Already on Wednesday, Dominic Thiem inaugurated the centercourt at Vienna’s Stadthalle. On Thursday, he had his first really long practice and answered a few questions afterwards. You can be sure: He is highly motivated for this year’s Erste Bank Open!
How’s your mental state after the trip to Asia?
I have taken all of the confidence back to Austria. Beijing was really good and I can’t complain about Shanghai either. The difficult phase from Cincinnati and New York is now helping me because I am still fresh and fit.
What was your program after your return?
I’m feeling pretty good right now. After my return I took two days off, then a day in the gym and since yesterday I’m on the court again. Today I had a long and really good practice. So, yes, I’m feeling good. From tomorrow I’ll only play points so that I’m ready for my first round match next Tuesday.
How special is the Stadthalle for you?
I will be playing here for the tenth time. It’s by far the first tournament I’ve ever watched live. All in all I’ll be here for the twentieth time or so – and it’s still special every single time. Yesterday I made the first hits on the court, which is also something truly special. Just imagining that the arena will be full in a few days is fantastic.
Is it just fun to play here or is there also pressure?
It’s never only fun. I’m experienced enough to know that it will be a rude if I go into the match just feeling joy. That usually ends up with a pretty bad feeling after losing such a match. I have to feel a bit of pressure and that’s good. Pressure helps to play well. You need a bit of stress to play your best tennis. So, it’s not pure joy but naturally that’s still the overwhelming part of it.
How important is it for you to practice this early here?
In the last years I’ve always started practicing on Thursday. As soon as the court is ready I’m on it and playing. It helps if you have five or six days in advance of your first match.