August 30, 2020
New York, New York, USA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Your reaction to the news that there had been a player, Benoit Paire, who tested positive, would be withdrawn from the tournament?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I mean, there's so many people involved in this tournament. The possibility that somebody is going to be positive is pretty high. I just wish all the best to Benoit. Hopefully nobody else is positive, as well. That's the most important thing.
Of course, after Benoit gets healthy very soon again, that's it. As I said, the possibility that somebody's positive with all these people around was pretty high. So just have to hope that it's not too many and Benoit is healthy very soon again.
Q. Do you feel safe with the setup, with the controlled environment for these two tournaments leading into the US Open?
DOMINIC THIEM: I think there is no safer place in the world right now than here. Maybe you can lock yourself somewhere in a cave or something, I don't know, in the middle of the sea. Otherwise it's super safe here. We are in a bubble.
But still something can happen, as you could see with Benoit. We hope that nobody else is infected. In general, it's very, very safe and very strict, yeah.
Q. Obviously the Cincinnati event didn't go as you wanted. You know what you are capable of. How did you go about resetting, getting ready to get going with the Open?
DOMINIC THIEM: Things like that, matches like that, are happening. I also saw how well Filip was playing after this match. He was beating Fucsovics 2-1. He almost beat Raonic easy in two sets. He's playing super good at the moment. Me, I didn't have my best day. That's how this result comes.
Exactly as you said, I know about my strength. I know things can change very quickly. Well, I hope that I do better at the Open. Of course, it's a little bit weird to stay at the same courts, stay at the same place for another tournament, but I hope that I learned the right things from this match from Cincinnati and do it better from Tuesday on.
Q. This is a unique situation. Usually you're going to a new place, different venue. How have you stayed busy in the bubble?
DOMINIC THIEM: Exactly, it's not easy. Normally if you lose, you're always super pissed and disappointed if you lose. Normally you hop on the plane and go to a different place. It's easier to forget. Here you're stuck in the same place for a very long time. So it's not easy to forget the loss, to get your mind on different things.
But, yeah, just try to take a day off, watch TV, some matches. Watch some matches also live on the court, which is not that easy under normal circumstances. That's what I was trying to do. The last days, of course, practicing and preparing for the Open.
Q. What do you think about the new tennis players association that began yesterday?
DOMINIC THIEM: I have not so much to say about it because I didn't read through it. I didn't sign it because, well, I don't know about it. I also think that what ATP is doing is pretty good. Of course, they are not perfect. Nobody's perfect. But in general tennis is in a pretty good place.
It's difficult times right now because of the COVID crisis. Tennis is not the only thing which is offended by the COVID crisis.
I think it's very important that we are united and not separated. As I said, I'm not involved enough to say too much about it.
Q. You talked about the unusual circumstances of staying in town from one tournament to the next. Another thing that's unusual is the tour will quickly go to clay, the French Open two weeks after New York. You've had a ton of success on clay at Roland Garros. What do you think that challenge will be like moving so quickly from the end of New York to the start in Paris?
DOMINIC THIEM: It's a new situation, but it's happening similar between two Grand Slam tournaments in Paris and Wimbledon. There you also have only three weeks' time in between.
It's possible. Of course, it's not easy because you, as well, have the time difference, the change of continents. We'll see. It's going to be a new challenge for everybody.
Probably it's even an advantage for the players who are not doing that well here in New York because they're going to be fresher and better prepared for the French Open. But we'll see. It's a new situation, as I said, also for myself. I don't know how I'm going to face it.
For now I'm fully focused on this tournament. Try to do as good as possible here in New York.
Q. Your first-round opponent, Jaume Munar, I believe you have a 3-Love record against him. Can you talk about his game, memories from previous matches you've had against him.
DOMINIC THIEM: The previous matches, they were all pretty close, especially the one in Rio. I think I was a set and a break down. I almost lost that one.
Things didn't change that much during the crisis. It's still every player who is in the main draw of the US Open is amazingly good. I definitely have to be the top of my performance to beat any player here in the draw.
That's the thing, I need to be prepared well, I need to play well, I need to fight 100%. If I'm able to do that, I'm going to have great chances. If not, I'm going to be out. It's pretty easy.
Advantage is that I know how Jaume is playing, what I have to expect. It's going to be our first match on hard court. I'm curious. Of course, I'm also happy that Grand Slam tennis is back.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports