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September 22, 2017

Dominic Thiem

Bjorn Borg

Prague, Czech Republic


Prague, Czech Republic

22 September, 2017

D. THIEM/J. Isner

6-7, 7-6, 10-7

Europe - 2

The World - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. How did it feel being part of that and having a bench that has these kind of players and having Björn Borg on the bench there?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I mean, it already felt really, really good before I played, because we spend the last couple days together, and it was a really nice experience. It got even better when I played, because to have absolute legend on the bench with me, and then I got advice from Roger and Rafa, I mean, you cannot be higher, I think, in tennis. So it was really nice.

Like, that I won in the end, it made the day perfect for me.

Q. Björn, this is something a bit new for you, as well, in this whole event. Can you talk about your experience the last two matches, sitting there?
CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: Well, like Dominic said, first of all, it felt good to sit there. We have been spending three, four days now together, so the feeling in the team is very good. I think that was very important before we started to play these matches.

For me, it's a new experience to be like a captain in a team. They asked me several times in Sweden, for instance, to be the Davis Cup captain but I said no. This is such a great event. And when they asked me to be a captain for Team Europe, I said yes immediately. It's an honor. I'm very happy and to spend time with all these great players on Team Europe.

It's a fun thing. And then to be part of them, to sit on the court and seeing them play, too -- I have seen Dominic play many, many times, many matches, but to be live on the court, it's a special feeling. I really have a good time.

I mean, the first two matches now, I thought it was two great matches with good tennis. Could have gone either way, but we're up 2-0 and I feel good about that. It's still very early. It's on a Friday. So a lot of things will happen because the other team is strong. Europe is strong, too, but it's better to be up 2-0 than to be down 0-2. So we are pleased.

Q. Congratulations on the win. You had two fantastic returns against John Isner's serves at 208 miles. How did you get ready for that serve? Actually, can a man get ready for this speed?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, there are many situations when he serves where you can do absolutely nothing, where it's an ace against everybody in the world, I guess. And then especially in these moments where he doesn't place the ball perfectly, you have to be ready; also a little bit lucky, for sure.

I had some good returns in crucial moments, so this was important. To be honest, you can never be prepared for his serve. You just have to wait for the moments where he doesn't place it perfectly and where he doesn't hit his full speed sometimes.

Q. I would like to know what went through your mind when Isner was leading 4-nil in the super-tiebreak.
DOMINIC THIEM: I mean, I did one bad mistake and one point he played amazing. Things can change very quickly. It was really good for me that I got one mini break back in the next two points, and then it was just one more mini break.

It can always go super fast in this kind of champions tiebreaks, but of course I wanted to win the match really badly. The first-set break it was 32 points, was really tough to lose, and I fought back so I didn't want to lose the match at all. I'm happy that I did it at the end.

Q. As much as you'd like to share, what kind of stuff did Roger and Rafa tell you when they came to you during the match?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I mean, for sure I don't tell what they told me tactically, but they were cheering me up, which was unbelievable nice. I mean, it was, I think, unbelievable great experience for me and for all the other guys to see these two legends.

They really have great team spirit. I mean, we saw them on the bench how they were going with us and everything in the first match and also in mine.

So this was really nice to see, and that they came down was amazing. It was already a big boost that they were cheering me up.

Q. That was a fantastic match. As an audience, a lot of people were mentioning about the black court. How does it feel? Would you like to play on black courts again? I mean, for us, it looked really fantastic. Is it different?
DOMINIC THIEM: For us players it's very good, I think. I mean, we see the ball good. We enjoyed play on it.

I think we, the players, we ask the same for the crowd or for the TV audience if it's fine. Because if it is, for us it's very good. I would love to see it on the tour also from time to time, the black court, because I think it's really cool.

Q. Björn, can you talk about how much the game has changed since the 1970s? How does it affect how you coach these players? Obviously they're playing with different types of racquets. Do your experiences from winning all the championships, how do you sort of relate that to the players you're coaching here?
CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: Well, the day today compared to the game we played many years ago, it changed completely. It's completely different game today.

First of all, I think the thing that changed most, it's first of all they hit the ball so much harder than we did. The rallies, average rally maybe is five, six points and it's finished. When we played we had longer rallies than that.

You cannot really compare the tennis today when we played except that, you know, you have to work out, you have to play a lot of tennis, you have to do exercise and all these kind of things, but the tennis is different.

Plus the competition today, it's so many more players today. I mean, global, almost every country in the world is playing tennis. Our time, there was big difference.

But, you know, to see these players play -- I mean, I followed the tennis for many years, so I know what they are doing, you know, a big change from our time. But to see these guys play, how hard they hit the ball is amazing, especially when you sit there few meters away. It's unbelievable.

They are in great shape, and they can do so many things with the tennis ball. For me, I enjoy it very much. I mean, I watch these guys all the time. Even if I don't watch them live, I watch them on television. I follow tennis very closely on that way.

Q. Björn, John McEnroe talked to us about the Borg/McEnroe movie. He said he wouldn't be very positive about the film. What are your feelings about the movie?
CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: Well, I have seen it, too. The thing I can -- we were not involved from the beginning, me and John, and it's fiction. I mean, it's not -- you know, it's a fiction movie. I saw it a couple of weeks ago in Stockholm, and I thought it's okay. It's okay. But it's still a fiction movie (smiling).

I thought what John meant, too, that it would have been more fun if we were involved from the beginning, because then we could give it more details in the movie, what's happened or not happened.

But I thought it was okay.

Q. Do you like the actor?
CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: It's great actors in the movie. It's Shia LaBeouf, and then you have this Swedish famous actor, so they are doing a really good job.

Q. Björn, you have always looked very calm playing on the court. You looked equally calm watching these guys playing today. Did you feel that calm, or is it much harder watching than playing yourself?
CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: Well, I think I was more nervous today than when I was playing, because, I mean, of course when you play you have control. You know what to do or not to do.

But when you are watching someone, really, you want to win. You get more emotional. You get more nervous. Of course I was little nervous when Dominic was playing today, because I wanted him to win so badly (smiling).

Q. Can you describe before the match and during the match in terms of pressure? Do you feel stress as regular tournament on the tour? More relaxed? Can you describe that.
DOMINIC THIEM: I felt similar to a match on the tour but maybe a little bit more nervous even, because it's a great event and it was a packed arena. So of course I saw it before in the first match, and that's why I was very nervous. I mean, I knew that as well it's going to be a very tough and difficult match.

It was similar to a tour match, but maybe a little bit more because, well, the players who play are also responsible for the team they play for, and on the tour, if you lose, it's fine. I mean, it's only for yourself. But here it's for the whole Team Europe, and that's what makes it, sort of what made me a little bit more nervous than normally.

Q. Björn, two parts. Did it feel any different sitting across the way from John? That's the first part. And the second part is what aspect of the film do you say is fiction?
CAPTAIN BJÖRN BORG: Well, me and John, we're good friends, so, I mean, even after the matches, we see each other. I mean, even here. We keep in touch. We have been doing that for many years. We are very good friends.

To see him on the other side, it's a special feeling. I mean, I'm happy I'm captain of Europe, and I'm sure he's very proud to be the captain of the rest of the world.

But it's not really that kind of feeling. We are happy to be on the court to see these guys play great tennis.

Regarding the fiction thing, it's like if you see some things in the movie, everything is not true. I mean, they do things, create things to make it more excited or whatever. I mean, that's the fiction. It's not a documentary or true story. It's a fiction.

But I thought it was good, anyway, even if it's fiction (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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