June 8, 2019
D. THIEM/N. Djokovic
6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.
Q. Well done. Big fight. I guess that you're more happy now than what you were yesterday when the match was interrupted on 3-1 in the third set. Is that correct? And what were your feelings yesterday and what are your feelings today?
DOMINIC THIEM: No, I was not unhappy yesterday, because I went to the locker room with 3-1 lead in the third set. I just did the break.
And, I mean, conditions were very, very tough yesterday. I think I never played in such a wind. It was supposed to rain.
So, for me, it was a decent decision to interrupt. I was up. You know, I just did the break for 3-1. It was fine for me.
Q. (Question off microphone.)
DOMINIC THIEM: I'm even more happy, of course. It was my first five-setter in Roland Garros. It was an epic match. I mean, so many ups and downs and rain, going back to the locker, on court again.
Somehow I had the feeling that I had the lead in the whole match, and then at the end it got so tough. And at the end, both of us we could win, and I luckily got the better in the end.
Q. That was a big win again today. I have seen some headlines where, once again, they are referring to you as The Thieminator. I wonder if that's a nickname you enjoy or not? And also, what big weapons will you need to take onto the court with you tomorrow against Rafa in the final?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, I'm not the biggest fan of all these nicknames (smiling). That's your guys' job to give me.
And about tomorrow, it's gonna be -- I mean, it's always, to play Rafa here on this court, is always the ultimate challenge, one of the toughest challenges sports in general give.
I played a really good match against him in Barcelona. It was six weeks ago. So of course I try to do similar even though it's way tougher to play him here.
But I try to keep all the positive emotions I'm having right now, I'm having from this amazing match today, and go with a really positive mind into the match tomorrow, and then we'll see.
Q. How do you feel physically now after all these hectic days? What will you do to recover on time for the finals?
DOMINIC THIEM: I feel good. Luckily I didn't have so many long matches before today. And today and yesterday, of course, was tough. It's probably a little bit more difficult to play these four hours with all the interruption than if you played in one time.
But still, I'm feeling fine. I'm full of adrenaline, of course, still from today's match, and also I will have that tomorrow. So I'm not going to be tired. It's all going to come after the tournament.
So I'm ready to leave all or everything what I have out on the court tomorrow.
Q. You had a lot of success in this match when Novak came to net. You won more than half the points when he came to net. Was that part of your game plan to draw him up off the baseline and get him where he's more uncomfortable? Because it certainly worked.
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, it was not really the game plan what I had, but it's so tough to volley or to play well at the net with all that wind. I mean, if you put a good spin on it, it's so tough to volley this one. And especially on the one side where we played against the wind, I was trying to hit that short, flat slice, because, well, the ball didn't get up again.
So I think that was a pretty good tactic.
Q. You have to play four days in a row if you play tomorrow. Rafa has to play only on Tuesday and on Friday. Do you think it's fair? Yesterday did you discuss the possibility of playing the final maybe on Monday?
DOMINIC THIEM: I think it's fine. I mean, it's not the first time that that happens in tennis, and it's not going to be the last time. That's our sport.
I mean, we are used to it, that we never know when we're gonna play or sometimes we supposed to have a day off, and then, because of rain or other things, we don't have. So it's okay, I think.
If you see US Open back in the days, it was planned to play Saturday/Sunday. So it's fine for me.
Q. Was it difficult to get your head in the right place after the first two match points went past?
DOMINIC THIEM: It was tough, because I was on the good side, let's say, because the wind was in my back and I served for the match. Two match points where I was too passive. Didn't hit the ball also because the wind was pretty strong in this game.
But of course it was tough, because I knew that I'm going to be on the bad side again, so probably he's gonna hold.
And then big, key point was this service game at 5-All when I had the wind against me, and I played a really good game and then my mind was up again. Because we both broke each other many times when the return player was on this side where it was easier for us because of the wind, so I knew that -- or I hoped that I was getting more chances there.
Q. You have had an interesting tournament on and off the court here this fortnight. Are you going to take this same ballsy, fearless attitude into the final against Rafa tomorrow?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, many things happened during this tournament. So, I mean, it's also nice in a sort of way it didn't get boring at one day. (Laughter.)
But that's everything in the past. I mean, I'm only looking ahead for tomorrow's match. It's an unbelievable opportunity. I said last year that I hope to get another chance in a Grand Slam final and hope to do better then, so tomorrow there is the chance.
So I'm not gonna think about some funny things what happen in the last weeks.
Q. You said that it's the toughest challenge to beat Rafa. Why you can beat him? Just Robin Soderling and Novak could. So what's your strength?
DOMINIC THIEM: I don't know yet, because I never beat him here on this court. But still, I had some very good matches in the past against him on clay, and I also beat him on clay already. I think it's really important that I go into the match with the belief to win. That's the most important thing.
Also, I mean, of course it's big dream for me to win that match tomorrow, to win this title. But I also have in my head that if it's not happening tomorrow, which can happen easy because of the opponent which is on the other side of the net, so I think I don't make myself too much pressure.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports