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March 10, 2021

Dominic Thiem

Doha, Qatar

Press Conference

D. THIEM/A. Karatsev

6-7, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. There was some discomfort on your foot. Can you talk a bit about it?

DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, it's nothing too bad. I feel it almost in every match. I think there is little damage on both foots since very young age on, and of course it's sometimes a little bit painful but nothing to worry about. I feel it in almost every match. Well, I'm able to deal with it.

Q. You mentioned on court afterwards that you played Aslan when you were in juniors 10 or 11 years ago. It's a long time ago, so I don't know how much you remember. Did you think then that he was a player who maybe had a lot about him, or was it a real surprise to see him break through in Australia like he did?

DOMINIC THIEM: Well, back then I think he was as well a top 20 junior. We played in Roehampton on grass, so I cannot really remember that match, only that he won it.

But then I think 2015 or '16 or something like that he was with us in Tenerife for the season, for the preparation to the season, and I also think that he came to Vienna one or two times after that. So I knew him also before the breakthrough in Australia.

Well, he already had really dangerous and fast shots back then. So, I mean, obviously it was surprising that he goes that deep in a Grand Slam, but still, even in juniors and five, six years ago, you could see that he has a very dangerous game.

Q. It's been a year now that we have been doing these virtual press conferences. Do you like them or do you not like them? Do you prefer to be in person? What are your thoughts on all this?

DOMINIC THIEM: I'm okay with them, but I'm also fine with the one in person. I'm actually looking forward when they are back, because that means that we kind of have a normal life back when you guys are in person again at the tournaments.

So for now it is what it is, but of course I hope that in some months or, I don't know, latest in one year, we are back to normal.

Q. I'd like to know if I'm right or not. When you lost in Australia, I thought that maybe it was also because you couldn't practice as much as you are usually doing. Because you are known as a very hard worker. Many, many hours on practice, on gym, and with Technogym or different instruments. So now I'd like to know, was it because of that? How do you practice now? What do you do normally now? Few hours? Are you able to train as much as you want or not?

DOMINIC THIEM: No, it was not because of too little practice. I think I wouldn't practice more in normal ways. It was completely fine. Also, I was playing well the first three rounds in Australia.

I mean, as I said, there were different reasons there for the loss, and the last reason why I lost was my tennis. Many, many different reasons at that day.

Well, right now I'm practicing like before, no? I mean, sometimes twice a day, sometimes (audio difficulties) but not as much as some years ago when I was still younger.

Q. You said before the tournament that you're looking to put behind the loss of the Australian Open. When you were down in the first set, after you lost the first set, did you think that would be a problem? How did you come back in the next two sets? You played very well in the next two sets.

DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I was up in the tiebreak and then I lost it, which was not nice, but he helped me a little bit in that first game. I think he was hitting two double faults.

It's always, after you lost a close set, it's super important to have a good start to the next one. And that's what I had. It was pretty fast, 3-0, and so I was positive again in my mind, and I also loosened up a little bit and started to play better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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