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January 8, 2020

Thomas Muster

Dominic Thiem

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Team Poland - 2

Team Austria - 1

THE MODERATOR: Before starting the press conference, Dominic and Thomas would like to make an announcement about their future relationship.

Dominic, if you want to say something?

DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, we decided to have a work relationship. Yeah, I mean, we started early, before this tournament, but we will still, as some kind of trial here, worked out very well.

So we're going to do 20 weeks this year, and I think we are both looking forward to that. Try to achieve very high goals.

THOMAS MUSTER: Same from my end. Well, pretty much everything he said. We've been trying this since October. There have been some talks with Wolfgang, Dominic's dad, and Herwig and so on, how we can manage this. Yeah, just trying to work out how the schedule will work best for everyone.

Obviously Nico Massu's job was never questioned here. He's going to be the main touring coach. He's going to do most of the weeks. But I will join them for 20 weeks for this year.

Yeah, so that was just sort of the last approval here. So we all came together and made this decision basically this week. We all had to do our homework and studies based on our work relationship that we started and we're just about to start.

We're happy about that. I think we have a rocky road ahead of us to achieve those goals, but they are manageable and possible. We'll try our best to be as good as possible, actually. We are very happy and look forward to that.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take first questions about the match.

Q. Obviously a tough one today. First week of the season. Is it just sort of about working your way into the season and finding your form as you get rolling?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, I think that, I mean, we lost probably everything in the first match already, but second and third one was really okay.

Today my first set was probably the best of the tournament for me, and just couldn't hold that high level in Set 2 and 3, but in general the match was fine, I think.

I got three matches against great opponents. That's a very good thing. And now I still have a lot of time to get ready for Melbourne. Of course it's a pity that we didn't qualify for quarterfinals, but we also had a pretty tough group, I guess.

Unfortunately it's over now, this tournament. So time to move on, have some good practices, and get ready for Melbourne.

Q. I'm sure you're disappointed that you're not moving on, but what are some of your takeaways from the event itself in its first year?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, honestly I really loved the event. It was a great one. It's always fun to play in the team, hang out with the countrymen, and as I said, guaranteed three matches against great opponents.

Also giving the support to the teammates when they play, it's a fun thing. Gives a lot of energy. Going away from the ATP Cup with only positive memories, and I hope that coming back in one of the next years.

Q. What would you feel you need to really concentrate on between now and the start of the Australian Open?
DOMINIC THIEM: I still need to get some practices in. I think that physically I'm in great shape. Tennis-wise, as well. But there are still some things I guess which are not working as good as towards the end of the last season.

But it's just a matter of matches, just a matter of good practices. I'm going to have them, and if I'm going to get eight, nine good days in, I think I'm full ready for Melbourne because everything is there. I just need to put it together again in the matches, which I improved, I think, since the first day here, but still a lot of room to do so.

Q. Thomas, your thoughts on today's results and from what Dom was saying?
THOMAS MUSTER: No, today's results was okay. I think the match he played till 1-0 in the second set was phenomenal. He had a few chances really against a good server like him. He only got two, three really good chances and he missed his opportunities. But that's about it.

So if there was a break early in the second set or even the third set, he had quite a few chances that he didn't really convert, then it would be a different situation.

Look, I think there is a bit of fine tuning till Melbourne. He is physically in great shape. It's going to be a different story, best of five. It might be hot. You never know in Melbourne.

He can run six hours. That's fine. He's one of the fittest guys on the tour. He'll be able to, you know, to compete on the high level, I'm sure. The rest, we'll see.

I think in terms of coming out of quite a heavy practice session in Miami and Brisbane, you know, it's always a bit of fine tuning at the end. We haven't played matches for a few weeks. You have done some physical work.

It's just fine tuning. But the rest, he's got the shots, he's played well, he's moving well. Yeah, I wouldn't put it down just a couple of breakpoints here or so. Overall, like the first match was a bit rusty, obviously, but the overall matches have been really good against Schwartzman and even today, so I'm not unhappy or too concerned about anything.

Q. How much are you looking forward to and are prepared for going back on the road with 20 weeks of traveling?
THOMAS MUSTER: Well, talk to my wife and ask her (smiling).

No, I am very prepared. That's why I said, we had to do adjustments within the family. We had to discuss it amongst everyone to actually -- you have to be concentrated and focused what you're doing. You can't just -- your brain has to be with Dominic.

Nico and I will try to do the best for him, and I think it would be great. I think we have a lot of screws to turn, but they are just fine adjustments. There will be some rougher days, you know, where we have to go through maybe, you know, more technical things and all that, but really at the moment I think we're all good and all set for Melbourne. The rest will come later.

Q. Dom, what are you wanting to really get out of this new association to have Thomas on board? Besides that, what is the No. 1 priority for you as this comes together?
DOMINIC THIEM: I think it's many things. I mean, I'm not going to tell everything now, but I saw practice in the last days were working out well. I think that there are many things that I can still improve.

And then of course Thomas is best player of Austria and all time by far, is the only one who achieved the goals I'm still having. I think it's nothing better can happen to me than to have a guy from my own country to help me hopefully achieve these goals.

Q. Thomas, you were telling me yesterday how, when you want to do something, you really invest yourself into it.

Q. So is there a goal that maybe you had in mind that you thought if I work with Dominic, we could accomplish certain goals?
THOMAS MUSTER: Well, I want to be committed. I think he's got the skills to be -- he's one of the top players, but you can take it further. He has the chances to win Grand Slams. We know that.

He has the ability to do that, and I wouldn't have done that for anybody else. I have been asked many times to coach people on the tour, and I just deny it. I said no.

But when this came up, when we started talking about this opportunity, you know, I really had to pinch myself and go, Well, do I want to do this? I said, Yeah, I want to. I want to commit myself to this guy, and I want to, you know, make him better than I ever was.

If I can achieve with him to be No. 1 and to win a Grand Slam, I think, you know, he's the only one I ever would have done it for, because to have an Austrian who has that opportunity, I mean, you have to kind of commit yourself. It's almost a must.

It's not like, you know, you don't want to be asked twice. It is an honor that a player like Dominic is looking back at me and saying, Well, there could be some help for me. And I'm happy to put all my knowledge and my experience that I, you know, had all those many, many years playing tournaments if I can add that to his, some value to his game.

Q. Dominic, to hear someone like Thomas who you always say it's an honor to be around him and say those things about you, how special does that make you feel?
DOMINIC THIEM: It's very special, of course. I mean, I also worked hard for it to get these compliments.


DOMINIC THIEM: But I still haven't achieved the goals I set for myself, and I really want to do everything to achieve them, to achieve at the highest goal you can get to in tennis, and it's exactly what I said before.

He's the only Austrian who achieved that so far, so I think there is nobody who can help me more than him.

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