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October 6, 2019

Dominic Thiem

Beijing, China

D. THIEM/S. Tsitsipas

3-6, 6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I believe that's your fourth title of the year. To what do you attribute for your success this year?
DOMINIC THIEM: It feels great because today was for me one of the best matches I've played in my life I guess. Game style wise and also how I came back, it's definitely one of my biggest titles because the tournament is so strong, the draw was so strong. Makes me very happy that I stand as the champion at the end of the week.

I had a pretty tough time tennis-wise during US Open and the week before because I was not fit. I was struggling at the US Open. It had one good side so that I'm fresh for this last period of the season.

I had a great preparation for this tournament. From Laver Cup on I started to play really well. I came into the tournament with good confidence, played great tennis from the first match on. Of course, you can never expect to end up as a winner. That's why I'm very happy that I did it.

Q. What was the key to turning around the match?
DOMINIC THIEM: I think there were two turning points. A little was 3-6, 1-2, a break down. Straightaway I came back. I maybe changed a little bit my return position. He served well, so I tried to mix it up a little bit. It worked out. Of course, it gave me a lot of confidence to come straight back into the match.

The other one was at 4-All, I was I think 4-3, Love-30, didn't make it. 4-All I had to save a breakpoint. I saved it very good. I broke him to 6-4. I think that was the moment of the match and the momentum switched.

Q. Is it satisfying to have another hard court title to go with your Indian Wells victory this year?
DOMINIC THIEM: It's satisfying, of course. Probably I consider this one here as my second biggest title because the draw was extraordinary strong. Last seed was 13, so it was almost like a Masters 1000.

But I also have to say that Indian Wells and here, it suits my game pretty well. It's a slower type of hard court. I have a little bit more time. That's why I play successful there.

Try to put it on in the faster surfaces now, faster hard courts. But I'm very happy, of course, with this year's hard court performances. Four great tournaments to come, so I try to keep the momentum going.

Q. You didn't play too many matches this year in the Asian swing. Does the schedule have an impact on this victory?
DOMINIC THIEM: You mean that I didn't play many matches in the whole year?

Q. Yes.
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, it's true. I mean, compared to Medvedev or even Stefanos, I played way less matches. Of course, I would have liked to play more because it would mean maybe I play better at the Grand Slams.

On the other side it helps a lot. I'm feeling fresher than ever in this Asian swing and the last period of the season. It has for sure something to do that I'm playing successful now here.

Q. You were gifted with the costume you wore at the players party. Where will you put it at home?
DOMINIC THIEM: I like it a lot. Of course, I will wear it from time to time to some good occasions. On the other hand, it will get a good place at home.

Q. It seemed like Stefanos had a lot of success coming into the net. You said you changed your return position. Could you elaborate on that.
DOMINIC THIEM: He was going an incredible pace in the first set. I had really troubles to keep it up. Always when I returned closer to the baseline, I didn't hit the perfect return, he was straightaway coming in and straightaway putting pressure. If he does that, he's almost unstoppable.

Exactly that's why I tried to return little bit more far behind the baseline to give myself more time, to come more neutral into the rallies. If I'm in the defense against a player like him, I cannot win.

Q. You said you're playing some of your best tennis right now. What are you looking forward to next?
DOMINIC THIEM: To Shanghai, of course. I'll enjoy it now tonight, but tomorrow I'm traveling there. There's already full focus on Shanghai. It's a tough thing in our sport. I cannot buy anything from my nice victory this week next week, so I have to start from zero. That's what I'm going to do.

It will be completely different conditions. I'll try to get used to them in this short time, two days. Of course, I'm full of confidence now, playing well. I'll try to deliver that also to Shanghai. It's not going to be easy, but I hope I'm ready for it.

Q. You're regarded as an expert on clay. You won two titles on hard court. Does that have to do with your new coach? What change does he bring?
DOMINIC THIEM: We worked very good on some things which helped me on faster surfaces or hard courts. I think today I never went so much to the net in one match before. It's the right thing to do. I think it's very important to shorten up points, to finish points at the net. That's what we worked on a lot. It slowly pays off.

My two biggest titles now come on hard court. But as I said before, I have to be honest with myself and say they come on pretty slow hard courts, hard courts which suit my game, where it's good to play a lot of topspin, which I like. I'll try to improve myself also on the faster surfaces and go into more the net on them. Hopefully soon I can win titles on these super fast courts as well.

Q. What is the bond like between you and the Chinese fans?
DOMINIC THIEM: I'm happy with the support they gave me. Today was very nice because the stadium was almost full. I played the whole tournament with the shoes. I was sliding like crazy on hard court. They are done. Before I throw them away I'll, of course, give them to the fans.

Q. You are the third player in the season to win four titles besides Novak and Rafael. What does that mean to you?
DOMINIC THIEM: First of all, it's great to win four titles in one season. I only made it once. Of course, it's a big honor to be on top with Rafa and Novak, true legends of our game. All four titles which I won this season are very big titles, very special titles to me. A 1000, two strong 500s, then my first title on home soil.

It's been so far the best season of my career, that's for sure. A big honor to be with them on the top of the list this year.

Q. I know you are a fan of the football club Chelsea. Any comments on the football club performance this year?
DOMINIC THIEM: They are doing great now. They have a very young team, the youngest team since a very long time. They have a true legend as a coach. He was one of the biggest reasons why I became a fan of this club. I'm very excited to watch all the matches. They are always in my heart.

Q. In the China Open you meet many top players. In this match against Stefanos, do you get extra motivation to prove that you are the leader of the young generation?
DOMINIC THIEM: I've only faced top, top guys in this China Open. As I said before, the draw was amazingly strong. They are even much younger than me, so I cannot say they are the same generation.

I don't get extra motivation if I play against them. I'm really motivated in every match. We have a great rivalry with these guys, with Stefanos, with Sascha, Karen. I hope we'll play lots of finals also in the future in big tournaments like that.

Hope that we soon also going to make it to the Grand Slam stages.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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