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May 4, 2021

Dominic Thiem

Madrid, Spain

Press Conference

D. THIEM/M. Giron

6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said on court that you were a bit surprised about how well things went for you today. Was there any specific anxiety entering this match having not played in a couple of months?

DOMINIC THIEM: No, there was no anxiety, but definitely I was uncertain how things will be going. I mean, the game worked out very well in the last days of practice, but I was always practicing on the outside courts which are faster, which is smaller, so I was just not sure how it's gonna be in the match on the big center court.

But there were some things which I think made it a little bit easier, the match, after such a long time, especially the conditions in Madrid, which are great for me. Then amazing memories on this court where I already played probably some of the best matches of my career. So I think that's why things worked out quite well tonight.

Q. When you decided to take that break and having gone through that, I'm wondering, is this something you advise players to do if they are feeling a burnout on the tour or if they are feeling with the COVID restrictions and all of these things, do you feel that it would be beneficial from a mental health perspective for players to consider these kind of breaks?

DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I mean, everybody's different, you know. The break, for me of course it had a little bit also something to do with the COVID restrictions but not so much. You know, I mean, tennis is with some few other sports, the only sports which are 11 months in a row, basically. That's really tough.

Actually last year, as well, the six-months break, it felt so nice. It's definitely something I consider, as well, in the future to better take a little bit more off.

I think it's a good thing to do and especially when you get a little bit older. With 20, 21 of course you can play week after week. I also did that. But the older you get, the more experienced you get, I think it's good to do a break sometimes.

For me, it definitely helped. But as I said, everybody is different, so I don't want to give any advices.

Q. As you said, your break is something that helped you out. Can you elaborate a little bit on how it actually helped you? Do you feel like you're fresher now to play and to kind of create the intensity that your game needs to win in these important moments? Is that what you think it helped?

DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, as well, 100%. As I said before, everybody is different. Every player and every character is different. But me, for my game, I need 100% intensity and 100% energy. I'm not the guy who can serve through a match or who can play with a little bit intensity and is still winning. You know, I'm just not that type of guy. I need 100% in every aspect of my game.

I was just not able to put that on court like in Doha, Dubai, or towards the end of the Australian Open, so that's why it was better to take a break. Better to come back when it's possible again to play with that 100% in every aspect of my game.

That's also the goal for the future, no, to really play only tournaments where I'm ready 100% to compete.

Q. Would you say you feel a lot more comfortable now playing high-level matches after periods when you have been off in the sense that you don't need to play and have those reps to still be a really effective player? It's easier for you to find your game quicker?

DOMINIC THIEM: It's difficult to say, but if I'm ready and ready to put high intensity and high energy, probably I don't need that many matches to come back. For sure I need many good practices, yes, against all the opponents or against all the players I can face in those tournaments, but I think I'm able to be ready after long break from the first match on.

Q. Usually the clay season there is always very high expectations whether for yourself or from outside. It's a season where you have done very well every single year, so I'm curious now this time, you're perhaps lowering your expectations a little bit because you haven't been playing. How are you reconciling both realities where this is a time where you usually do really, really well but you're still kind of not expecting too much?

DOMINIC THIEM: Well, I mean, there were times in March where I was really feeling bad in general. Even then, I mean, I had in the back of my head the big goal of Roland Garros. That's still where my expectations are, are very high about. That's where I want to be at the top of my game again.

Here in Madrid, honestly two weeks ago I was not sure if I'm playing here, so the expectations are still super low. A win like today is already a big success, because I get a chance to play another match in a top level, so that will help me again for the next weeks.

But, well, here the expectations are super low, and I'm gonna hopefully rise them from tournament to tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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