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September 12, 2020

Dominic Thiem

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference

D. THIEM/D. Medvedev

6-2, 7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You mentioned on court, sort of joked about Andy Murray's record of 0-4. Have you ever talked to Andy before, kind of the psychology of overcoming losing Grand Slam finals?

DOMINIC THIEM: No, I never talked to anyone. I mean, it was all good so far. But I was joking about it.

Well, it's easy for Andy because he has won three in the meantime. But, well, that's not what I'm thinking about Sunday. I just going to go in fully focused, like in all the six previous matches. Well, the world continues no matter what's result is, so it's going to be fine.

Of course, I'm super happy that I gave myself another chance to be in the finals, pretty quick after Australia. Going to be a great one against a very good friend and a great rival.

Q. A lot of people expected in this match that you guys would just be blasting away at each other from 30 feet behind the baseline. You both played a lot of different shots, a lot of variety. Was that your strategy going in? Talk about that aspect of the match.

DOMINIC THIEM: Definitely that was my strategy. I think if I play like his rhythm, I have no chance because he just doesn't miss when I play with his rhythm. So I tried to destroy that a little bit with lot of slices, with also high balls with a lot of spin. That was what was the plan.

Still, besides, that was a great match on a very high level. Was probably the toughest straight-set win I ever had. I mean, could have been easily one, two sets down. He served for set two and three. Luckily towards the end of these both sets I played my best tennis then.

Q. What did you think was impressive about Daniil's performance? He was as good as you in sets two and three. A really tight match.

DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, exactly happened what I was expecting, that he's one of very few guys who is super close to the big three in terms of playing first of all on a very high level, then second of all holding this level for however long the match takes. That's what he did.

I mean, the first set was little bit weird, also unlucky for him with this challenge. Well, I still don't know if the ball was in or out. These things are happening.

Then set two and three was very high level, as I said. We could have both won it probably. He was even the little better player until he served for the set. Twice exactly in the right situation I broke back. Very big key game was 5-All second set where I saved I think four or five breakpoints. Was a super long game. I think this was a big key point.

As I said, for sure the toughest straight-sets win I ever had because could have been easily completely different.

Q. You've played the greatest clay court player ever in the French Open final. You played the greatest Australian Open player ever in the final there. How, if at all, does your mindset change facing a different kind of opponent in this final here? Or is it important for you to not change anything about your approach from facing those other guys?

DOMINIC THIEM: No, I mean, I won't change my mindset at all. I know what Sascha is capable of. Also the last match we had in Australia, we were both, I mean, really, really good. It was such a close match.

I will go in like in the previous six matches. As I said, I mean, from the moment Novak was out of the tournament, it was clear that there's going to be a new Grand Slam champion. From that moment on, that was also out of my mind. I was just focusing on the remaining guys left in the draw.

Now it's Sascha remaining, the last one, my opponent in the finals. I will fully focus on him and just go into that match like in the all other matches I was going in so far in this tournament.

He's a hell of a player. One of the greatest ones in last years. Won all titles besides a major. He will also try everything what he's capable of doing to win the title. It's going to be a super difficult match.

For me, it really doesn't matter whether it's him or one of the big three. I just try to go in there and give my best.

Q. What are the most important things you've learned over the years by watching and playing against the big three?

DOMINIC THIEM: I mean, it's a long story with them. Well, I started to watch Roger when I was only probably seven or eight years old. When he faced the first time Rafa in Roland Garros, I was only I guess 11.

First of all, I was watching, admiring them. Then when I got bigger and older, I was still watching them and trying to learn from them, trying to put the great parts what they have in their games into my game. Then finally the last stage what I came to was playing against them.

With every single match, doesn't matter if it's a win or a loss against them, it was a huge, huge experience for me. I learned a lot from every single match of them, against them, also every win against these three players, which are without a doubt the three greatest players which ever played that sport. So every win against them was a huge boost of confidence and a huge experience.

Well, throughout the years, first only watching, then watching and learning, then playing them. Was great experiences. Definitely they are also a part of the player I became now.

Q. There are not many opponents that you have beaten seven times out of nine. You mentioned the last match in Australia, which was very difficult. Is this situation a mental boost for you because you are psychologically stronger, or it's going to be more tension for you?

DOMINIC THIEM: I try not to think about both options. I mean, it's nice that I'm in front in the head-to-head 7-2. When we both step on the court on Sunday, it doesn't matter anymore. I mean, the moment we start the finals, we both want to win with everything we have. That's all I focus on.

A good record against Sascha, it doesn't help me at all. I expect a very tough, very open match. I guess that's what it's going to be.

Q. You've put your whole life into tennis. What would it mean to lift the US Open trophy Sunday?

DOMINIC THIEM: It's the biggest goal and also the biggest dream I have in my tennis career since a few years. I mean, since the moment I realized that maybe one day I can make it, and especially since I played the first finals of the French Open '18. This was the biggest goal I want to achieve.

It was really tough to digest that loss in Australia as I was super close back then. I'm happy that I gave myself pretty short time after that another chance with this win today, with the finals on Sunday.

Of course, it's pressure for me. At the same time I try to think not too much about it, no. At one point definitely I'll try everything to achieve the goal, to win the final on Sunday. On the other hand I face a great, great opponent.

He's also more than capable of winning that final. If it's not going to happen on Sunday, well, I have to continue working and maybe get the chance at another slam. Well, the chance is now on Sunday. I'll try everything to make it.

Q. What do you think could be the most important factors with the final and when you're playing that match? What's going to be crucial in there? And the fact that both of you are going for a first major title, will that also be a factor?

DOMINIC THIEM: That will be a factor, definitely. I think it's huge pressure for both of us. Both of us, we are working very hard since a long time to achieve that title. One of us going to make it on Sunday.

I think for me the most crucial point is the return of his serve, because his first serve is one of the if not the best out there right now. It's so fast, so precise. That will be a key point, I guess. Try to put many balls back in play.

Then, of course, also watch a little bit the semis in Australia, which was a great tennis match - probably the best match of the nine we played so far. Yeah, then I'll give it all on Sunday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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