. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t play these past few years but this time is a different moment for me. I want to be ready for Wimbledon and this tournament is a special one, so I am very excited to be here.”

Watch Live

Del Potro also shared a positive update on his recovery from the right knee injury which forced him to make only one appearance on the ATP Tour between the Rolex Shanghai Masters in October 2018 and the Mutua Madrid Open last month.

“I think I am getting better after my knee injury,” said Del Potro. “I played well in Paris and now we move to a different surface, which I like. This tournament is also a good preparation to see how my body is, and my tennis level, also, and I think I will be fine.”

Read & Watch: Federer: ‘The Pressure Is High For Me Too’

Despite topping the list for most trophies on the surface, 18-time grass titlist Roger Federer admitted the short nature of the grass-court season provides a unique challenge ahead of the NOVENTI OPEN.

“The pressure is high for me too. The grass-court season is extremely short,” said Federer. “There is not that much I can do to get into it as well, other than have that point-for-point mentality. [My] focus needs to be crystal clear and that is what I need to have from the get-go here as I play John Millman in the first round, who has been a tough one for me in the past.”

Fresh from his semi-final run at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal), the World No. 3 will face extra pressure in his opening match on the surface this year against Millman, as the Aussie stunned Federer in four sets in the fourth round of last year’s US Open.

However, Federer is a nine-time champion in Halle. Also a nine-time Swiss Indoors Basel titlist, Federer has reached the quarter-finals or better in each of his previous 16 appearances in Halle and will be keen to go one step further than his runner-up finish to Borna Coric last year. Federer owns a 9-3 record in Halle championship matches and a 63-7 tournament record.

“I think I look back [down] memory lane a little bit [here],” said Federer. “I see how many good moments I’ve had here, I see how much success I’ve had… The fan interaction [is special]. I feel like we know eachother, they know what they get from me and I know what to expect from them. It makes me feel really good and makes me play good tennis.”

Federer arrives in Halle after competing on clay for the first time since 2016. The 101-time tour-level titlist reached quarter-finals at ATP Masters 1000 events in Rome and Madrid, before a semi-final run at Roland Garros.

“I feel great, to be honest. I am happy to be on the grass, regardless of if I played good or bad on the clay, or if I didn’t play at all,” said Federer. “I always feel happy coming to this surface and this part of the season. I have always loved playing here in Halle for so many years. This is my 17th time playing this event.”

Due to his participation on the European clay, Federer’s grass-court preparations have been abbreviated in comparison to 2017 and 2018. In the past two years, the Swiss returned to action a week earlier at the MercedesCup following a three-month break after the Miami Open presented by Itau.

“Compared to [the past] few years, I have had much less time to prepare for the grass-court season,” said Federer. “Not having played the clay before [in 2017 and 2018], I had plenty of time. So, I don’t want to say I feel stressed, but the transition was definitely faster than in the past few years.”

But Federer’s efforts on the red dirt have given the World No. 3 plenty of reasons for positivity. The nine-time Halle champion notched nine wins from 11 tour-level encounters on the surface, with his only losses coming against Dominic Thiem in Madrid and Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.

“I was really positive about my clay-court swing. I lost against the best clay-court player ever [at Roland Garros], so there is no shame there,” said Federer. “I tried everything I had and [we played in] unbelievably windy conditions. It was really challenging. I loved it actually, to play Rafa in that situation, the way it was. But I left [Paris] very positive.”

Read Federer Handed Tough Path In Quest For 10th Halle Trophy

With a new surface, there is a new challenge. But there aren’t many challenges more familiar to Federer than playing on grass. The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who owns an 87.1 per cent win percentage on the surface (176-26), shared his thoughts on how grass elevates his game to new heights.

“[Grass] highlights my strength and it maybe hides my weaknesses,” said Federer. “From that standpoint, I can play how I want, on my terms, how I would like. When you feel that way, it is maybe what Rafa feels on the clay… I have all the options and when you have options, it gives you options to win and different tactics you can use against different players. That gives you maybe that little bit more margin you need to stay out of trouble and win matches.”

Read & Watch: Federer: ‘The Pressure Is High For Me Too’

Despite topping the list for most trophies on the surface, 18-time grass titlist Roger Federer admitted the short nature of the grass-court season provides a unique challenge ahead of the NOVENTI OPEN.

“The pressure is high for me too. The grass-court season is extremely short,” said Federer. “There is not that much I can do to get into it as well, other than have that point-for-point mentality. [My] focus needs to be crystal clear and that is what I need to have from the get-go here as I play John Millman in the first round, who has been a tough one for me in the past.”

Fresh from his semi-final run at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal), the World No. 3 will face extra pressure in his opening match on the surface this year against Millman, as the Aussie stunned Federer in four sets in the fourth round of last year’s US Open.

However, Federer is a nine-time champion in Halle. Also a nine-time Swiss Indoors Basel titlist, Federer has reached the quarter-finals or better in each of his previous 16 appearances in Halle and will be keen to go one step further than his runner-up finish to Borna Coric last year. Federer owns a 9-3 record in Halle championship matches and a 63-7 tournament record.

“I think I look back [down] memory lane a little bit [here],” said Federer. “I see how many good moments I’ve had here, I see how much success I’ve had… The fan interaction [is special]. I feel like we know eachother, they know what they get from me and I know what to expect from them. It makes me feel really good and makes me play good tennis.”

Federer arrives in Halle after competing on clay for the first time since 2016. The 101-time tour-level titlist reached quarter-finals at ATP Masters 1000 events in Rome and Madrid, before a semi-final run at Roland Garros.

“I feel great, to be honest. I am happy to be on the grass, regardless of if I played good or bad on the clay, or if I didn’t play at all,” said Federer. “I always feel happy coming to this surface and this part of the season. I have always loved playing here in Halle for so many years. This is my 17th time playing this event.”

Due to his participation on the European clay, Federer’s grass-court preparations have been abbreviated in comparison to 2017 and 2018. In the past two years, the Swiss returned to action a week earlier at the MercedesCup following a three-month break after the Miami Open presented by Itau.

“Compared to [the past] few years, I have had much less time to prepare for the grass-court season,” said Federer. “Not having played the clay before [in 2017 and 2018], I had plenty of time. So, I don’t want to say I feel stressed, but the transition was definitely faster than in the past few years.”

But Federer’s efforts on the red dirt have given the World No. 3 plenty of reasons for positivity. The nine-time Halle champion notched nine wins from 11 tour-level encounters on the surface, with his only losses coming against Dominic Thiem in Madrid and Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.

“I was really positive about my clay-court swing. I lost against the best clay-court player ever [at Roland Garros], so there is no shame there,” said Federer. “I tried everything I had and [we played in] unbelievably windy conditions. It was really challenging. I loved it actually, to play Rafa in that situation, the way it was. But I left [Paris] very positive.”

Read Federer Handed Tough Path In Quest For 10th Halle Trophy

With a new surface, there is a new challenge. But there aren’t many challenges more familiar to Federer than playing on grass. The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who owns an 87.1 per cent win percentage on the surface (176-26), shared his thoughts on how grass elevates his game to new heights.

“[Grass] highlights my strength and it maybe hides my weaknesses,” said Federer. “From that standpoint, I can play how I want, on my terms, how I would like. When you feel that way, it is maybe what Rafa feels on the clay… I have all the options and when you have options, it gives you options to win and different tactics you can use against different players. That gives you maybe that little bit more margin you need to stay out of trouble and win matches.”

View Schedule: Federer & Nadal Look For R4 Spots At Roland Garros

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal look to continue their impressive Roland Garros runs in third-round action on Friday. Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas seeks his 32nd tour-level win of the season and 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka faces Grigor Dimitrov in a blockbuster clash.

Third seed Federer takes on #NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud, who is competing in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time. Casper’s father, Christian Ruud, is a former Top 40 player who reached the third round here in 1995 and 1999. The Swiss star has yet to drop a set this tournament and holds a 67-16 record at the second major of the year. Ruud reached his first ATP Tour final this April in Houston (l. to Garin).

Eleven-time champion and second seed Nadal battles No. 27 seed David Goffin of Belgium. Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 3-1 and hasn’t lost a set in their three meetings on clay. The Spaniard has lost just 13 games in his first two rounds this fortnight and is now on a seven-match winning streak on clay. Goffin also dropped 13 games in reaching the third round and is displaying the tennis that brought him to a career-high No. 7 in the ATP Rankings.

Tsitsipas returns to Philippe-Chatrier to face Filip Krajinovic. The Serbian had never won a match on the red clay of Paris prior to this year. Tsitsipas’ results this European clay swing include a stunning win over Nadal en route to a runner-up finish at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Djokovic), semi-final showing at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and his third tour-level title at the Millennium Estoril Open (d. Cuevas).

Wawrinka and Dimitrov are even in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 4-4, but the Swiss won their past two meetings in first-round clashes last year at Wimbledon and the US Open. Dimitrov defeated Marin Cilic in five sets on Wednesday for his first Top 15 win since April 2018. Wawrinka seeks his first fourth-round appearance at a major since finishing runner-up here in 2017 (l. to Nadal).

Other notable third-round matches on Friday include seventh seed Kei Nishikori of Japan taking on No. 31 seed Laslo Djere of Serbia and French wild card Nicolas Mahut looking to continue his run against Argentine Leonardo Mayer.

More On #RG19

* The Moment Nadal’s Practice Routine Changed Forever
* Federer Closes On ‘Alphabet’ Grand Slam
* Federer on Ruud: ‘I Know More About His Dad’

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, 31 MAY 2019

Court Philippe-Chatrier start 11:00
Two WTA matches
[2] Rafael Nadal vs David Goffin
[6] Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Filip Krajinovic

Court Suzanne Lenglen start 11:00
WTA match
[3] Roger Federer vs Casper Ruud
WTA match
[24] Stan Wawrinka vs Grigor Dimitrov

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Court Simonne-Mathieu start 11:00
WTA match
Benoit Paire vs Pablo Carreno Busta
Nicolas Mahut vs Leonardo Mayer
WTA match

Court No. 1 start 11:00
Jeremy Chardy / Fabrice Martin vs Matwe Middelkoop / Tim Puetz
[31] Laslo Djere vs [7] Kei Nishikori
[WC] Gregoire Barrere / Quentin Halys vs Alex de Minaur / David Vega Hernandez

Court No. 14 start 11:00
Rajeev Ram / Joe Salisbury vs Enzo Couacaud / Tristan Lamasine
WTA match
[WC] Corentin Moutet vs Juan Ignacio Londero

Court No. 7 start 11:00
[8] Henri Kontinen / John Peers vs Marcelo Demoliner / Divij Sharan
Guido Pella / Diego Schwartzman vs Matteo Berrettini / Lorenzo Sonego
[4] Oliver Marach / Mate Pavic vs Elliot Benchetrit / Geoffrey Blancaneaux
Dominic Inglot / Martin Klizan vs Leander Paes / Benoit Paire


Court No. 6 start 11:00
Dusan Lajovic / Janko Tipsarevic vs Denys Molchanov / Igor Zelenay
WTA match
[WC] Benjamin Bonzi / Antoine Hoang vs Rohan Bopanna / Marius Copil
Federico Delbonis / Guillermo Duran vs Miomir Kecmanovic / Casper Ruud

Court No. 9 start 11:00
Two WTA matches
Ricardas Berankis / Yoshihito Nishioka vs [10] Jean-Julien Rojer / Horia Tecau

Court No. 12 start 11:00
Pablo Cuevas / Feliciano Lopez vs Mikhail Kukushkin / Joran Vliegen

View Schedule: Federer & Nadal Look For R4 Spots At Roland Garros

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal look to continue their impressive Roland Garros runs in third-round action on Friday. Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas seeks his 32nd tour-level win of the season and 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka faces Grigor Dimitrov in a blockbuster clash.

Third seed Federer takes on #NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud, who is competing in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time. Casper’s father, Christian Ruud, is a former Top 40 player who reached the third round here in 1995 and 1999. The Swiss star has yet to drop a set this tournament and holds a 67-16 record at the second major of the year. Ruud reached his first ATP Tour final this April in Houston (l. to Garin).

Eleven-time champion and second seed Nadal battles No. 27 seed David Goffin of Belgium. Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 3-1 and hasn’t lost a set in their three meetings on clay. The Spaniard has lost just 13 games in his first two rounds this fortnight and is now on a seven-match winning streak on clay. Goffin also dropped 13 games in reaching the third round and is displaying the tennis that brought him to a career-high No. 7 in the ATP Rankings.

Tsitsipas returns to Philippe-Chatrier to face Filip Krajinovic. The Serbian had never won a match on the red clay of Paris prior to this year. Tsitsipas’ results this European clay swing include a stunning win over Nadal en route to a runner-up finish at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Djokovic), semi-final showing at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and his third tour-level title at the Millennium Estoril Open (d. Cuevas).

Wawrinka and Dimitrov are even in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 4-4, but the Swiss won their past two meetings in first-round clashes last year at Wimbledon and the US Open. Dimitrov defeated Marin Cilic in five sets on Wednesday for his first Top 15 win since April 2018. Wawrinka seeks his first fourth-round appearance at a major since finishing runner-up here in 2017 (l. to Nadal).

Other notable third-round matches on Friday include seventh seed Kei Nishikori of Japan taking on No. 31 seed Laslo Djere of Serbia and French wild card Nicolas Mahut looking to continue his run against Argentine Leonardo Mayer.

More On #RG19

* The Moment Nadal’s Practice Routine Changed Forever
* Federer Closes On ‘Alphabet’ Grand Slam
* Federer on Ruud: ‘I Know More About His Dad’

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, 31 MAY 2019

Court Philippe-Chatrier start 11:00
Two WTA matches
[2] Rafael Nadal vs David Goffin
[6] Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Filip Krajinovic

Court Suzanne Lenglen start 11:00
WTA match
[3] Roger Federer vs Casper Ruud
WTA match
[24] Stan Wawrinka vs Grigor Dimitrov

Are You In? Subscribe Now!

Court Simonne-Mathieu start 11:00
WTA match
Benoit Paire vs Pablo Carreno Busta
Nicolas Mahut vs Leonardo Mayer
WTA match

Court No. 1 start 11:00
Jeremy Chardy / Fabrice Martin vs Matwe Middelkoop / Tim Puetz
[31] Laslo Djere vs [7] Kei Nishikori
[WC] Gregoire Barrere / Quentin Halys vs Alex de Minaur / David Vega Hernandez

Court No. 14 start 11:00
Rajeev Ram / Joe Salisbury vs Enzo Couacaud / Tristan Lamasine
WTA match
[WC] Corentin Moutet vs Juan Ignacio Londero

Court No. 7 start 11:00
[8] Henri Kontinen / John Peers vs Marcelo Demoliner / Divij Sharan
Guido Pella / Diego Schwartzman vs Matteo Berrettini / Lorenzo Sonego
[4] Oliver Marach / Mate Pavic vs Elliot Benchetrit / Geoffrey Blancaneaux
Dominic Inglot / Martin Klizan vs Leander Paes / Benoit Paire


Court No. 6 start 11:00
Dusan Lajovic / Janko Tipsarevic vs Denys Molchanov / Igor Zelenay
WTA match
[WC] Benjamin Bonzi / Antoine Hoang vs Rohan Bopanna / Marius Copil
Federico Delbonis / Guillermo Duran vs Miomir Kecmanovic / Casper Ruud

Court No. 9 start 11:00
Two WTA matches
Ricardas Berankis / Yoshihito Nishioka vs [10] Jean-Julien Rojer / Horia Tecau

Court No. 12 start 11:00
Pablo Cuevas / Feliciano Lopez vs Mikhail Kukushkin / Joran Vliegen