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September 2, 2018

Dominic Thiem

New York, NY, USA

D. THIEM/K. Anderson

7-5, 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think made the difference today? You have had problems with him in the past.
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, there were some things. First of all, I served really, really well today. Not the best percentage, but I almost made every point in the first serve game. So I didn't face one break point, and I didn't feel so much pressure on service games.

So it was a little bit easier to play the return games. I could change my return position, and this helped me a lot. And also the court, I think, made a big difference. It's a huge court. I could go very far back like I do on clay usually.

So there were some good advantages for me today.

Q. Can you elaborate on your court positioning? What does that allow you to do specifically against a big server like Kevin?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, as I say, it's a huge difference. I played him three years ago on Court 17, which didn't allow me to go that far back. It helped me a lot. I also did the same in Madrid. It worked out, so I thought why not on hard court? It worked out.

I mean, of course I also played really safe from the baseline, which is also a big part of the performance today. But against him, still, the most important is to put as many balls back into play as possible.

Q. Where you were standing, is that as far back as you'd like to do or if you could, would you go even further?
DOMINIC THIEM: First serve, no. But second serve, I would maybe half a meter, so I have the backhand with a more comfortable hit (smiling).

Q. You talked about court position. Could you talk a little in general about the court. It's quite noisy. There are airplanes. How does this court compare to other courts you have played?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, it is noisy, but the whole tournament is, so that's not a big deal, I think.

I would say you can compare it a little bit to Madrid, because it's almost hard indoor court, because only a part right above is open. All the rest is closed. I think it's very nice to play it.

There were already quite a few high quality matches on this court this year.

Q. What are your earliest memories of Rafael Nadal, and if you do get to play him in the next match, what do you think would be the biggest challenge for you?
DOMINIC THIEM: The earliest memories I think was when he beat Roger in the French semis in 2005. I was 11 back then. Didn't really think that I would also play him one day, but it's very nice (smiling).

We have already played nine times now, but was all the time on clay. Well, he lost the third, so we are not sure yet. But if he wins, then it's going to be the first time on hard court which is a completely new experience.

Q. What has been your experience in those many matches that you have played against him?
DOMINIC THIEM: It was three very nice experiences and six horrible experiences (smiling).

But, no, I'm really looking forward, if he wins, to play him on hard court for the first time. On clay, I think it's one of the biggest challenges in sports to beat this guy or to compete with this guy. I hope that it's a little bit more comfortable on hard court, but I'm not sure.

Q. If you do play Rafa, would your game plan change or your preparation for that match change at all just because of the surface?
DOMINIC THIEM: Not at all. To compete with him well, I always have to have a great day, and I have to play well. But I did today, so I just keep up my habits.

I will practice tomorrow. Of course, I will practice some things which might be useful on Tuesday, but everything else I won't change that much.

Q. When you have been successful against Rafa, what do you think has been the key to those successes?
DOMINIC THIEM: That I was really aggressive. I think that I have very powerful ground strokes, and I can even hurt him with them. But the key is to play really fast and powerful. But on the same time, not make too many mistakes.

Yeah, I did it sometimes against him, but it's a risky game style also, because it can happen that I make too many mistakes and then it looks black.

Q. Do you think in some ways your game matches up quite well with Rafa?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I think nobody's game really matches up well with his. That's why he's so unbelievably successful. No matter what, it's always really tough to play against him. As I said, I'm really looking forward to see how it is on a different surface than clay.

Q. This is your first quarterfinal in a Grand Slam that's not on clay. Did it feel almost like a relief to get that win? Has that been something that's in your mind?
DOMINIC THIEM: It was not on my mind, but I was pretty close last year. It was very painful.

So I'm happy that I made it, and it was an amazing victory over one of the best players right now. Also first time quarterfinals outside Paris, but most of all, I'm happy with the performance.

Q. On big stages like this, what's the most important thing for you to deal with the pressure?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, of course it's some pressure because it's the biggest four tournaments, so we all want to do very well in them.

But I think it's advantage for the better players, the best-of-five format, because it also relieves a bit of pressure to play well, because you can allow a little bit more mistakes than you do in a normal tournament, which is best of three. So there are some things where you can relieve of it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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