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Djokovic feels sense of history as Thiem looks to dispel tennis’ elite three

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on June 6, 2019 - Duration: 05:02s

Djokovic feels sense of history as Thiem looks to dispel tennis’ elite three

VIDEO SHOWS: POST-MATCH NEWS CONFERENCES WITH NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND DOMINIC THIEM EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: CONTAINS WHITE FLASHES RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SHOTLIST AND SCRIPT SHOWS: PARIS, FRANCE (JUNE 6,

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Djokovic feels sense of history as Thiem looks to dispel tennis’ elite three

VIDEO SHOWS: POST-MATCH NEWS CONFERENCES WITH NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND DOMINIC THIEM EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: CONTAINS WHITE FLASHES RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SHOTLIST AND SCRIPT SHOWS: PARIS, FRANCE (JUNE 6, 2019) (FFT - NO RESALES) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NOVAK DJOKOVIC, SAYING: "Well, the presence of history-making is stronger than ever right now in my career.

I think the longer I play or the further I go, I guess, in my career, the sense of history-making is only getting stronger.

Because that's one of the greatest motivations I have, obviously.

I think there is no better way to make history in the sport than to win slams and play your best in the biggest events and obviously try to stay number 1 as long as you can.

Those are, results-wise, the pinnacle achievements that you can have in our sport." 2.

WHITE FLASH 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NOVAK DJOKOVIC, SAYING: "Dominic is deservedly where he is , one of the top four guys and especially on clay.

That's where he's playing his best tennis.

He's got that tremendous power in his game, especially with forehand and serve and I think backhand also has improved a lot in the last couple of years.

It seems like his relationship with (coach Nicolas) Massu has helped him a lot, also mentally, I think, in big matches.

It seems like it has been working really well.

If he continues playing this way, not just on clay, but in general, I think we will probably be seeing him more often on different surfaces in the final stages of the tournaments." 4.

WHITE FLASH 5.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NOVAK DJOKOVIC, ON NEW FACES IN SEMIS IN THE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT, SAYING: "I think it's really good for a sport to see new faces and I'm sure that people are also excited and looking forward to seeing some new champions of Grand Slams against big tournaments on the men's side as well.

Hopefully that will come after I finish my career [LAUGHS]." 6.

WHITE FLASH 7.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DOMINIC THIEM, SAYING: "I'm fourth time now in the semi-finals.

And I was playing Djokovic, Nadal, (Marco) Cecchinato and Djokovic which is really tough and that's what I've always said.

It's incredibly difficult to win a Grand Slam.

Because especially for us players who didn't have one yet, because if everything goes quite normal, we have to beat two players with 15 or more Grand Slams. So, I think everyone can imagine how difficult this is.

But I will step on the court tomorrow try everything, of course, give everything and I hope it's going to be positive in the end.

But the challenge is huge.

Novak is in very good shape again, probably playing his best tennis of his life.

And I'm in the semi-finals with maybe the three best players of all time, so everybody can see how tough the way it is for me." 8.

WHITE FLASH 9.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DOMINIC THIEM, SAYING: "The surface doesn't matter against them.

All of them have won all four slams. So, the surface doesn't really matter.

They're so tough on any of the surfaces.

And I think it's never happened in any era of men's tennis that you have three players with 15-plus Grand Slams. I mean, they are the only three with 15-plus Grand Slams so that shows it all.

And I'm now in the fourth time here in the semis and I know now how tough it is to get here, to get this deep in a tournament and these three have been doing it since, I don't know 10, 15 years almost at any Grand Slam so that shows what their level is.

So, they are absolutely amazing.

But on the other hand, I know all three of them, I've played many, many times against all of them.

I feel really good in their company, but I'm trying everything to beat them." 10.

WHITE FLASH 11.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DOMINIC THIEM, SAYING: "Everything is very good at the moment.

Great energy coming from outside when I'm playing the matches.

The practices are going very well and of course it's also very important to keep good mood.

We are alone (with other players) together since a few weeks in Europe and here in Paris since two and a half weeks now.

But all of them are super, amazing people.

I have a lot of fun also with them which is very important to keep a good mood over all these weeks.

When there's time to work, we work very hard and very intense, so it's perfect right now." STORY: Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem booked their spots in the second semi-final of the French Open after beating Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov on Thursday (June 6) in straight sets respectively.

Djokovic, who hasn't lost a set in the tournament so far, survived a break in the first set before breaking back and taking the set 7-5.

He then romped through the next two 6-2 6-2.

The Serb, who hasn't lost a Grand Slam match since a last-eight loss at the French Open last year, now registers his 26th consecutive Grand Slam win, picking up Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and January's Australian Open in the process.

The man tasked next with stopping him is Austrian Dominic Thiem who, at world number four, is ranked one place higher than Thursday's victim.

Thiem was himself ruthless, dispatching Russian Karen Khachanov 6-2 6-4 6-2.

The Austrian, runner-up to Rafael Nadal last year, hardly put a foot wrong throughout the one-sided contest.

During a post-match news conference, Djokovic said the chance to make history in the sport was "one of the greatest motivations I have." Thiem, on the other hand, said he is "in the semi-finals with maybe the three best players of all time," and that though he enjoys the company of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, he is, "trying everything to beat them." (Production: Kurt Michael Hall)

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