By Lisa-Marie Burrows
ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, Rotterdam — It has been a busy opening day at the tournament in Rotterdam and there has been as much going on off court as well as on. Juan Martín Del Potro and Roger Federer both participated in packed press conferences during the afternoon where the players shared their thoughts and enthusiasm for the tournament and discussed their current concerns.
Juan Martín Del Potro is relishing the opportunity to make his mark this week. During the press conference, the Argentine opened up about his coming to terms with his injuries and his hopes for 2012.
“I’m feeling ok after a tough Australian Open and my first goal is to play healthy the whole season. Playing this sport is magnificent for me. It’s a long road [to complete recovery] but I’m trying to do that.”
The former US Open champion was then asked about how he felt during his year out due to his wrist injury and with a sad look of reflection in his eyes, he spoke honestly about his feelings:
“It was horrible [not being able to play]. Most of the time I was at home watching the tournaments on TV and I was thinking I should be there. It has been a long road and I’m still trying to do that [recover].
Roger Federer discussed the controversial comments that he reportedly made in a press interview after Switzerland lost against the United States, stating that his doubles partner Stan Wawrinka played “bad.” His French translation into English was misconstrued and left out the word “not” before “bad” and Federer was determined to set the record straight:
“Yeah I had to weather the press. The things I said were taken the wrong way about Stan. I would never say something like that or blame him. I telephoned Stan just to make sure there was no misunderstanding.”
Not long after his press conference had finished Roger Federer tried to appease the disappointed contingency that were hoping to see him in action on the opening day by having an open practice session on Centre Court with Del Potro, as the Swiss maestro is not in action until Wednesday against Mahut.
His day did not end there. Federer continued with his interaction by participating in an autograph session for his loyal followers giving them a chance to meet their hero. The Federer fans were enjoying having him there for the first time since he won the tournament in 2005 and his participation in such events is gratefully received by all who admire one of the greatest players of all time.
(All photos courtesy of the author)