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May 11, 2018

Dominic Thiem

Madrid, Spain

D. THIEM/R. Nadal

7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. In Monte-Carlo it was sea level, different result. You know how to beat Rafa. Today in Madrid, what happened?
DOMINIC THIEM: I think I was playing a little bit better today than in Monte-Carlo. Of course, it's great conditions here for me in Madrid. I love to play here. I mean, there is a reason why I did my first Masters finals here last year. It's great to play here for me.

But in the same time, of course, I had to really increase my level compared to Monte-Carlo to beat Rafa here. He's in a really great form. He won 21 matches on clay and 50 sets. This is amazing. So I had to play an extraordinary match, and that's what I did.

Q. We saw you very comfortable on the court today. Do you think you have the key to beat Rafa this year on clay in next tournaments such at Rome and Roland Garros?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, it's always amazing and it takes a really good match to beat Rafa on clay. But I think a very important thing also was today that I went in with the attitude that I can beat him. Like obviously two weeks ago in Monte-Carlo, he killed me Love and 2. It was very important I went in with a positive attitude, with an attitude to win. Like this I should go in every match against him. Also in maybe the next upcoming tournaments.

Q. Do you think with your great defense today and physical movements you pushed Rafa to make mistakes?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, I moved well. I was physically tough. But always against him, there are long rallies. You get out of breath. But it was a good thing, as well, today. The best was my groundstrokes. They were very aggressive. I think I really hurted him with them. At the same time they were pretty safe. I didn't make too many stupid errors. That was important.

Q. Usually you're working with Gunter Bresnik. Also in the last period Galo Blanco is collaborating. Do you think it's important he's an expert on clay?
DOMINIC THIEM: Of course. I mean, he added some really good stuff to my game. He was a really good player himself. That's why he can help me with a lot of things. He knows how it feels out there, how it feels in certain situations. It's a very good thing to have him.

Q. You play Kevin Anderson in the semifinals. You haven't beaten him before on the tour yet. What will be the key for you against him tomorrow?
DOMINIC THIEM: I'm happy that I play him tomorrow the first time on clay. We always played on pretty fast hard courts, yeah, on hard courts. But still, I mean, he serves great. His serve is also working very well here in the altitude I think.

It's going to be tough. It's going to be completely different, like today, obviously against Kevin. But I try to go in the same way, to have the same attitude like today. I think then it can be a good match for me.

Q. What are the main differences you feel on the center court than on the other two courts?
DOMINIC THIEM: There's a lot more space here on the center court, which is nice. The ball is bouncing really high. It's a little bit altitude. The ball is bouncing like crazy. It's pretty difficult on Arantxa Sanchez and stadio 3, outside courts, to even more have enough space. Even if you are almost at the wall, you still have the ball quite high. That's a little bit easier on Manolo Santana because there is way more space on the baseline.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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