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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-21-2016 06:02 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

Do you know where Grigor will made pre-season preparation for new season? In Miami like last season or?
10-30-2016 01:38 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor


25-year-old Grigor Dimitrov is a passionate individual and lives a rich, rewarding life outside of tennis. With age, though, he believes that he is maturing into a proficient worker and more focused athlete. Heís confident that he can win majors and get to No.1 if he takes the right steps.

Back in the top 20 after a productive stretch with new coach Dani Vallverdu and ahead of his final event of the year at the BNP Paribas Masters, TennisTVís Chris Oddo caught up with the upbeat Bulgarian last week to talk about many topics, including his admiration for Rafael Nadal, surrendering to tennis and where he wants to be this time next year.

TennisTV: On your relationship with Dani Vallverdu, you mentioned thereís a closeness and a comfort there. Iím wonderingóis this the best youíve felt with a specific coach in a long time?
Grigor Dimitrov: Yeah, I think itís very important to find that balance between a player and a coach. I think we kind of started from one day to the next, it was a pretty rapid move for both of us, considering I still had my coaches at the time and he was doing some tryouts with other players. I think as a player I just feel that we kind of molded into each otherís lives pretty well and we found our rhythm pretty much right away.

But as I said thereís still a lot to get to know about each other. To work and to find even a better balance and start winning even bigger matches and of course bigger tournaments.

TTV: You are certainly off to a good start with him. What would you say specifically it is about Dani that you like?
GD: Heís one of those guys that likes to work. Heís work ethic is absolutely outstanding. Even after tough matches weíve been going on the court to keep on working on things that we could have done better during tournaments. Just little details like that in the long term make a bigger difference. I think it really, really helps, especially nowadays against the players that I have to face, to know that I have extra balls on them, extra practice time and all that. In the long-term hopefully things can even get better for us.

TTV: Your ranking has improved so much just in the last three months. Where would you like to be this time next year?
GD: This time next year hopefully I can be aiming at London. Itís been a dream of mine to get there, to the World Tour Finals. A couple of years ago I missed it by one spot so for sure I was sad about that and I always wanted to be able to play there and be part of it because I feel I deserve it. You know, like Ďwhy not me?í So I think itís pretty much the most important goal for me. But again, if we stay healthy and do the right work then everything can happen.

TTV: Is there a feeling between you and your coach that thereís a window right now? Youíre 25 and you look at the Big Four - Rafa and Roger have pulled the plug on the season; Novak and Andy will be 30 by this time next year Ė itís not that theyíre done by any means, but do you feel like the time is now for you to seize on an opportunity?
GD: I think regardless, the time is always now. In the sense of you have to beat those types of players to get anywhere you want to go, basically. I donít want to say ĎOkay hereís the crack, letís sneak in it and make this gap bigger.í

At the same time Iíve been winning quite a few close matches, beating good players, first time Iíve beaten players that Iíve never beaten, so thatís a step for me. Everyoneís got a different path so you never know, we see a few loose matches from Roger or Novak or players like that, but at the same time itís not like theyíve been playing bad the whole year. Itís just been a couple of tournaments. Itís kind of a mental game so in the end you just look at yourself and go on with the things that you have to do. I think the best thing you can do is look yourself in the mirror and say okay Iíve given myself the best chance possible. So, I think thatís what is valuable to me right now.

TTV: In Beijing when you defeated Rafa for the first time you had some amazing words for him that really pumped up the fans because they were thrilled to hear how inspired you were by Nadal and how much that meant to you. Besides Rafa, are there other players out there that also inspire you?
GD: I think there are a lot of players I can use for inspiration. Obviously Andy, for example, has been playing tremendous tennis lately and I think the older he gets the better he gets. Of course Novak, I can say a lot about him, but the reason Iím saying Rafa is because I feel I can actually relate to him a little bit.

The way he is I think on the court and I think a little bit where he comes from and his fighting spirit, so thatís why I say that Rafa is an inspiration. I think heís one of the greatest fighters in my eyes. And again, you know everyone has a different inspiration. And to that extent for what Iím doing right now, I have so many other interests in life, besides tennis, so for sure I can say that I have other things that inspire me, but when it comes to tennis, and mental toughness and work ethic and all that, Rafa is one of the workhorses that is just unbelievable. You can send him to war any time, any day, so thatís pretty amazing.

TTV: Youíve always seemed to live a passionate life outside of tennis, you embrace the arts, the fashion, the culture, the experience of just being a person in the world. How important is it for you as a person to be that type of well-rounded person and have that type of life away from the game
GD: I think tennis gave me everything in life. Everything. The contacts, the people, the life that I wanted, the life that I imagined, and I still feel every year that Iím playing, every year that Iím fortunate enough to play on the tour I always feel like, wow, thereís just more to it. I keep going and I keep finding something new each year, which makes me super-happy and makes life easier. Itís not easy travelling like 22-24 weeks a year, non-stop doing the same things. The rehab, the stretching, the taping the stringing, the opponents.

You have to fight through this every single day so I think itís nice to have a bit of a window where you can be like ĎOkay I need to open that window to breathe a little bit,í because at the end of the day tennis isnít everything in life. Itís a period of life that you experience. After that something else begins. Itís like a chapter. In my life, tennis has given me everything so thatís what Iím trying to embrace also - everything that comes along with it.

But, of course, with each year Iím feeling that Iím getting a bit more mature and that Iím getting more comfortable in tennis, and Iím starting to realise whatís really, really important and now I know when I should have the rest and whether I should or shouldnít go to this fashion show, so I appreciate tennis way more nowadays, and Iím enjoying every single part of it. Of course, when youíre young you also do some mistakes, you pay for it at some point and you try to just move on and put everything else behind you.

TTV: You recently said you had to surrender yourself back to tennis again. This was also in Beijing. You also admitted that you had some mixed emotions in your career before. What has it taken for you to arrive at this type of clarity? Is it a recent development for you?
GD: I think overall Iím a pretty deep person and I like to go with a lot of philosophical viewpoints in lifeóthatís how I like to see it sometimes. But I think there always comes a point in your life where you just draw a line and say ĎAlright, thatís it.í And I think this is where the man part of a real man shows up. The man always reaches that point in life where itís like ĎOkay, Iíve done my mistakes, so letís just give myself the best shot possibleí. And when you can look yourself in the mirror and say Iíve done it all, Iíve given myself the best shot, this is when that line comes.

Iíve always been a hard worker. Iíve always worked. Iíve never felt that I was lacking on the work ethic; it was just the right amount of work or doing the right work. Thatís what I feel was the missing part for me. Everything else was pretty normal, pretty natural to me. Thatís why at a certain point I was like: Ďwow, this is ití. And thatís how I surrendered myself and those are the things that are very important to me right now.

TTV: When itís all said and done and your career is over, what would you like written on your tennis tombstone?
GD: Well, a Grand Slam has always been on my mind. In my dreams and everything. I think that once you win a Slam youíve established yourself not only as a player but as one of those guys. And I often ask myself the question: ĎWhy canít I do it?í

I think Iím capable of doing that. I know I am. Iím saying, what makes me so different than the others? I work just as much if not more, but I still donít get it. I think definitely that and why not No.1? Why not?

TTV: So, tombstone: ďGrigor Dimitrov: Grand Slam champion and former No.1?Ē
GD: Yeah!

TTV: And last questionÖthe seasonís about to be over, are you looking forward to taking a nice break, do you have any holiday plans lined up?
GD: Iím actually going to go to Africa on safari with my family. Iím looking forward to it. Thereís still Paris to play so Iím just looking forward to ending up on a good note, then I can draw the line and say ĎThis what Iíve done this year, Iím happy for now, and letís get back to work after.í

10 Minutes With...Grigor Dimitrov
10-26-2016 05:51 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

Here is the article in English : Dimitrov, Thiem To Play Sofia In 2017 | ATP World Tour | Tennis
10-24-2016 11:53 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

a good news to me, too.
10-24-2016 11:16 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

Great news
10-24-2016 11:16 AM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

Grigor will be playing in his home tournament next year (Sofia). Article in Bulgarian: ?????? ???????? ? ??????? ???? ?? ?? ???????? ?????? ?? ??????? ? ????? : TennisKafe
10-10-2016 03:01 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor


October 9, 2016

Grigor Dimitrov

Beijing, China

A. MURRAY/G. Dimitrov

6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think was the key today in this match? Your game and the way he was playing, too.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I think the past couple of times, Andy has been playing really good against me. I didn't start my match the best way possible. Got broken right away in the first game. Very different conditions today. Pretty chilly. I think I just didn't have enough time to adjust. I think the previous two matches, I would say I've played indoors.

I think today was just different. Again, Andy's pretty much the greatest player this year. He's been winning a lot, a lot of confidence. He obviously knows how to move well on the court. All the credit to him.

I personally think I didn't play a good enough match to sort of rally with him throughout. Maybe the second set a little bit better. If the match would have gone to the third set, I'm not sure that I could have done things like way different. But just trying to take the positive side of the week, so...

Q. A bit of an unusual conclusion, wasn't it? Towards the end of the second set, you caught fire. I think you won 11 points in a row, then you didn't win a point on your serve in the tiebreak.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Just had too much up and down. Very different conditions. A little problem also on my string tension. I think I realized that a little bit later. I think I realized that later in the first set. Just small components play a big role.

Q. You kept running back and changing your racquet.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, just only one racquet that I changed was lower tension. Hitting conditions were very tough. I spoke with Andy after the ceremony. He said, Did you drop the tension?

I said, No. That's the problem. I didn't think I serve good enough as well. A good first serve with Andy, he's going to make you play pretty much every single point.

In a way, I did all I could do. In the end of the day, I'm on the court all by myself. I'm disappointed. I'm not going to lie. Played such a good tennis in the past week, better than the week before. I was hoping this time I would come out maybe a little bit different, maybe a little bit different attitude towards the match. But I guess wasn't the right time again.

Q. Did not being able to play your semifinal match against Milos have any effect on how you played tonight?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't think so. I mean, I think I've played quite a few matches over two hours, especially since the beginning of the tournament. It was kind of nice to have a bit of time off.

I don't have the answer for this really. I don't think of it that way. All I wanted to do is just play matches, play tennis. I mean, I think the past matches I've pushed myself I think over the limits, meaning physically and I think mentally. Today, I just didn't feel that I had another gear.

As I said, even if I would have won that second set, for some reason it was very hard for me to stay focused and be mentally at the same level. As I said, Andy's fighting pretty much every single point. You know you're not going to get anything for free.

So, I mean, it also would have been two completely different matches from yesterday or today. So you can't really compare it.

Q. Although you said you're disappointed right now, you still showed good momentum in this tournament, beating Rafa and coming to the final. Will this motivate you or give you more confidence in the next tournament?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I think I'm motivated pretty much every single day to wake up and just get better in whatever I do.

Obviously when you get to a final, the disappointment is a little bit -- I mean, you're a little bit harder on yourself. So obviously right now I can't think really clear about how well I played this week or take the positives. So I'm not very appreciative at the moment, I guess.

Obviously I have to play the day after. There's not that much time to think. I have to put everything on the side or on hold and just focus. As I said, I have to play the day after tomorrow. There's no time to dwell on anything.

Q. You played Andy numerous times. He served 30% first serves in the first set and still got away with it against you. Has his second serve massively improved?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I think today he served pretty good the second serve. He caught me off guard I think quite a few times. Especially in the body, he was serving a lot of body serves. Sometimes he was just catching me off guard, meaning I wasn't sure which shot I wanted to hit.

I knew I could run around and hit a good forehand, at the same time I felt comfortable hitting a backhand. When a player serves like that, it's tough to read his pattern. Even in he US Open he served pretty good. He definitely improved his game on the serve side.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
10-09-2016 11:19 AM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor


October 8, 2016

Grigor Dimitrov

Beijing, China


6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Rafa looked a bit of a shattered man when he came in here. Must have been a very good performance from you.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I'm pretty happy with that win. I'm not going to lie. I've played Rafa quite a few times. So many times I think I was close or like I remember a couple times I was cramping. There was just always something happening.

Today I just think I played an excellent match. Simple as that. I mean, honestly, there's not much else to say except for sure I'm proud. A lot of the work is paying off.

But, yeah, there's a lot for me to go till the end of this year. I'm just going to focus on each match, each tournament, you know, stay humble and pretty much just play the game.

Q. How did you deal with the first five games, five consecutive breaks, and you could have won the set 6-Love?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I thought about that, you know what. I thought about that a little bit. I'm not playing a mediocre player here. I'm playing a man that I really respect, always look up to.

I use him even sometimes as an inspiration when I'm down in a match or something. He's one of the biggest fighters for me by far. Honestly, there's nothing else you can say about Rafa. He has proven himself so many times.

I mean, especially after the first break, break, break, I was like, What's going on here? In the same time, I felt I was returning pretty well.

I think he was pretty aggressive at some point on my serves, especially early on. He was reading my serve pretty well. Even though I was serving good, with a lot of speed, he was just there.

I think after that first set, things were shifting a little bit. I still had so many chances throughout the second set, quite a few games 15-40. He came up with the goods.

With him, you never know. Till the last point, you just have to fight. Even when I was like 40-15 up, I served a pretty good first serve, and he just whacked that winner down the line. I was like, Okay, I know it's not over, so I better make a first serve at 40-30.

Yeah, I guess that was enough today. I know it wasn't also one of his strongest matches for sure. In the same time, I want to credit myself also a little bit for what I did tonight. I put him in a lot of uncomfortable situations today throughout the whole match.

So I think every little detail adds up.

Q. Do you think you changed something tactically compared to the seven past times where he won? Were you more aggressive?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I mean, against certain players, I would say there's always maybe just a certain way you got to play. Against Rafa, he's never going to give it to you, so you got to go get it.

Absolutely, if you asked me if I changed a little something. Absolutely, I think I was a little more aggressive. I was trying to provoke for him to go for some of his favorite shots. In a way, I knew if he starts cracking a little bit, he's going to start doubt that shot and play exactly where I wanted. I think this is also what happened I think after the first breaks a little bit.

But overall I was just following my game plan pretty good. I mean, I was serving well, hitting my inside-out pretty good. I wasn't afraid to go to his forehand. This time I kept pretty good on my backhand side, as well. I was rallying with him quite a few points, which was good to feel. I felt like this time, Okay, there you go, finally.

Especially when you play that high looper against a one-hander, it's one of the toughest shots to hit off the bounce. I had to keep up fitness level, stepping in and not lose my baseline. There's just like little details that matter so much in a match like that today, and I was able to execute them I think almost excellent.

Q. Your season kind of went like that (indicating up and down). Was there one moment, one thought, that provoked you into upping your game again?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I wish I could answer that properly.

You know, I think overall the season hasn't been that bad, but I had bad results at some points, that's for sure. I think I was lacking in a lot of things on and off the court. There was a time that for sure I was not performing well, meaning I was not happy with myself, the way I was practicing, the way I was playing. There was a lot of things that in a way in my head I wanted to change, that I wanted to sort of construct differently. I think there was like a point to me that I said, Okay, well, it's just baby steps.

I think it's kind of hard for a player that has been there, meaning inside the top 10, and having to basically start grinding again. Knowing what I'm capable of, having to accept, basically I had to surrender myself back to tennis again all over again and get back to the basics.

I think it's been a great learning curve for me throughout I think the past year and a half, I would say. I wouldn't even say months, but year and a half. A lot of things made me realize that tennis is just a game that I love. I don't think I would feel the same if that wasn't going well in my life. You know what I mean?

There was just like kind of a lot of mixed emotions in my head, meaning, like, what would I do if I don't play tennis or if I practice even more. There were so many question marks in my head that at some point I'm sure every person goes through that kind of period in their life that you draw a line and you say, Okay, here we go, this is what I want, this is what I follow, this is what I stand by.

I created my own rules, my own world, my own people, my own friends. I think that period really helped me. In the same time, I'm pretty, like, happy and grateful right now that everything happened the way it happened for me.

But, you know, in tennis, you have every week. It's no matter to play one week good, two weeks good, it's a matter of keeping up that level throughout the whole season. I think if you stay healthy and you do the basics, I think everything is possible. No matter where you are, no matter what is your ranking, who you're with, who is your coach, what is your team, all that, I think that willingness...

Throughout those months, my composure helped me get through a lot of things. Of course, family and friends were there for me and made me realize also who is very real with me. Simple as that.

Q. What was the toughest part about playing Nadal today?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Playing Nadal itself is a pretty rough part. I think the toughest part is mentally, for sure. When you play against him, I think a lot of players can keep up with the game to a certain extent, but then you might get a little shaky, you might miss a few balls, all of a sudden he's back into the game.

There's a lot of obstacles throughout the whole match. Against him, you know that you got to fight pretty much every point. Yeah, I mean, I think that's pretty much it. At some point it becomes, like, a mental game, especially when you get out there and play against like a really good player.

I think that was it for me, to keep my focus and my game throughout the whole match. Of course, one of the most satisfying things for me, but in the same time was one of the most challenging things.

Q. Isn't this one of the biggest wins of your career actually?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, no, definitely not. I mean, for sure one of my biggest wins. But I had many other wins that meant more to me, for sure. Of course, beating Rafa has always been one of my goals, so to speak.

But as I said, again, if I want to be up there, if I want to get to the top, meaning not just to enter the top 10, but to aim even higher and possibly be No. 1 in the world, that means that I need to play against those players pretty much every single week and beat them on regular basis.

Right now I just want to look at it as just another match. Of course, I'm very happy and proud. Of course, I'm not going to hide that. But in the same time, I think right now I feel I can set my goals a little bit higher to what it is. Still I got to get out there, you know, semifinal match tomorrow, and possibly the day after. I just want to stay on track and focus on whatever is in front of me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
09-28-2016 06:01 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

09-06-2016 09:27 AM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor


Monday, September 5, 2016

Grigor Dimitrov

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/G. Dimitrov
6-1, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Describe what you were feeling out on court tonight.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, first, obviously it's a great experience for me to get out there and play a night match on Ashe. Obviously I'm very disappointed from the result. I feel I've been doing really well the past five, six weeks, practicing-wise, winning a few good and close matches when I had to.
Obviously today I ran out of fuel I think physically and mentally. For sure I was a little bit overwhelmed to get out there, you know, playing that prime time match. Of course, it's a great experience for me. Andy right now is the best player out there. Of course, he deserves all the credit today.

Q. How difficult was it to play against Andy tonight?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I knew what I had to do. I didn't execute things the right way. I did a lot of unforced errors. First serve was gone. Andy was just putting everything back in the court.
I didn't feel he played unbelievable tennis, but I felt I just did a lot of mistakes. For sure he has a lot of confidence right now, a lot of matches behind his back. For sure he knows how to play in moments like that. Pretty experienced player.
So, yeah, it's all my fault what happened on the court out there.

Q. Did you feel early on that it wasn't going to be your night tonight?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: The thing is I tried. It's not that I didn't try. This is what I just said to my coach right now in the locker room. I mean, I knew Andy is going to play good tennis.
Even the first game I had breakpoints. Pretty unlucky I think the first game, especially with the two serves on the line.
What else? I mean, how would you know? I mean, anything can happen at any moment during a match. Obviously the first set, I felt, I mean, okay, it's just the first set. Slowly I think he was just getting his way into the court. He was moving me well, playing the right shots, just executing a lot of balls the right way.
Even if I just kept trying, I kept missing or I was going for a little bit too much on the shots. As I said, Andy is the best player right now out there for me, so he deserved the win today, for sure.

Q. How do you look at your US Open overall?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, as I said, I think it's been a great almost 10 weeks of traveling for me, starting in Washington. A few stumbles here and there, obviously a lot of traveling, a lot of practice and everything.
I'm kind of looking forward to just step back for maybe a week, just rest a little bit, just analyze what has been happening. But, as I said, especially the past five, six weeks I feel I've been doing the right things, been really good with my professionalism on and off the court. Discipline has been better I think overall. My game plan is a little bit better.
So I think things are moving a little bit forward. Again, I'm pretty disappointed right now. It's very hard for me to hide it. I expected definitely better from myself. But I just ran out of gas. I think not so much physically, but I think it was just more emotionally, mentally. I knew that I was just getting a little bit tired.

Player Interviews | News | 2016 US Open Official Site - A USTA Event
09-05-2016 12:41 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

At Once a Taskmaster and a Friend, Tennis Coaches Rise in Prominence


In the semifinals of the Western and Southern Open outside Cincinnati two weeks ago, rain delayed the start of a match between Grigor Dimitrov and Marin Cilic until 11:30 p.m.

Many of the boisterous fans who had watched Andy Murray dispatch Milos Raonic in the earlier semifinal headed for the exits when a prolonged thunderstorm doused the courts. The depleted crowd was cause for concern for Dani Vallverdu, Dimitrov’s coach since Wimbledon.

Although only 30, Vallverdu is a seasoned coach on tour, having cut his teeth with Murray, his boyhood friend, for five years and coached Tomas Berdych for 18 months before joining Dimitrov in July.

“I told Grigor to not expect much energy from the fans,” Vallverdu said. “It would feel a little flat out there. Normally in the semis of such a big tournament, the crowd would be fired up. But it was very late, and the stands were, at most, half-full. We talked about starting the first 20 minutes with a lot of energy and focus.”

The instructions worked: Dimitrov rode out a service break to win the first set, 6-4. Cilic countered by raising his level of play in the second set to even the match. In the third set, Dimitrov twice got up a service break but failed to hold serve to clinch the match.

For Vallverdu, the loss stung, but only momentarily. The chance to play in an important final against Murray would have been validation for Dimitrov, who has struggled since reaching the Wimbledon semifinals two years ago. But Vallverdu refocused.

“I immediately began to think of what needed to be done,” he said. “A Grand Slam starts in a week! There was no time to waste. The recovery routine — protein shake, recovery drink, food and an ice bath — had to happen fairly quickly. We didn’t get back to the hotel till 3 in the morning. And I waited till breakfast late the next morning to talk with Grigor about the match.”

These comments offer a window into the world of coaching at the highest levels of the pro tour. In recent years, as players like Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer have added former tennis champions to their teams, the role of tennis coach has risen in prominence.

For players and their coaches, the pro tour can be a lonely life. It is not uncommon to be on the road for 35 to 40 weeks a year. Often, a player will spend more time with his coach than with his family and friends.

The relationship can suffer when a player goes on a losing streak. Being fired is a reality of life on the tour for most coaches, even for a young coaching star like Vallverdu.

A good coach on tour is at once a friend and a taskmaster, a psychologist and an emotional buffer against the vicissitudes of competing at the highest level of the game. The job requires an emotional intelligence, a bone-deep knowledge of technique and tactics, and the ability to communicate painful truths gently but firmly.

Coaches manage the mundane details of practice courts, hitting partners and the day’s logistics. They scout opponents, break down video, discuss game plans and ensure that players, in their mind-sets, are prepared for a match.

Because tennis has no clock, being scheduled for the third match on a stadium court means a player may play in the middle of the afternoon or at dinnertime. Timing meals, naps and a proper warm-up is also in the coach’s purview. Postmatch recovery is important, too, as is knowing when and how to discuss a tough loss with a player.

That rainy Saturday night of the Cilic match offered another kind of challenge for Vallverdu: He already had to keep Dimitrov relaxed and ready for several hours of dead time while the first match played out, and then the weather intervened.

“You have to know your player,” Vallverdu said. “You have to keep him calm and relaxed; you learn to talk about topics which do not stress him out. At Cincinnati, Grigor had to wait five hours in the locker room. Then he only got 10 to 15 minutes to warm up. It was challenging, but he did an excellent job getting ready.”

The art of waiting is an essential skill on tour. The elite players learn how to pass the time expending as little energy as possible. A coach can turn into a weatherman in these times. Vallverdu got frequent weather updates from the tournament director and kept Dimitrov apprised of how quickly the courts were drying.

So far, the coaching work Vallverdu is putting in is yielding strong results. Dimitrov, a prodigiously talented Bulgarian who has been ranked as high as eighth, had fallen to No. 40 this year. But in addition to reaching the semifinals in Cincinnati, he reached the quarterfinals at the Rogers Cup in Toronto in August, losing to Kei Nishikori. Dimitrov’s record going into the United States Open was 27-19, with seven of those wins coming in August.

Because of his recent success, Dimitrov is the No. 22 seed at the Open. He defeated IŮigo Cervantes, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7), in the first round and plays Jťrťmy Chardy in the second round Thursday.

In the wake of a physically demanding week at Cincinnati, Vallverdu gave Dimitrov two days off as they traveled to New York to prepare for the Open. Vallverdu kept the routine nearly identical to the week of preparation before the Cincinnati event.

On Tuesday, Dimitrov played twice, once in the morning and again in midafternoon, and put in an hour in the gym. He had played twice a day through last Thursday before beginning to taper, hitting once on Friday and Saturday for only 90 minutes.

As a tournament nears, Vallverdu likes to do drills that give Dimitrov rhythm and confidence. Little or no technical guidance is given so that the player’s mind can be focused and clear. On Sunday, the practice is even lighter, 45 minutes to an hour.

The time when Vallverdu does most of his actual coaching is on the practice court.

“I stand near him and try to get him to work on ball recognition, seeing the ball early and making the right choice of shot,” Vallverdu said.

At 6 feet 3 inches, Dimitrov exudes a lithe athleticism. His flowing one-handed backhand and his classical forehand have earned him comparisons to Roger Federer. Vallverdu believed Dimitrov’s audacious shotmaking needed to be reined in.

“Grigor moves so well that he can play more disciplined tennis,” he said. “He doesn’t need to overhit because his regular ball is so heavy.”

Being more consistent and not giving away free points will pay dividends in the long haul. Tennis is a game of movement and decision making, and Dimitrov’s recent success can be attributed to improved shot selection. A good coach helps players understand their identity on court and also how to maximize their strengths and expose their opponents’ weaknesses.

In the afternoon before he played Feliciano Lůpez in the second round at Cincinnati, Dimitrov practiced with Julien Benneteau while Vallverdu stood to the side and offered encouragement and advice.

“I am trying to instill the right habits, the right way of doing things,” Vallverdu said.

The two players began rallying from the service line, trading easy and relaxed shots as they warmed up. When they retreated to the baseline and began hitting full out, Dimitrov’s demeanor changed.

Still, the mood on the court was more cooperative than competitive as both players wanted an intense practice session in a short period of time.

Vallverdu praised Dimitrov’s footwork as he recovered from the backhand corner; he gave a tip about contact point on the forehand volley. Both men kept the energy and enthusiasm high.

The preparatory work for a Grand Slam begins in the few pockets of time off from the circuit. Vallverdu said that in his years coaching Murray, he had learned how to schedule an effective training block.

Murray and his team would rest for one week after Wimbledon and then undergo an intensive training regimen for three weeks, often in the summer heat of Miami, to simulate the scorching afternoons at Flushing Meadows.

Murray, like Dimitrov and other top players, used this time to work hard physically to ready himself for the best-of-five-sets format of the Grand Slams. The first 10 days are grueling, with twice-daily tennis sessions followed by interval training on the track, weight training and video work in the evenings. The player then tapers his schedule, resting more to gain sharpness, confidence and a renewed zeal to compete.

Once back on tour, Vallverdu makes sure to work on his player’s strengths. While other coaches may choose to address weaknesses, Vallverdu prefers to hone his players’ weapons, to bolster their confidence as a Grand Slam approaches. The exception is work on the serve and the return.

“We will work on those two areas constantly,” Vallverdu said.

Life on the tour looks promising for Dimitrov and Vallverdu. The first Grand Slam of their partnership is just beginning. Having a player who has the ability — and the drive — to contend for major titles is all a coach can ask for.
09-04-2016 07:01 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Grigor Dimitrov

Press Conference

6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk about how you're feeling. Got to be feeling good, confidence high.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I'm feeling good. Played a good match. A little dip I think in the third set, but I was able to control everything I think in the fourth set even though I was down a break. I'm enjoying playing tennis right now. Obviously I've been striking the ball well, having good results.
Just getting ready for the next match. Pretty pleased to be in the second week again.

Q. Do you find yourself getting looser with each round? Does it get more cranked up or do you relax more?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: For sure, it's always good to be a little bit nervous. I like being a little bit nervous before matches. I think it helps you focus a little bit more in order to be good and be better when you get on the court. Of course, after a few games, you're kind of into the match so it feels more comfortable.
Yeah, just with each match you get of course more excited. In the same time, it's just another match.

Q. What has changed the past few weeks for you to find your confidence?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Winning matches. I think winning matches always gives you confidence. I've won quite a few close matches, which just helps me a lot to build up and be solid when I have to.
Today, that type of a match that I played really smart on the big points, I played good when I had to. Overall it was a decent match, I would say.
But, yeah, these kind of moments really, really help you mentally when you come out and play your opponent.

Q. Can you talk a bit about your coaching relationship with Dani, what he's brought to your game?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, we're still getting to know each other. He's a great guy. First of all he's a great guy. We share a lot of the same things. On the court we kind of think similar. We kind of want to just work right now. That's what it's about.
I know how to play tennis. Now it's more the strategic way, how you're going to prepare for big matches, big tournaments.
So far I think we've been doing a great job. Yeah, just simplicity. That's the key right now. Just do your stuff, work, go out there, give 100% each match.

Q. How much do you think he might help you if you play Andy next?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Honestly, we haven't thought about that yet. I think also I've played quite a few times against Andy. I think we both know our game pretty well. I don't think there's going to be any surprises. I don't think I'm going to hear anything new in a way.
But we still got to prepare. I mean, obviously it's going to be a great match. I'm excited to be in the second week. That's just a good start for me. And, yeah, I mean, I always like my chances when I get to stages like that in a tournament, especially having to play, like, tough matches early on and feeling good and confident. Physically I'm good.
Yeah, just going to take everything onboard with me right now and bring it out on the court.

Q. You're an exciting player because you can play all-court tennis. How do you find a balance with your ability to improvise?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: This is where the simplicity of the practice and the discipline comes in. Especially in those moments, 30-All, deuce, breakpoint, anything like that, it's super important to, in a way, go back to the basics, go back to what you've been practicing, to the simple shots. For example, play with your big weapons, whether it's your first serve or your forehand. So these things are pretty important.
But, yeah, some of the big shots that you hit sometimes, they just happen at the right time. If you start looking for them, of course you're going to miss and you're never going to be a sustainable player.
Like today, for example, on quite a few big points, I think I pulled the trigger quite a few times with my backhand. It was just the right moment to do so. I won pretty much all those points.
I pride myself actually on that today. I was just pretty solid when I had to play important points.

Q. Do you think going through several coaches the past few years may have changed your game style?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, no, no. You know, obviously you know how to play tennis. You've played all your life a certain way. When I say discipline of how you're going to play, I wouldn't say that's a change of style. I think it's a change of plan, a change of a bit of your mentality.
But change of style, it's too extreme to me.

Q. Sometimes you hear different voices, different speeches.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: You're always going to hear different voices and different speeches regardless. People that don't have much of an idea of tennis will come, Hey, man, you should have hit that forehand down the line a bit more.
Yeah, man, you want to do it for me? Yeah, go ahead.
But that's just how it is. That's why you need to simplify and make sure you have the right people, the right team around you, that first you're loyal to them. This is the unity that puts it all together. You know these are the people that you need to hear from. This is what matters the most. Everything else is just a noise.

Q. You talked about how you're enjoying your tennis now. You mentioned that as well during Wimbledon. Has there been a time in the recent past when you haven't been enjoying it?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, of course.

Q. What has changed?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: That's a tough one.
I think a lot has changed over the past I think year and a half for me. I fell in love with tennis again. It's simple as that. It's not only because I've been winning matches or anything like that. It's because I started to enjoy the process again.
I'm enjoying the work again. I'm enjoying waking up in the morning early to come to practice. I'm enjoying doing the ice baths again. I'm enjoying pretty much everything that I do.
I think just these kind of things really helps you. You don't think of anything else. I started to enjoy those butterflies before a match, complaining to your coach that you're, like, short of breath because you're so nervous to come on court. Those are moments I'm sure I'm always going to appreciate hopefully for the rest of my career.

Q. Del Potro, there's some people that wondered after all the surgeries whether he was going to be able to come back, would he be at the same level.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Never a doubt.

Q. Never a doubt?

Q. We're talking about a second week, elite level.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I never doubted that. All the people that's been around me have said the same thing. I mean, of course there's a long, long way for him to come back like that. But the way he's been playing throughout the year, I remember he started the year so-so in a way, but he was still hitting the ball pretty amazing.
I mean, with that forehand, you can close your eyes, hit the ball, it can get in. Definitely one of the best hitters in the game. The Olympics and everything, that really helps you to build up.
Of course, only time can show the rest, but it was never a doubt in my mind that the guy's going to be back.

Q. Even the speed, how quickly it's happened, you're not surprised by that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, I'm not. Not really, no.

Q. You played some exciting matches with Murray. What is it about you two together that creates exciting tennis and what are the biggest challenges?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think we like our styles, I guess, just kind of fits our games. There's going to be a lot of challenges, especially on an occasion like that, against Andy. I mean, he's going to be, for sure, ready as ever. As I said, he's just really confident right now. He's been playing extremely good tennis. He knows what to do.
But in the same time, I know what to do, too. In the end, it's going to come down to a few points here and there. Yeah, I mean, for me honestly it's just another match. As I said, I'm enjoying that I'm at that stage of a tournament, second week for the first time at the Open. I'm just going to get out there and really focus on my game and on myself. This is what I demand from myself for the next match.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Player Interviews | News | 2016 US Open Official Site - A USTA Event
08-26-2016 04:00 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

Grigor Dimitrov: The Simple Life
August 23, 2016

For a player with every shot in the book, going back to basics is proving the most successful approach of all.

A lot can change in two years. In 2014, Grigor Dimitrov, looked to have begun to realise his potential as he surged into the Top 10 after reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon. But success proved fleeting; Dimitrov was far from the finished article.

However, a journey of self-discovery over the past 18 months looks to have led the Bulgarian to finding his own identity, and with it, a sense of calm and happiness once more on the tennis court.

"The one thing I've been really focused on is simplicity and just being me,Ē Dimitrov told ďI've been finding my identity not only on the court, but also off the court. I have so many different interests in so many different areas that sometimes I just need to chill, step back and let it be. Wake up and do whatever I feel like and the way I want to do it and live a little bit more on my own terms.Ē

A new partnership this summer with Dani Vallverdu Ė former coach of Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych Ė has further cemented in Dimitrovís mind the need for simplicity in his life and getting back to basics on the tennis court.

ďNow that I'm working with Dani it's also nice to have someone you can really get close to and share a lot,Ē said Dimitrov. ďThe structure overall has been better for me. We're simplifying things, working on the right things and that in a way helps you to become a little bit calmer, more confident and that brings a lot to your game.

"Lately we've been doing a lot of work, even after matches, working on small details, whether it's backhand cross or backhand down the line or certain go-to game plays in certain moments to try and make everything a little bit more automatic and lose yourself in the game. It's great when you start feeling that you're hitting the ball well and there's nothing else but the ball and the way you move and the way you hit it. You enjoy the game way more.Ē

Total immersion in his game has brought Dimitrov and Vallverdu instant results. When the pair joined forces, Dimitrov was World No. 40 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, his lowest position in more than three years. He is now on the verge of returning to the Top 20 after reaching the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto (l. to Nishikori) and the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (l. to Cilic).

For a player blessed with immense talent, the challenge has been understanding his best game and how best to use his range of shots.

ďHeís determined to play the best tennis he can,Ē Vallverdu told ďDuring the past year heís been struggling to find his own identity; he didnít know which kind of player he was.

ďMy goal is helping him with this and simplifying his tennis. He has lots of variety, but he only needs those resources when he is facing difficult situations on court. When heís not in a difficult moment, it's important that he only concentrates on his main weapons, which are really good. Thatís what Iím going to try and implement in his game: simplifying it as much as possible. We want him to feel comfortable with his weapons.Ē

ďWe had a good start,Ē continued Vallverdu. ďSince Toronto things have been going well. But it's not going to be a process of one or two months. It will be a process of six to 12 months.

ďThe most important thing in the next three months is to start establishing good habits on the court. Habits that will make him competitive next year. That's what I want, for him to be very consistent every day so that the habits develop as much as possible. It's not easy. It will be a tough mental process. But it's a process I'm certain he has to go through.Ē

Vallverduís assessment of Dimitrovís career path was simply that success came too early for a player already burdened with the pressure of being Ďthe next Roger Federerí.

ďMany players who manage to reach the Top 10 at a young age struggle to understand whatís happening,Ē he said. ďItís a brand new situation for them, as much off the court as on it. I think the problem was that he was trying to find his identity on the court and he didn't manage it.

ďHis weapons were not as good anymore. Then itís like a domino effect: when your shots are not working, your confidence drops and the errors increase. He went through this process, but the important thing is to accept it and focus on the current moment. What's good is that we know he is a player that can reach that level. It requires hard work, months of training, and he will have to give everything. But Iím convinced that with hard work he can play at a great level next season.Ē

"I'm definitely in a better spot [than last year],Ē said Dimitrov, remembering the doubts and periods of feeling low he struggled with during difficult moments in 2015. ďI've been playing a little bit better tennis and had quite a few big wins so far.

ďOverall I'm happy with the way things are developing. Of course, there's more homework to be done. But right now I think I'm on the right path and just taking each day as it is and trying to enjoy a bit more every match that I'm playing out there.

"It's a new chapter. I don't feel like I've reached my potential. Of course I was Top 10, but that was momentary. I want to establish myself as one of those players. I've been there, done that, so I know what to do. My body feels excellent, I'm working hard, I'm developing my game, working in the gym and all these things are adding up. I think maturity also comes with that. I just need to get the results.Ē

ďWe have a long-term relationship in mind,Ē concluded Vallverdu. ďI accepted the job because I see it as a long-term project. I firmly believe in Grigor and with a lot of hard work, we can achieve several goals. Iím ready to be working with him for a long time.Ē

Back To Basics For Dimitrov & Vallverdu | ATP World Tour | Tennis
08-21-2016 12:52 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor


August 19, 2016

Grigor Dimitrov

Cincinnati, Ohio

G. DIMITROV/S. Johnson

7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations.

Q. You saved a match point very late in the first set tiebreaker and then you broke him.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Set point you mean?

Q. You saved a set point in the first set tiebreaker and you came back and were able to break him right out of the gate. Did you sense a dip in his play to begin the second or did you amp it up a bit?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think we started like pretty tight in the beginning of the match. I think we were both serving like a really good percentage of first serves; taking care of all the shots that we had to.

Yeah, I mean, that tiebreak was -- I mean, was first of all long; second, I knew what he's going to do. I think was serving really good and hitting his spots on it. I just had to sort of like break down his game a little bit by using my slice a little bit, hitting my forehand a little bit better.

I think after that return I think at, what was it, 7-6 for me, after he missed that I just felt that now I had built a very good momentum. Soon as I came out to play that second set, I felt a little bit more relaxed, a little bit more confident.

I was I think even looking more for his serve. I was waiting in a different spot. So that helped a lot.

Q. You lost to him not that long ago. Obviously different tournament, different surface. I wonder if today you feel like it was you kind of made a change or had some progress in the last couple months? What were the differences?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think I played a different match since Wimbledon. I mean, I've watched some of the videos and the highlights the past days, and it was just interesting for me to see what I did good back then, and in the same time, what I had to work on.

Today I executed everything, all the plan from the first point. I thought I was the leader of the match, which really helps, especially against a player like Stevie. He's super confident right now and playing great, great tennis, so that makes him super dangerous.

I knew what I had to do. I think that that was the match for me today. I was just playing smart and the execution was just on pinpoint.

Q. You get the winner of the match coming up next, Cilic/Coric. Will you watch the match? What do you think about either of them?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, for sure I'm going to watch a little bit. It's always nice to see how both of them are playing. Well, whoever I play, I mean, doesn't really matter. I'm just going to try to do what I've been doing this week: focus on the tennis side and just taking care of whatever is in front of me.

Just focus is entirely on myself now and on tennis. I've worked a lot, but still, there is just another match for me.

Q. This on the live rankings will move up about ten spots into more familiar territory as far as your ranking is concerned. Does that cross your mind at all as far as the points and moving back up?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, not really. I mean, my only goal was to get seeded for New York, and then I would for sure think about the rest of the year.

I mean, if you win, everything else comes with it. It's so simple. As I said, I've been just practicing a lot. I'm not going to lie. I've been just practicing. Just dug myself like right into tennis. I haven't been actually able to follow anything else but that and what I had to focus each day out on the court.

I think it's fine for now. Like I'm happy the way I'm playing for sure. There is still a lot to go. Yeah, if I keep playing like this, for sure the ranking is going to get even higher.

Q. You connected with Dani who was with Andy as you know for a long time and then with Tomas. What do you think he's going to bring to your game?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Simplicity. Right now -- I just spoke about it this morning, about the practice and what we need to do and what we need to focus on.

We're just looking at the big picture. Yes, it's a great week. Yes, I'm playing good. That's not the ultimate goal. Just a result of what we have been doing.

I think it's actually a very good way to look at tennis that way. I feel the same way. I think that helps us to sort of get out there on the court and structure the right way of practicing, the right amount of work, and what needs to be done.

That's how you put yourself in the best position to play a match. I think that's a good way to look at things.

Q. Going deep here in Cincinnati as well as you're emphasizing putting in a lot of practice court time, how are you planning on managing your schedule in this time to keep the level up but also to not wear yourself out in advance of the US Open?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, there is still quite sometime to the US Open. I mean, I'm hoping I'm going to be playing here on Sunday. That's a nice problem to have, to actually figure how you need to rest a little bit and sustain that form. For sure it's not an easy thing.

I mean, obviously if you lose a match you're like very down in the same time; if you win you want to do more.

So it's about finding the right balance. You just never know how the body would feel many you wake up every day and something is hurting, so -- even on a good day.

So you just take it as it is. You take one day at a time. I think for me, this is very important now. Just come out there every day and do the work.

Q. You mentioned couple questions ago right now your ultimate goal is focus. What is the ultimate goal after you're taking these steps with Dani, the ultimate goal itself for you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It's big picture. That's what I said right now. For sure right now is to play a lot of matches, to win a lot of matches, to put myself in the best positions when it comes down to the big scene.

Like this, like tomorrow for example. Being in the semifinal, it's great. I'm happy. This is what you work for, to get out there and put yourself in positions like to to give yourself the best chance.

Yeah, take it one day at all time. As I said, if you keep winning you're going to go out in the slams, be in the quarterfinals, semis, you're not going to think about anything else but how to get out there and play tennis.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
08-20-2016 02:53 PM
Re: News & Articles about Grigor


August 18, 2016

Grigor Dimitrov

Cincinnati, Ohio

G. DIMITROV/S. Wawrinka

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about what you felt you did well today in this victory over Stan?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I was fighting more the first set. I think I was very persistent in my service game, and then I think -- I mean, I knew that Stan will just come out and play good tennis. I think early on he really did.

I think after that break I felt like I got into -- I mean, I got into his head and into his rhythm pretty well. Started moving the ball good. Hitting my spots.

That just helped me today.

Q. Were you going to play doubles together?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, we were supposed to for sure. I mean, this is how it is.

Q. How did you decide not to play?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It's mutual. I mean, our main focus is the singles. We sat down and spoke a little bit and that's how it is.

Q. This is your fourth win for you against Stan. What is it about that matchup that works well for you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I like playing against Stan. We know how our games. Practice with him the beginning of the week, so we practice a lot.

Yeah, we kind of know where we're going to serve, how we're going to play. I think it comes down to the nerves also at some point mentally.

That was that. I mean, we know our games pretty well. I like playing against him. That's just it.

Q. Speaking of the nerves, there were maybe some tight moments at the end of your match yesterday. How much confidence does that give you, getting that win and then being able to do what you did out there today?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, a lot. I need matches like that. I think I need like ten or twelve more of those matches to sustain that level and also to send a statement not only for me but towards everyone: I'm here to play and I'm here to compete.

I was pretty warm also. I mean, I just slept for like seven hours last night. I came here this morning and I was like, My God. It's time to play again. But I did well. I managed well. I had a good rest of came on the court and I was just positive.

Q. Feel like you've turned the corner at all this summer?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, no, not yet. I'm not focusing on that right now. As I said, the thing I'm focusing the most right now is my game, my tennis.

I don't want to talk about any corners or anything, but things seem to be in the right way right now. I'm playing good tennis. Been working well; on a good path.

All these things are for sure adding up, and I just want to make sure I keep doing it now every week. Every tournament that I enter is to win every match and fight and just get out there every day and give your best.

Q. Draw is opening up a bit now. Steve Johnson next. You played him at Wimbledon. Thoughts on facing him?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, pretty dangerous player. Stevie has got a lot of confidence now. I saw him also playing at the Olympics very good tennis. He's pumped to play as well, but so am I.

So it's going to be interesting. I think it's going to be interesting. I think it's a good matchup for both us. We look forward to it. Yeah.

Q. How tough is it to play someone who runs around their backhand as much as Stevie does?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't remember. I mean, the majority of players are trying to run around and hit that forehand. Stevie does it pretty often, even on the second serve. So I think in a way I'm pretty aware of his game and what he's going to do.

It all depends how I'm going to play as well and how my game is going to be and when it comes to the clutch moments, really make it happen.

Q. You mentioned your seven hours of sleep. Do you have an ideal number that on a perfect day getting ready for a match you shoot for?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't know. I don't sleep as much anymore. It's kind of funny. I love sleeping. I think eight hours is kind of like all right.

Q. That's the goal?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Like a morning daisy, so... (smiling.)

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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