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November 17, 2019

Dominic Thiem

London, England, United Kingdom


6-7, 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Going into that championship tiebreak, you rallied back to 4-All. What went wrong from that point?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, tiebreak, especially third-set tiebreak in championship match is always about being lucky, about being unlucky. It's always, I would say, 50/50.

I mean, I have to say that most of the matches I have played in the last two, three months, very close scores, very close times of the games went on my side, and today it was just different.

I missed some very close balls in the tiebreak, which against Novak or which in other matches in the last weeks went in. That was the thing in the third-set tiebreak.

But, you know, I cannot do anything now about it. It was a great match from both of us, and he really deserves that win. I mean, actually, we both deserve it, but there is only one winner in tennis.

So that's it. I'm happy also with this match today.

Q. I know you say you can't do anything about it, but what do you take away from this week and this performance? It was so close.
DOMINIC THIEM: I'm still taking away a lot with me. First of all, I'm very proud and happy about the Finals in general. And then there are also some tough things in this week I had to deal with.

Honestly, I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling like crap and thinking about already the worst stuff, because I was feeling really sick and everything. And then on Tuesday I played this legendary match against Novak, and I got way better again with my body.

So that's a big thing I'm taking away, that even in very tough situations I can still play great tennis. And then of course it's an amazing result for me, indoor, one of the fastest hard courts all year, I would say. So I'm taking away a lot.

In general, I'm pretty happy with my game and with my season, especially from after the US Open. It's a big, big disappointment right now, but at the end it was, I would say, 90% positive this season.

Q. Is this the most disappointed or most difficult loss you have ever had? Obviously you had two French Open finals, but you weren't quite as close to winning.
DOMINIC THIEM: Probably it is, yeah. It's not the end of the world, because I always think back on some matches in the past, like also in the last weeks, and I won some really close matches like this today to even get myself to the situation to play these Finals.

It's always going to be like that in tennis. That's why it's probably mentally the most brutal sport existing, because you can play such a great match and end up losing in the championship match.

From that point of view, it's a very disappointing loss, very hard to digest. But on the same hand, I had some amazing wins also, even this week, that they get me in this situation even to play the finals. So it's fine.

Q. After you beat Zverev, he said to us that he thinks either you or Tsitsipas can break the Big 3 cycle of winning Grand Slams next year. What does it mean for a fellow player to say that about it? And can you do it?
DOMINIC THIEM: It always means a lot if, like a top player like him says something like that, because there is always truth in that. That's very nice to hear.

I think that for sure we can do it next year. We are all playing great tennis. Sascha, Stefanos, me, some other guys. I think, or I also said before already, I'm pretty sure that we're going to see a new and young Grand Slam champion next year.

Q. About your relationship with Stefanos, obviously you have had a close relationship with the Laver Cup. How do you think he played today? Do you think you have enough to challenge him in the future?
DOMINIC THIEM: He played great today. He played great throughout the whole tournament. I mean, he's the champion, and he deserves it 100%.

I think also that he's great for tennis, because he has a very attractive game style, one-handed backhand, comes in a lot. Very beautiful technique, as well.

It's great that he's up on the top. It's great that he's going to fight for the big titles in the future. I'm 100% sure of that.

I'm also very sure of the fact that I can challenge him in every single match we're going to play. As I said on the court, as I said in Beijing, I really hope that we're going to have a lot of big matches coming, the two of us. And of course also me and then the other young guys in the next years.

Q. Can you just talk a bit about the progress you have made on hard courts this year and how you have proven this year that you can excel at the biggest tournaments on every surface now?
DOMINIC THIEM: That feels very good, I mean, especially since US Open, since Davis Cup, Laver Cup. I'm super happy how my game developed, because Indian Wells, honestly, it's a very slow hard court. It suits my game very good because it's almost like a clay court.

But here or Vienna, Beijing, Shanghai where I played really great tennis, it was surfaces where I was struggling big time in the past, and there I made a big step in the right direction, especially here to play finals of the Nitto ATP Finals is an amazing result for me.

Even though it's a big and a tough loss today, I still also have in my head that I developed my game very good since a few weeks, since a few months.

So anyway, I have enough time to digest this loss, and then I'm going to work out to improve even more on the hard courts to be fully ready for beginning of next season.

Q. You seem to have inherited Roger Federer's fans for this final. They were supporting you throughout the game. I want to know your opinion about this and why you think they chose you? It's because of the style, your attitude towards the fans, the game? Or it's simply because they want to root for the older guy on court?
DOMINIC THIEM: I don't think that's the reason, but I really loved the support all week long. It's also something a little bit new for me to be a little bit in the favor of the crowd, because if you play this these big tournaments against the other Big 3 or Big 4, you are somehow always the underdog in the crowd. Also well-deserved, but still...

So I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the support, and I think it's a combination of everything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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