World No. 4 Dominic Thiem lost to former champion Alexander Zverev in the semifinals of the Madrid Open on Saturday. The Austrian was, however, not too upset by his loss, and after the match he asserted that his campaign in Caja Magica was considerably better than he had imagined it would be.
Dominic Thiem made his comeback to the tour in Madrid after being away for more than a month due to a slew of physical and mental struggles. But he gave a good account of himself throughout the week as he played some clutch tennis to reach the last four.
The Austrian eventually ran out of gas against Alexander Zverev, who had also beaten Rafael Nadal earlier. Thiem's groundstrokes looked compromised for most of the contest as he stumbled to a 3-6, 4-6 defeat.
Speaking to the media after the loss, Dominic Thiem claimed he was content with his week in Madrid and that he was in "decent shape" in terms of his game and physical conditioning.
Thiem had previously insisted that his "style of play cannot function effectively at anything less than 100 percent". He doubled down on that sentiment in his presser on Saturday, and asserted that he just has to play with sustained intensity in every match moving forward.
"It was a way better result than I expected," Thiem said. "Playing-wise and physically-wise, I expected to be in decent shape. Of course, there are many things to improve, just to keep up the intensity for the entire week, day-in and day-out."
Dominic Thiem added that although his groundstrokes needed "a little improvement", he doesn't intend to dwell on the loss as he will only be moving upwards in the coming few weeks.
"Some of the strokes need a little improvement, but I’m very optimistic that every week I’m playing it’s going to improve, especially for the confidence," the Austrian added. "It was important to get a great result here. So, I’m happy that I think I am on the right track."
"Many things to improve, getting 100% back in the match rhythm, anticipation and everything" - Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem went on to pinpoint some of the attributes that he was looking to improve after his Madrid exit. The 27-year-old believes his rhythm and anticipation need to be fine-tuned further, along with a few other small details.
"I guess that I'm on the right way definitely," Thiem said. "But still many things to improve, getting 100% back in the match rhythm, anticipation and everything."