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May 28, 2016

Dominic Thiem

Paris, France

D. THIEM/A. Zverev

6-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. What are your thoughts on that match?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I knew already before the match that it's gonna be a very tough one, such a great player, Sascha. And, yeah, I think the little difference today was maybe probably the three years' age difference.

Q. In the first set at 5-All you had a lot of break points. What was happening in your mind in the time?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I think I had six break points and five out of six break points he served a really good first serve, so I couldn't do anything once I was in the rally.

Yeah, I lost it, but I didn't do any bad mistakes in this game, so it was fine for me.

I knew that the first two, three sets gonna be really tough, because we are both fresh. So it was not a big trauma to lose that first set.

Q. What do you think is your biggest improvement since last year? Because you made such a jump this year, winning a lot of matches, tournaments, improved ranking. What do you think has improved most in your game?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, there are many things. I think the biggest part is the physical part. I think also physically I belong to the top, which was not like this the last years. But, yeah, especially in the Grand Slams, it's really important.

I think there I made the biggest step from last year to this year.

Q. Talking about the physic, you play a lot during the clay court seasons. Do you feel okay? Not too tired?
DOMINIC THIEM: No, no, I feel fine. I mean, as long as everything is in Europe, no long flights, no jet lag, it's not that tough. Like in the beginning of the year, when you fly around, when you fly one jet lag after another, then it's becoming really tough. When everything is in Europe, then it's fine.

Q. What did you think when you heard the news yesterday that Rafa was out of the tournament?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, of course I heard it also, but, yeah, I tried not to focus on that. I did it really good, because I knew it's gonna be a really, really hard match today, which it was, as well.

So, yeah, I didn't think about it at all. Just wish Rafa all the best.

Q. This is one of the first matches of two zebras. Do you enjoy being a zebra?
DOMINIC THIEM: I enjoy it a lot, yeah.

Q. Is it distracting having the other person wearing that? They talked about all the different lines, black and white, supposed to be disguising? What was it like?
DOMINIC THIEM: No, no, not at all (smiling). I think it's a really nice dress because it's something different. Most of the times it's pretty similar, everything. But this is really something special, and that's why I think everybody enjoys to wear it.

Q. I'm sure you're happy to play Granollers instead of Rafa, but at the same time do you kind of regret not getting a chance to play Rafa at Roland Garros?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I already made this experience. It's not such a nice one (laughter).

But, no, I mean, it has of course good sides to play Granollers, but also bad sides. Of course maybe I go different into the match against him than against Rafa, yeah, because against Rafa I'm the underdog. Against Granollers, I'm probably the favorite.

Yeah, it has good sides and also bad sides. Granollers is really fresh, he didn't play today. So it's going to be, again, a very tough match.

Q. Your next opponent, he is Marcel Granollers. He didn't play his match against Rafa. What do you think about your next match against him?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I played him three times two years ago, were pretty close matches. Yeah, he's a little bit different player. I mean, unbelievable touch and a good serve, really good volley. So it's not very nice to play him.

Q. On the outside from fans and observers of tennis, this matchup today with Zverev felt like maybe, you know, a look at the future of tennis. In your mind, is there any of that element of seeing yourself as part of a group of maybe the next wave of top players?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, today was the third round for us, the chance to get into the second week, which I made once in my career, what he did never. So I think we were both really focused on this match and this battle of the future I think we didn't really have in mind.

Q. Right now obviously your ranking is high, seed is high, second week for the second time. Do you feel you belong in this league now? If so, when did this switch for you mentally and feel comfortable at this level?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I think the ranking doesn't lie. So for sure I feel that I belong there in the top. But, yeah, still I'm kind of missing a really big result, big tournament. I hope it's gonna happen soon.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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