Miami - Juan Martin del Potro insists staying fit and being
able to compete is far more important than winning his second grand slam.
The big-hitting Argentine arrived at this week's Miami Open
having brilliantly defeated Roger Federer, the current world number one, in a
thrilling Indian Wells final last Sunday.
Seeing del Potro lift his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy
boosted his excitable legion of fans who feared the 29-year-old would never be
able to mix it with the very best after a succession of injury setbacks almost
forced him into retirement in 2015.
Del Potro has undergone four wrist surgeries which tempered
a talent that memorably came to the fore in 2009 when he stunned Federer at the
US Open in to win his first major.
The 2018 season has started encouragingly: a triumph in
Acapulco before conquering in the Californian desert are reassuring signs that
his travails could be finally behind him.
Del Potro, however, has suffered too much pain and heartache
over the last few years to be getting ahead of himself.
"I'm not thinking too much about the slams," he
"I'm just enjoying the moment. I know what I have been
through to get this time and this place and this ranking.
"I am still calm, you know. I came here to play another
tournament. It will be my fourth tournament in a row. I'm tired. And mentally
and physically it's not easy to deal with all of these emotions, no?
"But then I will have a break, I will see what
tournament we play on clay, because my body feels that surface, and I want to
stay healthy during the whole season. That's my biggest goal. Then I will see
if can still surprise myself and see what can I do."
Currently ranked sixth in the world and with the likes of
Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka both making their way back from injury, the door
is open for the Argentine to move closer to the leading pack.
Yet just being back on a tennis court is enough for del
Potro right now.
"I always say the ranking number doesn't change or
doesn't mean too much to me," he said.
"I was number 1000 few years ago, and now I'm number
six. I have good chances to keep growing but I'm not thinking about that.
"I'm enjoying to play tennis again. I like to play
tennis in front of all my fans here in Miami and not think this too much, to
enjoy, and I think it's enough to me for this time of my life and see.
Del Potro, who will face Dutchman Robin Haase in the second
round in Miami, still needs to monitor his wrist problem closely to ensure
there are no further debilitating setbacks.
"I'm doing treatments every day, every time, twice a
day," he revealed.
"I hit the ball on Tuesday for 40 minutes. I will
practice this afternoon. But that's it. Then I need to do treatments to recover
my legs, my back, my wrist, and face all my body to be 100% on Friday."