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February 2, 2020

Dominic Thiem

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel about your performance tonight? What do you wish you could have done differently?
DOMINIC THIEM: I think there's not much to change. Also in the last two sets, I definitely gave everything I had. Well, Novak is part of three guys who are by far best players ever who played tennis.

If you play a Grand Slam finals against him, it's always going to be a match where very small details are deciding.

What happened tonight, I mean, if I could say anything, I would just say that maybe I could have converted the breakpoint in the fourth set where I could have the lead 2-1. Then I think he had some issues in the second set. He recovered very well. He played really good after in set three and four.

Of course, there were some small mistakes here and there, but they're happening. At the end was a super close five-setter.

I don't really regret anything.

Q. You said on court it's a pleasure to play in this era with these guys. Twice you've had Nadal, once Djokovic. Are you sure you feel that?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, that's what I said. I mean, I think the same what I said: these guys brought tennis to a complete new level. They also brought me probably to a much better level.

I think it was amazing how the matches went this week. It's great tennis. It's a great show for everybody. Of course, it would be or it was easier for sure in a different era to win big titles. That's 100%.

But I'm happy I can compete with these guys on the best level. I really hope also that I win my maiden slam when they're still around because it just counts more, yeah.

Q. What is it going to take for somebody to end this Grand Slam streak by the big three?
DOMINIC THIEM: I think it's only small details. In the last two finals - US Open and here - it was really close. It could have gone either way for Daniil in US Open and for me here.

There's nothing special to say about it. It takes nothing more than just little bit luck, little details there. Maybe if I convert the breakpoint in the fourth set, maybe I'm sitting here as a winner.

It just takes hard work. Me and also the other young players who have definitely the potential to win a slam, to play every single of these four with determination and give myself a new chance hopefully.

Q. What's the overwhelming emotion you're feeling at the moment after a match like that?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I think I've rarely felt physically that tired, especially now after all the tension's gone. I played an unbelievable intense match against Rafa, such an intense match against Sascha in the semis. Today again I think almost over four hours. I think that was very demanding.

Of course, I just feel a lot of emptiness right now. But, yeah, that's it. I know the feeling. I did after the last two in Paris. But, yeah, also already now I feel little bit of motivation to come back for the next Grand Slam. Well, if I have a little break, it's going to be bigger.

Q. The big three are winning again and again. What do they draw on? Why are they able to do that?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, it's just a very special situation that I think it's pretty unique in the history of sports that you just need to look at the success that they had, what they're still having, by far most Grand Slam titles every single of these three.

That's what I said: it's unique in sports history that the three best players by far are playing in the same era. That's what makes it very, very difficult for other players to break through.

As a different player than them, you have to beat at least two of them to win a big title. Well, almost all players failed to do that. That's what makes it so tough.

Q. A lot of people are questioning Novak's use of medical time-outs tonight. Did you have an issue with the way he used them?
DOMINIC THIEM: Not at all. Obviously he had some issues in the third set, then he recovered well. I mean, was just two toilet breaks, so there was nothing special about it.

Q. What was working well for you in that period in the second and third sets?
DOMINIC THIEM: Second set I got a good break, then he broke back 4-All. I made it straightaway to 5-4, served it out. I was getting the lead straightaway, break, then I was kind of the frontrunner in that third set. Obviously he had issues there. That's also what made it easier to win that set.

In the fourth, I think it was this one game at 1-All where I had chances to break him, where I didn't convert it. He then recovered well and played probably his best tennis again.

Q. Although you lost tonight, what are you most proud of? What will you take away from this tournament?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, of course, the finals tonight was a great match. It was very small details which were deciding. Then also the way I kept my level, the way I kept my tension over all the two weeks.

I didn't have easy matches, especially from the quarters on. Beating Rafa in over four hours, then two days later going back out again against Sascha. Unbelievably intense, close match. Then two days later going out again against Novak, who won the most titles here and again played on a very high level.

I'm very aware and sure now that I can play on a very high level for a full Grand Slam. Didn't have any drops. That doesn't make me proud, but it makes me very confident for the next big tournaments which are coming up.

Q. Was there any moment during the match that you felt you had him?
DOMINIC THIEM: No, I never have these moments. Of course, if you lead two sets to love or 5-1 or something, yeah, sure, you can say to yourself you have it.

But no chance in a finals against a guy like Novak. I mean, I was far away from one thought like that.

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