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May 30, 2021

Dominic Thiem

Paris, France

Press Conference


4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tough loss today. Obviously Pablo played well. Do you think it was a situation of you just getting outplayed in those last three sets or did you struggle with some of the motivational issues and mental struggles that you have talked about in the last few months?

DOMINIC THIEM: Not at all. I mean, I was not struggling at all with my motivation, but the game was just not there today. Like all the shots are missing power. They are not accurate enough. I'm moving not well enough, so everything in my game there are some percents missing, you know.

Actually, I don't really know why, because since I stepped back on court it's already two months, and I was really practicing well, super intense as well. Shots were there in practice and it got also better in Madrid and Rome. But Lyon and here, I mean, the shots and all how I moved and everything was just not the real me, I would say, or my version who is able to play for big titles.

It's just not good enough at the moment. And, yeah, it's very tough situation.

Q. When a lead is slipping away like that, how hard is it to switch back the momentum to stay positive to try and stay on the front foot?

DOMINIC THIEM: It's kind of the first situation like that, what I'm facing, because basically all my career, all the last five, six, seven years was a way up all the time. I mean, of course I was sometimes dropping from 5 to 8 in the ranking or whatever, but never had losses like that, especially here in Roland Garros.

Losing after being two sets to zero up, it's very strange to me, and, I mean, I have to analyze it and think about it what's wrong at the moment. And then of course try to hit back as soon as possible.

Q. Despite the struggles, it seemed like early in the fifth set you might pull this out. I think you had a break, did you have a breakpoint or you were close to having a breakpoint to go up 3-1, I think. Did you feel like it was sort of in your hands at that point? Did you feel confident again?

DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, when I was breaking back 1-All, then I played a good service game 2-1 and then I played actually a quite good game and I had chances for 3-1. But again, I was missing a second serve, what I usually shouldn't miss.

In general, there were not only break chances or game points or whatever, but, I mean, in a match like that, there are always little chances coming up. I was just not playing well enough in those moments to run away with the score or to put the match on my side in the fifth set.

If you have a breakpoint in the fifth set and you miss a second-serve return, it's a disaster, no?

Q. Because you have had so much success here, you have spoken of previous memories. Does it make it a lot harder that it's earlier on this kind of defeat or does it not matter when it is in the tournament?

DOMINIC THIEM: It does feel very tough, as I was used to since 2016 to play very deep in this tournament. But at the same time, the last first-round exit in a Grand Slam, US Open 2019, is not that long ago. So was not like, I don't know, like the big three who are never losing before the quarters.

I mean, I had early losses before, but especially here where since 2015 I didn't have them, it feels weird and it feels very difficult.

Q. When Pete Sampras won his first major at the US Open and when Mats Wilander ascended to No. 1 in the world, both of them said they struggled a great deal after such great success. Can you take some solace in knowing you follow these tremendous players in history and can work your way back from that?

DOMINIC THIEM: That's my goal, and I'm sure that Sampras and Wilander are not the only two. I think that Novak, I mean, on another level than me, but after winning here in 2016, I guess he also had some struggles.

I mean, it's amazing to reach such a big goal, but at the same time, something is different after. As I said before the tournament, it's a big learning process, and despite the loss, which hurts so much, I still hope I can bounce back stronger than before. But, well, right now I don't know when the moment is coming.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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