Yesterday, Juan Martin del Potro took out John Isner in a lightning-fast three-set final at the Citi Open.
But in press, they were both winners.
Isner said during the trophy presentation that del Potro was a great player and a great guy, and I asked him to elaborate in his post-match press conference:
He’s one of the nicer guys out there. He so relaxed. When he’s not on the court, if he was any more relaxed, he’d fall over. He’s a big guy, he moves kind of slow, it feels he doesn’t have a worry in the world. He’s really nice. He’s always saying, “Hi,” or, “Congratulations on last week, John.” He’s just a good guy to be around, and a good guy to have on tour.
When told about those comments, JMDP gushed back:
He’s very friendly too, and we have a good relationship. He is a nice guy. I’m trying to be calm all the time, even when I’m playing. But off court we are a normal person. I feel like all my friends, my coach, I like to be like them. I’m just playing tennis at professional tournaments … Outside, we are normal persons. I like to share different moments with all of the players, and I have a good relationships with all of the guys.
Isner was asked what del Potro’s chances at the U.S. Open were:
I would put him, maybe like, the smallest hair behind a guy like Djokovic and Murray. And it would probably just be those two guys right now. He could very easily right now be the third favorite to win. I mean, you never know with Rafa coming back on hard court. Roger’s missing some time … But [del Potro’s] got a very good shot to go deep … He’s certainly one of the top favorites.
The media told del Potro that Isner said he was one of the favorites in New York, and del Potro’s response was the most adorable thing ever:
He say that? Wow, I would say that he’s going to be a favorite too. On hard courts, he’s a really good player. He reached the final this week, he already won last week. And his game is improving day by day, and for sure playing in New York with his crowd and his people, it’s a good advantage to take the opportunity to go far there. Of course he’s going to be a favorite like the top guys.
When asked to elaborate on whether or not he was one of the favorites, del Potro blushed and smiled:
Me? I don’t know. I would love to be a favorite, but I have a few more guys playing better than me. And all Grand Slams you have the same favorites forever, like Djokovic, Rafa, Murray, Federer, and Isner too.
Yes, Delpo. And Isner too.