"I need 100 percent in every aspect of my game" - Thiem credits high intensity for easy win in Madrid
The third seed who has not competed since March 16, looked revitalized as he dominated the American in a 6-1 6-3 victory. There were no signs of rust as the Austrian controlled play with aggressive groundstrokes, finishing the match in just 58 minutes.
"I was uncertain how things will be going. The game worked out very well in the past days of practice, but I was always practicing on the outside courts which are faster, which are smaller, so I was just not sure how it was going to be in the match," Thiem said after the match. "But there were some things which I think made the match a little bit easier after such a long time, especially the conditions in Madrid, which are great for me."
The two-time finalist (2017, 2018) relied on his previous experience on the court, and admitted he was unable to hit his stride at the start of the season.
"I have amazing memories on this court, where I already played probably some of the best matches of my career. I think that's why things worked out quite well tonight," reflected Thiem.
"For my game, I need 100 per cent intensity and 100 per cent energy. I'm not the guy who can serve through a match or who can play with a little bit of intensity and still win. I'm just not that type of guy," he added. "I need 100 per cent in every aspect of my game. I was just not able to put that on court in Doha, Dubai, or towards the end of the Australian Open, so that's why it was better to take a break.
"It was better to come back when it's possible again to play with that 100 per cent in every aspect of my game."
The reigning US Open champion will face Alex De Minaur in the next round, with the Australian defeating Lloyd Harris 6-2 3-0 after the latter was forced to retire.