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June 2, 2017

Dominic Thiem

Paris, France

D. THIEM/S. Johnson

6-1, 7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. What did you make of that match? Getting through it in straight sets.
DOMINIC THIEM: I think it was a good match today, and he had a bad start. I mean, he had two really tough matches, so I think maybe he was a little bit tired in the beginning, so the first set was pretty fast.

Then he started to play well. Yeah, probably the second-set tiebreak that I won was the key for the following match.

Q. I don't know if you knew, his father died a couple weeks ago. His first two wins were both emotional for him. Do you try to keep that out of your mind when you're playing or is it something you're aware of leading up to a match like this, what's going on with your opponent?
DOMINIC THIEM: I mean, it's really tragedy what happened. You wish it on nobody. Especially him. He's a very, very nice guy. It was, of course, very emotional for him. But, yeah, I mean, it also shows that there are way more important things than tennis.

I think it was unbelievable tough for him to even play here.

Q. Will you miss the Bullring when it's gone? Court No. 1?
DOMINIC THIEM: I'm very happy that I had one match at least there, and it's a legendary stadium. I think it's really bad that they bulldoze it. It's one of the nicest courts, I think, on the whole tour.

I'm very glad that I had one match there, at least. But of course I'm also sentimental that it's gone.

Q. Your game is quite unique with the heavy spin, the big strokes, big swings. At one point in your life, your career, did you actually start playing like that? Considering how much effort it takes. You weren't playing like that when you were 10 years old.
DOMINIC THIEM: No, no, I played pretty defensive all the time, and then with 11, 12, I started to change. Of course, it took a lot of hours and a lot of years until the balls, they became that heavy like they are today.

Yeah, that's my game. That's why I'm playing good tennis. I mean, if I wouldn't have these powerful strokes, then no chance for me.

Q. Although you have been with the same coach for a long time, did you have people or did you hear people saying that you should maybe be closer to the baseline more or things like that?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, it's obvious that I have to be a little bit close on the baseline, but on the other hand, it's a little bit tough for me with the big swings. I need a lot of time for it.

So of course I'm trying to come a little bit closer, but probably I will never be like Djokovic or Murray, right on the baseline.

Q. You may have been expecting to play David next. I'm sure you saw what happened to him. What did you think about him? As someone who plays pretty far behind the baseline, does it make you nervous for yourself?
DOMINIC THIEM: First of all, I saw it in the television. It looked very, very bad. Of course I feel very sorry for him and hope that he has a very fast recovery.

It's a little bit dangerous that this thing is there, far behind the baseline, because actually it can happen to anybody. If you are really in defense, then almost everybody goes that far behind the baseline. So maybe they should remove, I don't know what it is, the cover or something.

Q. Just to clarify, that is the only time you have played in the Bullring?

Q. Have you only had...
DOMINIC THIEM: No, never. It's the only time, yeah.

Q. Did you hesitate to keep playing after that huge clap of thunder and lightning?
DOMINIC THIEM: No, I didn't hesitate. Of course it's a little bit strange. Of course I hope that it's not starting to rain. But in the end, you have no influence over the weather. I tried to keep the normal rhythm.

Q. What did you say to Steve at the net? It looked like you said something warm to him.
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I said that I'm very sorry what happened. That he's a great guy and a great player.

Q. If you were speaking to someone who had never watched football before, what would you say to them to convince them that they should support Chelsea?
DOMINIC THIEM: It's a tough question (smiling). It's difficult now. I mean, some years ago I would say that there are so many legendary players in the team, and it's just nice to watch them. Now it's a little bit more difficult. But, yeah, you always get nice football games.

But, yeah, the football club chooses you. It's not the other way around.

Q. Regarding the controversy, Margaret Court Arena, name of it, comments she's made and continues to make. Several players who have called for the name of the arena to be changed. Do you have any comments on that debate that's going on right now?
DOMINIC THIEM: Of course I don't agree at all with what she said, but it's not my call at all if the arena should keep her name or not.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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