Dominic Thiem says he's 'super happy' that he reached the Madrid semi-finals and hopes he's on the right track to play even better in Rome.
Thiem hadn't played competitively for almost two months going in to Madrid and admitted to having 'low expectations' of himself on arrival at the tournament.
He'd used his time away from the game to 'reset' and find his motivation for the sport again after struggling mentally earlier this year which showed in his early exits at the Australian Open, Doha and Dubai.
But the Austrian surprised himself, racking up three wins before falling in the semi-finals to a formidable Alexander Zverev, and the world number four says the week has filled him with optimism.
"It was a way better result than I expected,” said Thiem.
“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.”
Thiem is now in Rome for the Italian Open, an event he has previously reached the semi-finals of, and he will be hoping another good week will set him for a successful run at Roland Garros.
“In general, I’m super happy with the week. I would have never expected to be in the semi-finals, to play in the semi-finals [against] a player like [Zverev]. I cannot complain about anything.
“Of course, there are many things to improve for next week and then for the weeks after, as well. Just try to get to Rome, get some good practices in there, then hopefully play even better than here in Madrid.”
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