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June 3, 2018

Dominic Thiem

Paris, France

D. THIEM/K. Nishikori

6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. You have never taken a set from Nishikori prior to this match. What was working well for you today?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, it's quite a long time ago, the last matches, and I was playing very, very well in the beginning, had a great start. And then, of course, in the third and fourth set was a 50/50 match, I would say, but my big advantage was that I was up two sets to love, and in general I played good tennis. I think he rose his level in set 3 and 4.

But at the end I'm happy with how it went today.

Q. You face Alexander Zverev next. What do you expect in that matchup?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I think that's the matchup most of the fans in Germany and Austria were hoping for when they saw the draw. So it's going to be a very nice match again. Of course, for both of us I think we would have been very happy if we both went through this stage where we are now.

And going to be great. We just played in Madrid. He's amazing player. I mean, probably now the third-best after Rafa and Roger. So it's going to be an amazing challenge for me.

Q. About today's match, also in the third set and the fourth set, do you think Kei had changed something in tactics or strategies?
DOMINIC THIEM: I think that he started to play better, but also me, I changed a little bit the game. I didn't let him breathe in the first two sets. I played very well, and then I let him breathe a little bit, and that's why he became way, way stronger, and was in a great danger that the game turns into his way.

But at the end, it was very good that I won the fourth set. And of course it was a big advantage that I got the very fast two sets to love lead.

Q. You're playing really well right now. Which aspects of your game are you pleased with? Which aspects do you think you can still improve as the tournament unfolds?
DOMINIC THIEM: Honestly, I'm happy with all of my game. There is no point where I would say that it's not working. I'm moving well, feeling physically very good. Groundstrokes are great. Serve, especially today, I was serving great. I just tried to keep it up and keep that level which I'm playing at now.

Q. At the beginning of the first two sets you were really dominant. I'm wondering if your offensive attacking in tennis is better than it was last year or the year before? You seem very good at being aggressive.
DOMINIC THIEM: First two sets were amazing. I think that he also played better in set 3 and set 4. But that's the way I should play, how I played in the first two sets. I was playing at one hand safe; on the other hand very aggressive. That's a good combination, for sure, this improved compared to last year.

Q. You played two semifinals here in a row. You have to play now a player who is coming off of three five-sets match. Does it normally influence a bit the length of a match when you get to a round like this or not? Do you think Zverev could be tired or not?
DOMINIC THIEM: I don't think so. I don't expect it. He has amazing team. He's super fit. He played last year an amazing year. He's playing this year an amazing year, match after match. So I don't think and I don't expect him tired.

I really like best of five, doesn't matter against who. If it's against Sascha or anybody else.

Q. A lot of people who follow tennis really enjoy your one-handed backhand. Talk a little bit about your forehand and what makes that so effective.
DOMINIC THIEM: Finally (smiling). No, I think my forehand is the shot I'm winning the matches with, definitely. Probably the backhand looks nicer. I don't know that other people see that.

But the forehand is my favorite shot since all times, basically. I really love it. It's the shot where I giving all the opponents most of the troubles.

Q. Recently in Madrid you played the final, but this is completely different. The altitude in Madrid. What are your expectations? It's a five-setter here.
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, completely different conditions, but still, it's going to be a very tough match against him. He's going to be pumped. It's his first quarterfinals. So he wants to move on, for sure. So I hope I'm a little bit more experienced in this one.

But, well, as I said before, it's I think the match, especially in Germany and Austria, everybody was hoping for. So I think we can make it legendary, and that would be very nice.

Q. The game against Sascha, it's really interesting, too, because you are probably the two biggest prospects for the future. Many people are talking about that and talking about you to take the lead in the future. How do you deal with that?
DOMINIC THIEM: That's obviously nice to hear, and it means that we play good tennis, both of us. I think for me it's time to move on to make a great step, because I'm turning 25. I'm not that young anymore. That's his part. He's only 21.

But obviously it's a big honor if people say something like that, and it would be nice if we can do it.

Q. Rafa Nadal said yesterday it's been very hard to win a Grand Slam in the last ten years, because it's been dominated by four or five players at the top who are still at the top. What will it take for some of the younger players like yourself to break through and win a Grand Slam?
DOMINIC THIEM: He's very right. Now at the Grand Slam, there are the big four. And the last ten years you needed to beat at least two of them in a Grand Slam to win, and not many players did it. Maybe it gets a little bit easier in the future when they are not that young anymore or when some of them stop.

But every Grand Slam is a new chance, and every Grand Slam the young players or we, we want to take it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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