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June 5, 2018

Alexander Zverev

Paris, France

D. THIEM/A. Zverev

6-4, 6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Sorry for the way you lost today. Must be hard considering it was only your body that let you down. What's the extent of the damage? How long will it take you to recover?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I don't know. It's all very fresh. I'm going to take an MRI now after I'm done here. But, you know, most of the time, with muscle injuries or muscle pulls, you can only see something on an MRI if you take it two or three days after.

I'm going to go back home and, you know, definitely not do anything and see what it is.

Q. How close were you to pulling out? You looked as though you were on the verge at 5-1 down in that second set.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I thought about it. I definitely thought about it, but, you know, I didn't want to pull out for the first time of my career in a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

So, you know, I knew I'm not going to win the match. There was no way for me. I mean, I could barely move. I couldn't serve. I couldn't really do anything.

But I still wanted to finish the match and, you know, kind of give the credit to Dominic. He deserves to be in the semifinals.

You know, end on a loss and not on a retirement.

Q. When did the pain in particular start exactly? He served a lot of serves wide that made you go off the court. Did that have something to do with that too?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: First time I felt a pull was in the fourth game of the first set when we had, you know, a few great points, you know, a lot of physical points.

I remember I slid one time, and then I felt, like, a muscle pull. I thought, Well, okay. I played a lot. I thought maybe it's just, like, soreness or something that would just go away. I didn't think about it too much.

And then, you know, each game and each slide, I was getting worse and worse. Middle of the second set, the pain was too much.

Q. How much do you think the accumulation of five-setters has to do with the fact that you got this muscle injury?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, maybe a little bit. But I actually felt good today. I mean, waking up in the morning, I actually felt, Okay, I can play five sets again.

I thought this is what it's going to be like. I actually came on court. It was the best I felt the ball. Even in the warmup and even, you know, the first few games, it was the best I felt the ball all week.

I thought it was going to be a tough, physical match, but unfortunately my body, you know, didn't hold up.

Q. My colleagues tell me I have become smitten by your tennis, but I assure them it's strictly professional.

Q. Anyway, I have written you a poem. No, I haven't. Don't panic. I haven't. But for me, watching you on the court this week has been like watching poetry in motion sometimes. Tell us what have been your favorite and happiest memories of being at Roland Garros this week? What have you fallen in love with?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: The press conference after the second round was my favorite moment (laughter). I heard the Queen of England heard it. That's impressive.

I think you're the only person who will actually make me smile right now.

Q. If we can just digress for a moment. Other people want to talk about tennis. Could you share some of your favorite tennis moments with us, as well, please?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, I won three five-set matches in a row, got to my first quarterfinal. All positive. Clay court season in general has been very positive. I lost three matches on the clay, all to great players. And I won two tournaments, made two Masters finals. So it's all very positive.

I think, you know, if I get healthy again, I'll be ready to play good in the grass court season, as well.

Q. In Australia you spoke about how you wanted to address working hard for Grand Slams and doing well in Grand Slams. What did you learn about yourself in the course of your journey here at Roland Garros?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: That I'm physically one of the strongest players, I think. I can last very long. I can last five-set matches in a row, how I showed.

As I said, I was ready to play five sets again today. Unfortunately, an injury held me back. It's kind of a body issue, but it's not something that, Okay, I'm physically weak.

As I said, this is a very positive week for me. My first quarter. I lost to a great player. I was hurt a little bit. So who knows? Who knows what could have happened?

Q. To deal with an injury at a slam is for you maybe something a little bit new. Does it worry you, or is it just -- I mean, do you treat it as a detail? Does it worry you or bother you? Something new?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Worry? No. I mean, right now I think I'm upset, but I think everybody would be upset. You're in a quarterfinal. You have just played that opponent a few weeks ago and you had a great match against him. You want to be fit and you want to play your best tennis.

Unfortunately, you know, today I couldn't do that. So I'm upset about it. I'm not worried. I know I'm most likely going to get back to this position, to this situation. I have plenty more chances.

As I said, there is a lot of talk of me not being able to play five sets, not being able to play long matches. I think I have showed that I can this week. I think everybody can stop talking about it, I think, now.

So, for me, there is not much negative in this apart from how it ended. But to process the whole week, it was a nice week for me.

Q. On that, how do you take the positives from this run going into the grass season towards Wimbledon?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: As I said, I played great tennis. I won a lot of tough matches against tough opponents.

The grass is a surface that I like. Hopefully I can deal with what I have. And it's gonna be a quick one, and, you know, the grass season is around the corner.

Q. I'm just curious, what does it mean -- it has any special meaning your necklace that you have on?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Oh, God. Yes, it does. (Smiling).

Q. Can you...

Q. Could you just say a few words about Dominic? You're good pals, obviously. The way he's playing at the moment, do you think he can go the whole way?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think he can definitely go to the final. It's going to be between Rafa and him. I think he's playing very heavy. I think he's not missing much. I think he's improved his serve a lot.

So he's definitely playing great tennis. You know, I think one of the three best players on the clay court in the last few years, and right now especially.

So I wish him all the best. And, you know, by the end of the week, we'll see how he does.

Q. Everyone loves a love story. I have had messages from people all around the world in the last week saying how much they have fallen in love with your tennis and your personality. I just want to exchange my thanks to you for all the love you have brought us on the court and off the court. And from me to you, I hope this is not good-bye; merely au revoir.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think you're going to get a CNN job or something for Wimbledon. I think they will hire you soon. So don't worry. I'll see you back.

Q. I haven't got my pass for Wimbledon. I have missed the deadline. Let's see if we can make the magic happen, Sascha.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: All right. No worries.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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