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November 15, 2016

Dominic Thiem

London, England, United Kingdom

D. THIEM/G. Monfils

6-3, 1-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The first day you got a set from Djokovic. You are supposed to be the new boy in town, and it's going well. Why?
DOMINIC THIEM: I think it was a decent first match. Also today I had a good start. I tried to avoid the mistake I did in the first match: to drop a little bit. Didn't really happen that good.

But I was trying to stay tough in the third set. At the end, of course, he helped me a little bit with the three double-faults.

But I'm very happy with the win.

Q. We still remember Thomas Muster. Did he help you in your career or...
DOMINIC THIEM: I didn't watch a lot of matches in his active career because I was just too young. When he won the French Open, I was just one year old.

I think everybody knows that he made this famous comeback. I even played against him in an ATP tournament in Vienna. Of course, it was a big experience for me. Was the first time I played in front of a big crowd. Got a lot of points for that. In that case he helped me a lot.

Q. Can you talk about your earliest memories of playing tennis. Did you start on a full-size court or a smaller court?
DOMINIC THIEM: I started very small, in the living room, with a very small racquet and a soft ball. I don't remember exactly my first strokes.

Q. You had a few early losses in your last few tournaments before coming here. Obviously you would have liked to have done better. I wonder if you think the energy, the physical resources you saved, might help you now, especially as you have a big match to qualify for the semifinals possibly?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I wasn't playing that many matches in the last weeks. Obviously, I think the energy in the first match and today was not perfect, but it was pretty good.

I don't think that it's really because of that, because of the last weeks. I mean, it's just because, yeah, the tournament, the big crowd, the big arena gives me, and gives probably all the players, a lot of energy. I think that's why everybody is giving his last energy in this tournament.

Q. Did your parents you mind you hitting a ball in the front room? Was there a lot of valuable china?
DOMINIC THIEM: No, they are both tennis coaches. They understood what I was doing there. It was okay for them.

Q. You didn't damage anything?
DOMINIC THIEM: I did, for sure, but it was okay.

Q. It's been a fantastic year for you this year. What is the main reason for it? Why do you feel you've really done so well this year?
DOMINIC THIEM: I think, first of all, I had a great off-season last year with very good tennis training, very good fitness training. Of course, in the beginning of the year I was winning a lot of close matches also against top guys like Nadal. I also won very close matches to get to these big matches.

If it wouldn't go this way, probably I wouldn't sit here at the Finals now. But I was really winning a lot of tight and close matches at the beginning. This was helping me to grow self-confidence, to develop my game and everything.

Q. With both your parents being tennis coaches, did that influence you in taking up the one-handed backhand?
DOMINIC THIEM: No, no, that was everything my coach. My parents, they didn't decide. Probably they would stay with my both-handed backhand.

Q. Technically you wouldn't be in this tournament if Rafa were here. How important was it for you to get a win at this event? Do you feel like you belong here?
DOMINIC THIEM: Of course, I feel like I belong here. But doesn't matter if I was nine or eight or one, it's very nice to get a win here.

I didn't really think about Rafa, to be honest.

Q. Was there a major turning point in your career where maybe you had a big low and you suddenly turned it round?
DOMINIC THIEM: Not really. There were a lot of small turning points, but not one specific one.

Q. Usually you are a clay-courter, like the Spanish players. You have won on all surfaces. Is that your talent, your strokes? You won in Stuttgart even on grass.
DOMINIC THIEM: I think one thing is for sure: clay court will always be my home, because I grew up on it indoors, outdoors, all year long. When I come back on clay, it will feel like I'm coming back home. It's going to be always my favorite surface.

Also in the first year of the ATP, I was winning most of my matches on clay. But I was improving quite well, I guess, in the other surfaces.

Still I'm not feeling hundred percent on the quicker ones or on grass, but I think it's getting better and better. It's also very important to be on the top.

Q. What is your comment when many people say that you have been playing too much, that you should have scheduled your tennis schedule in a different way in order to relax more and to be less tired at the end of the season? Will you change that next year or not?
DOMINIC THIEM: Again, if I would have played less, I wouldn't be here at the Finals. This was one of the reasons why I'm here, because I was playing a lot.

Maybe I will play a little less, but also maybe not. I think also the body and the mind and everything gets used to it. It was my first year that I played over 80 matches. Of course, I drop a little bit.

I think it's really normal. I think that if I play the same amount of matches and tournaments next year, I will be used to it much better than this year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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