19 April 2018: Dominic Thiem (English)

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Dominic Thiem
Press Conference
D. THIEM/N. Djokovic

6-7, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How important is this win for the rest of the tournament?
DOMINIC THIEM: Every win is important, especially against such a great player as Novak. Yeah, it’s quarterfinals at a 1000 event now, so it’s only getting tougher, probably against Rafa, which is the ultimate challenge on clay.

Of course, it was important for my self-confidence, to know I’m physically 100% again. It was a great win. Of course it’s important. But tomorrow is a new day.

Q. The fact you’ve beaten him before on clay must have given you some confidence heading into the match?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, for sure. It’s one of the worst feelings, if you play against somebody you’ve never beaten before. Of course, it’s completely different mindset if you go on the court and you know you’ve beaten the opponent at least once.

It was not the case until last year’s French Open. But the fact that I’ve done it, that I knew how it’s going, it was for sure very helpful.

Q. How would you assess Novak’s performance? Did you miss him on tour? How do you think he’s going to do in the future?
DOMINIC THIEM: I saw his performances in Indian Wells and Miami. I think it was an amazing improvement by him. He played two good rounds here before the match today. I think he’s on the rise again, for sure.

I think amazing decision by him to take Marian Vajda back because it’s the coach he won everything with almost. I’m pretty sure that we’re going to see him at the very top of the game pretty soon.

Q. What is your position about the future of the Davis Cup, the modification they’re talking about? What do Austrian Federation think? Do you agree with them? Or you’ve never talked to them?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I think some changes are good. In every sport there are changes from time to time. If they’re made good, it’s good.

But, for example, if it makes the season even longer, if you change the event, it would be a very bad decision. If you could shorten up the season a little bit, it can be good.

I think there are some more things to discuss. I think the change from the Davis Cup, that it’s only best-of-three in the lower leagues, was a good beginning for a change.

Yeah, there are many, many things I have in my mind. There are many things other people have on their mind. Changes from time to time in big sports are necessary and not bad at all.

Q. And the Austrian Federation?
DOMINIC THIEM: I didn’t talk to them yet about it. I mean, yeah, we have an important match in September. Maybe I’m going to talk to them later.

Q. Do you think you should have closed the match in two sets today because you had many chances to win the first set, then you dominated in the second?
DOMINIC THIEM: Would be possible maybe. But I played bad game at 5-3 from 40-15. This was four bad points. Then I played a bad tiebreak. If you do so, you lose the set against an opponent like this.

But most important is that I came back afterwards. I don’t really care if I win in two sets or three. A win is a win.

Q. If you play Nadal tomorrow, you’ve beaten him on clay, does that help your mindset that you have beaten him on his best surface?
DOMINIC THIEM: For sure. I mean, it’s way better feeling if you go against him and know that you’ve beaten him already on this surface. Also two years ago we had a great match here, which was pretty open.

But it’s the ultimate challenge for everybody, to play against him. For sure tomorrow, if I play him, I have to rise my level again. I think I’m able to do that. If you do so, I’m going to have chances tomorrow. If not, I’m out. It’s pretty easy.

Q. You’re being considered as the only alternative to Nadal here on clay. If you play tomorrow against him, would you say this would be, like, an anticipated final?
DOMINIC THIEM: Of course, I would like to face him later in the tournament. But the draw was a little bit unlucky for me, especially. Hopefully for him, as well, tomorrow (smiling).

Well, we had a great rivalry last year on clay. When we played the first match in Barcelona, probably nobody thought that it’s going to be many more matches in deep stages of the tournament. So I hope that tomorrow is going to be, again, a start of a nice rivalry this year on this clay court episode.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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