Dominic Thiem says he is pleasantly surprised by his own performance in Madrid and that 'everything is working quite well' as he reaches semi-finals.
The Madrid Masters is Thiem's first event back on Tour after taking two months off to 'reset' following some mental and physical struggles.
After winning his first Grand Slam at the end of 2020, the world number four took early exits at the Australian Open, Doha and Dubai in 2021 before admitting he felt like he was 'in a hole' and taking a break.
He then withdrew from the Miami Masters, Monte-Carlo Masters and Serbia Open and the Austrian admitted on arrival in Madrid that he had 'low expectations.'
But with each win this week, has come more confidence and he did well to come back from a set down in the quarterfinal against John Isner to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
After the match, Thiem said was happy with his performance and revealed he's surprised to have reached this far in the tournament.
“I’m pleased with everything about my game,” said Thiem. “I’ve played three very different opponents. Everything is working quite well.
“Goundstrokes are working well. The serve was pretty good all the time. The return today, especially in some parts of the game, was very good."
Thiem will now play Alexander Zverev in Saturday's semi-final, in a rematch of the 2020 US Open final in which the Austrian won in five sets.
The pair haven't played each other since and Thiem is 8-2 up on their head to head encounters. Zverev has only beaten Thiem once on clay, with that win coming in Madrid in 2018.
“I guess that I’m on the right path definitely," said Thiem.
"But still many things to improve, getting 100 per cent back in the match rhythm, anticipation and everything. I am surprised to be in the semi-finals.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?