March 8, 2021
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How are you looking at the Doha tournament in terms of you have bigger tournaments, you have the Grand Slams during the season, you're looking at Doha as a preparation, you're looking at it in isolation? How do you look at these tournaments apart from the Grand Slams? What are your first impressions about Doha, the courts, the condition?
DOMINIC THIEM: First impressions are pretty good. I also pretty much like the conditions in the past year. Courts are not too fast. It's a good temperature all day long. I think the matches, they start only in the afternoon, so that's great stuff to play on there.
It's gonna be my first tournament and the first match since over a month, since pretty devastating loss at the Australian Open, so still I had to digest that one and to settle everything new.
But still I had a pretty good preparation the last weeks for this tournament. It's gonna be the last tournaments on the hard court for a pretty long time, so try to have some good results.
But, I mean, the draw is unbelievable strong, so never know what's happening, but I just try to have a good start and to be there on a good level from the very first point.
Q. It's been like almost exactly a year since Indian Wells shut down and then all kind of sports stopped. Wondering what your memory is of that period, when it stopped and when you realized tennis wasn't coming back for a long time.
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, first of all, it feels like, I don't know, three years or something. Many things on and off court happened in that year, so it felt like a very long time.
Of course the memory is very clear still, the moment when everybody was prepared for Indian Wells, everybody was looking forward, and then the tournament was canceled.
In the beginning, well, I thought that the tour is gonna be back in two or three weeks and everything is gonna be normal again. But slowly, of course, me and also everybody else realized that it's a serious, dangerous thing going on and that there is going to be a longer break.
As I said, memories are still very clear, but the daily routine of myself and then of all the athletes I think is back since probably nine or ten months, so feels a bit more normal, I guess.
Q. How do you look back to the comeback of Roger here in Doha?
DOMINIC THIEM: I think that I'm speaking for everybody, no, that even me that I would say we are rivals, and of course we want to beat each other in the tournament, I still really love to watch him play tennis, no? It just looks so beautiful, it looks so nice, the way he plays, the way he approaches the game of tennis, no?
So at one hand, I'm also a big fan of him still, and that's why I really love that he's back and that I can watch him again. That's what pretty much everybody is thinking, and I hope that he's coming back strong, as well.
Q. What did you analyze from your loss at the Australian Open after returning back to home and retrospect about your run in Melbourne?
DOMINIC THIEM: I mean, there were so many things coming together in this fourth-round match, issues from all different parts. So that was a very tough experience, the Australian Open. I needed some time to digest everything, to analyze everything, to settle down a little bit.
But I guess that now it's done, now it's time to focus on new things. And here, the tournament in Doha, is the first chance to play better again, to get good results, to get confidence and to forget the pretty tough start of the season.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports