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January 4, 2018

Dominic Thiem

Doha, Qatar

D. THIEM/S. Tsitsipas

7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You are the only seeded player left here, top seeded player left here. You are going to play a semifinal tomorrow maybe against Gael or the other German that has a very special name. How will you play this semifinal? Whether it's Gael or the other one, will you play the way you played today against Stefanos? Because it was maybe an easy game for you, right?
DOMINIC THIEM: It was my best game today for sure so far. And I will try to play the same tomorrow. I know the opponents. I know Gojowczyk, I know Monfils. I know both of them. So it's going to be nothing new. Both of them are really good players. Going to be fun. Doesn't matter against who.

Q. A word about Stefanos, what do you think of his game? He's a young player just coming on to the tour pretty much.
DOMINIC THIEM: He's, I think, born '98, and for sure one of the world's best in his age. He's playing very well, aggressive with a good service, nice one-handed backhand.

So for sure he will rise up the ranking this year. Top 50, if not even higher. I think he's going to be a big player, not this season but for sure the next ones. And yeah, I'm getting old, I think, slowly because I'm playing against guys which are almost age of my little brother and it's tough to realize actually. But, no, they are playing well. They are playing such fast tennis and I'm happy that I could counter today.

Q. Only five or six players have won a Grand Slam in the past decade. What do you think that you need to do, make changes in your game to challenge for a Slam this year and the coming years?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I think the last decade was for a special one because there are four of the best players of all time, I think, in one generation, which is special and which won't happen, I think, for a while. That's why it was very tough to win a slam and that's why there were only six guys winning one.

I have to improve. I have to keep working to win one one day. I was close but yet very far. The last two years was the semis in French, and now it's time to make the next step.

Q. In the first set you had a serve for it twice. What happened in that tenth game? Did you just get a little off your game or did he pick his game up?
DOMINIC THIEM: It's pretty slow conditions here. It's pretty cold. So a break of serve is nothing really unusual. And well, to him it happened earlier in the set. To me it happened when I had to close out the set.

Also, in the second set, I had troubles to close out the match. But it has nothing to do with the score. I think he was returning quite well. In this little bit slower conditions, you get broken easier than when it would be fast.

Q. Can you talk about the mentality of playing against the younger generation as against playing Rafa and Roger, the top guys?
DOMINIC THIEM: For sure it's different because the older generation, they want to keep us down. They want to keep us behind them. And the same is for us. When we play the younger guys, we don't want them to take us. It's important to make some statements to play good matches against them, so they know we are still better than them.

Q. Players pick up superstitions when they are playing over the course of their career. Have you picked up anything on court or off court either at the Qatar Open or over your career?
DOMINIC THIEM: Of course, I have always the same before my serve, and some other things. But I'm not so superstitious like other players.

Q. You have nothing in particular, as such?

Q. What are your unforgettable memories so far like on court? Have you encountered something strange or humorous?
DOMINIC THIEM: Not really. There were happening a lot of funny things, a lot of strange things but I cannot remind one special thing. There are too many.

Q. Maybe a match?
DOMINIC THIEM: There have been great matches and there's not yet a very big title, so I don't have one yet.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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