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June 1, 2018

Dominic Thiem

Paris, France

D. THIEM/M. Berrettini

6-3, 6-7, 6-3 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Great match today. Tough match, I would say. Did you expect that level from your opponent?
DOMINIC THIEM: My coach saw the match against Gulbis last round, and he said that Matteo is a really good player. I was expecting a very tough match.

But still he's a great player. Very dangerous. Great forehand and great serve.

It was a good match again, I think, from both of us, and for sure he has a very good future.

Q. Today during the match, long matches, the conditions change a lot. For you is better? Good days or heavy ball or you can have to adapt during a match?
DOMINIC THIEM: No, it's normal to adapt. It was completely different than yesterday. Yesterday was very high bounce and very warm conditions. Today was opposite. No bounce at all. Heavy balls. A little bit rain in between.

But I think it's for all of us the same, and we have to adapt to this.

Q. Your next opponent, Nishikori, he said he likes your backhand and it will be tough for him to play against someone he likes. Do you have anything you like in Nishikori's play?
DOMINIC THIEM: I also like his backhand (smiling).

No, he's a great player to watch. I don't like his game in two days, but in general it's amazing. He's great top-10 player, and I think now on his way to his top form again. So I'm really looking forward to a tough battle.

Q. You are defending the semifinals of last year. Is it pressure or something to imitate, something that is good for you, no pressure?
DOMINIC THIEM: No pressure. I defended two times from '16, '17, so maybe I can do it a third time.

If not, it's also fine. It's not that big drop of a ranking, but the matches, they are getting more and more difficult now. I had three very good matches, and I'm really in the tournament now. I'm looking forward of what's coming ahead.

Q. Can you talk to us a bit about your form so far during the clay court season, building up to Roland Garros, and your assessment of where you are at at this point in the tournament here?
DOMINIC THIEM: Again, it was a pretty decent clay court season. I was five weeks' injured before. Monte-Carlo was solid, and then Barcelona not that great, and Madrid was really good, obviously. I really found my clay court form there.

And Rome was fine. I lost against great-playing Fabio, which is fine. I won Lyon. I'm again in the fourth round here.

So I'm satisfied, the biggest highlight this year, and it's coming to the latest stages of the tournament here. So I hope I can play my best tennis from the next round on.

Q. This is related to Kei again. I think you played against Kei in Rome, like, two years ago. Does any of your strategy or playing style is different from when you play with him in the hard court or clay?
DOMINIC THIEM: No, I think he tries similar on every surface is to step in and to take the balls early.

So of course I will try to take advantage of the clay and to push him back a little bit from the baseline. It should give me a little advantage on clay compared to grass or hard court.

Q. You have spoken about the success that you've enjoyed at Lyon and in Madrid. How does the surface here at Roland Garros compare to those surfaces?
DOMINIC THIEM: It's the same like in Lyon, completely the same. Madrid is very different. It's a little bit altitude. Different clay, different balls, so it's almost a different sport (smiling).

Q. And when you beat Rafa, you described your mood as super, super happy. How would you describe your mood right now?
DOMINIC THIEM: I'm also very happy right now (smiling). I just won a match. I'm heading into the fourth round of French Open. Everything is fine right now, so I cannot complain about anything, and I'm feeling the same like in Madrid.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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