May 1, 2021
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How was the break? How happy are you to be back in competition?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, the break was good. I also needed it. But now it's also time to be back. I think Madrid is a great place for me. I have only good memories to that tournament.
Conditions are amazing for my game. The results were always so good in the past years. I'm happy to be back here and hope that I can also play well.
Q. How was your preparation for Madrid? Since you have played against Nadal on clay, what will you say he has improved the most to play on clay, still winning like Barcelona last week?
DOMINIC THIEM: I was preparing in Austria, doing lot of physical practice, lot of tennis practice. I think that I'm on a good level.
The second question about Rafa, I think he's improving his game constantly. I first played him in Buenos Aires 2016, so more than five years ago. Oh, no, seven years in French Open.
I think since that time he, well, improved every part of his game. That's also what you need to do to be successful every new year. That's why he's such a great role model.
Q. Because of the postponement of Roland Garros, you will get a good amount of time to work things out. In the deep of your heart, do you think you have one of the best chances to claim the French Open this year?
DOMINIC THIEM: I don't know. I mean, my goal is to get a lot of matches against top players until French Open, to give myself the best chance possible there.
It's the same like every year, no? It's the same like every Grand Slam. It's so tough to go deep there. It's so tough to win it. But once I arrive to Roland Garros, I want to be in the best physical shape, in the best tennis shape, so I give myself the best chances to go deep there.
Q. How would you your play compared to this time last year, your current level of form?
DOMINIC THIEM: 12 months ago or two years ago?
Q. 12 months.
DOMINIC THIEM: I don't know. Well, 12 months ago we were in the middle of the first lockdown, which was really, really strict. We were not even allowed to go to the tennis courts back then. I was just doing physical practice.
Probably now I'm in a better shape than 12 months ago. As I said, one year ago we were in the middle of the first lockdown which was completely new situation for everybody.
Q. There will be a crowd in Madrid, 40% capacity. I know how important it is. Before the pandemic we took it for granted. How important is it for you to have a crowd in Madrid?
DOMINIC THIEM: It's so nice. I was just driving in to the site for the first time, saw people on the stands, which was pretty new again for me. Except Australia, there was nowhere crowd. But here the stands were pretty full. I think 30 to 40% is quite a lot.
I can't wait to play in front of people again.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports