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November 15, 2018

Dominic Thiem

London, England, United Kingdom

D. THIEM/K. Nishikori

6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You seemed far more fluid than against Federer. Why do you think that was today?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I just went into that match and wanted to show my real self again basically because two days ago was really bad. I was not feeling good to play such a match in front of such a big crowd and everything. I wanted to have a much better game again today. That's what I did.

I did some adjustments. I tried to have a higher first-serve percentage. Some things definitely paid off. Of course, I'm happy that I got the win.

Q. You obviously need a pretty big favor from Kevin Anderson tonight. I think Roger needs to win five games. Wondering if you have a message for Kevin tonight, motivational message.
DOMINIC THIEM: They are both very nice guys. I mean, I messed it up the two previous matches myself. I didn't really think about it also today in the match. I wanted to play well again. That's what I did part of times today in the match.

Well, you never know what happens tonight, but I don't think it's going to happen.

Q. You said you have improved compared to the previous match. We know you can play much, much better. What do you think the reason is? Maybe same with Kei. Does it come from fatigue? Are you tired?
DOMINIC THIEM: I don't think it comes from fatigue. One tricky part of tennis is that every week it's different conditions. It's never the same. We always have to get used to different court, to different balls.

Kei, for example, he was playing amazing in Vienna and in Paris. Now this week obviously he's not playing that well. For me is similar.

We cannot play well every week. In general, I think players have some troubles here to play because I didn't see a really good match yet.

But, well, we all have to fight through this.

Q. How was it changing the strings? It's a very big decision. How does it affect you?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I needed to change something because I felt not bad before this tournament. I was playing good. I was practicing well. Especially against Roger, I did some mistakes which I absolutely couldn't believe. I felt that I did nothing wrong.

I had to change something. I tried something a little bit new out yesterday in practice, and it worked out well. So basically I didn't have so much to lose today, so I tried it in the match and it worked out well.

Q. You're relying on a big result from Kevin tonight. What is the plan for the rest of the day? Where will you watch it later?
DOMINIC THIEM: I'm not sure if I'm going to watch it. No, I will watch it because it's a good match in general (smiling).

To be honest, I'm not hoping for it because it's not very realistic. I think both of these two players really deserve to go up. That's how it's going to be at the end.

Q. When you changed your strings, was that your idea or some feedback from the coach?
DOMINIC THIEM: Both of us actually. As I said before, there were some balls I didn't hit into the court two days ago which a player of my class could never miss actually. That's why I felt I have to change a little bit. Then some things came into my mind because obviously it wasn't the first time I tried something new.

It's very difficult to try something during the year. As I didn't have so much to lose today, as I could play more freely, I decided to try it out. Obviously it worked pretty well.

Q. It was the Next Gen in Milan last week. What do you think of the young players coming through such as Tsitsipas and De Minaur?
DOMINIC THIEM: I'm not really considering Tsitsipas and De Minaur as Next Gen. The guy is No. 15 in the world, played finals of a Masters 1000. He's completely established in the absolute world class. De Minaur the same, he will also be top 20, top 15 next year.

It's just amazing and also interesting to me when I came up, I was first time top 100 with 20 and a half. I was the youngest there basically. Now they're way younger players in the top 100, way further already. I think it's changing a little bit again. Way younger players are having their breakthrough earlier again than it was four or five years ago when I did it.

Q. Assuming you are out tonight, most people view Novak as the run away favorite for this tournament. Do you see anyone stopping him winning this title here? If so, who has the best chance to beat him?
DOMINIC THIEM: He's the top favorite, that's for sure. But Kevin was impressive against me and also against Kei. If he's serving well, I think even Novak has troubles. He beat him also at Laver Cup.

I think the conditions here are great for him. He's feeling well from the baseline, hitting a lot of winners, not doing many unforced errors. So I think right now Kevin would be the biggest challenge for Novak. I would not be that surprised if we see these two guys in the finals.

Q. Will you be able to have holidays to recover because the year is short, but they want more competition? What is your opinion about this? Two months, or one month is enough?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, we have basically a never ending season, I would say. Now I will go one week holidays, then I spend few days at home, then...

I think the most important period of the season is starting, the off-season, the only time where we have time to practice and to really improve all the stuff what we need to work for. That's how it is in tennis.

I think we cannot complain about it because we have a very nice life with that. The only thing which would be better if the year would have 13 months.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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