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Dominic Thiem didn’t come away with a win over Alexander Zverev in semifinal action on Saturday in Madrid, but the Austrian is taking the 6-3, 6-4 loss in stride. Thiem says he surprised himself by playing so well in his first match after a six-week hiatus, and he’s looking forward to continuing his progress as Roland Garros approaches.

Tennis Express

“If I look back now, I wouldn't change too much,” Thiem told Tennis Now during his Zoom press conference on Saturday. “I mean, it was just not enough against Sascha, who played well I think.”

Thiem gave praise to his rival, saying that he felt there wasn’t much he could do as Zverev confidently served out his victory.

“I think if you, for example, look back on the last game, he served 227, 228. You cannot do too much. He was just the better player today. I 100 percent accept that.”

The Austrian, who won three matches to reach the semifinals in Madrid, says he didn’t expect to play so well.

“In general I'm super happy with the week,” he said. “I would have never expected to be in the semifinals, to play in the semifinals a player like him. I cannot complain about anything.”

Still Room for Improvement

Thiem says he is now ready to take the next step on the clay after getting his feet wet on tour again.

“It was a way better result than I expected,” he said. “Playing-wise and physically-wise I expected to be in a decent shape. But, of course, there are still many things to improve just to keep all intensity for all the week, day in, day out. Of course, some of the strokes, they need a little improvement. But I'm very optimistic that every week I'm playing now it's going to improve. Especially for the confidence it was important to get a great result here.

“I'm happy that I think I'm on the right track.”