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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-06-2016 08:27 AM
CCTennis
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

US OPEN

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 11:41 AM
BlueWater
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/sp...ence.html?_r=2

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

By GEOFF MACDONALDAUG. 31, 2016

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 Iñigo Cervantes, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7), in the first round and plays Jérémy 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 López 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 06:01 PM
CCTennis
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

US OPEN

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Grigor Dimitrov

Press Conference

G. DIMITROV/J. Sousa
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?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No.

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 03:00 PM
CCTennis
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

Grigor Dimitrov: The Simple Life

ATPWorldTour.com
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,” Dimitrov told ATPWorldTour.com. “I'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.”

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

“Now that I'm working with Dani it's also nice to have someone you can really get close to and share a lot,” said Dimitrov. “The 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.”

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.

“He’s determined to play the best tennis he can,” Vallverdu told ATPWorldTour.com. “During the past year he’s been struggling to find his own identity; he didn’t know which kind of player he was.

“My 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 he’s not in a difficult moment, it's important that he only concentrates on his main weapons, which are really good. That’s what I’m going to try and implement in his game: simplifying it as much as possible. We want him to feel comfortable with his weapons.”

“We had a good start,” continued Vallverdu. “Since 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.

“The 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.”

Vallverdu’s assessment of Dimitrov’s career path was simply that success came too early for a player already burdened with the pressure of being ‘the next Roger Federer’.

“Many players who manage to reach the Top 10 at a young age struggle to understand what’s happening,” he said. “It’s 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.

“His weapons were not as good anymore. Then it’s 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 I’m convinced that with hard work he can play at a great level next season.”

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

“Overall 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.”

“We have a long-term relationship in mind,” concluded Vallverdu. “I 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. I’m ready to be working with him for a long time.”


Back To Basics For Dimitrov & Vallverdu | ATP World Tour | Tennis
08-21-2016 11:52 AM
CCTennis
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN

August 19, 2016

Grigor Dimitrov

Cincinnati, Ohio

G. DIMITROV/S. Johnson

7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Thank you.

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 01:53 PM
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WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN

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
08-04-2016 02:11 AM
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07-03-2016 05:30 PM
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Wimbledon

Third round

Grigor Dimitrov speaks to the media after his 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-2 defeat by Steve Johnson


Q. It's obviously tough on everyone. How did you deal with the conditions and how big of a factor was it all?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, obviously it's tough conditions. I definitely didn't play up to my expectations. I think he played good throughout the whole match, but in the same time I didn't do also anything special, I thought. I was happy to come back and win that first set, but then obviously on and off, on and off, on and off all the time.
It is what it is. It's in the game. Yeah, it's just, I think, in a way it was like a poor match for me. I didn't adjust to the conditions fast enough. It was very windy. My first serve didn't work. I was sliding a little bit early on.
So, yeah, I think that's about it. I mean, there's not much I can say. At least I'm happy I had a few matches under my belt. Of course not satisfied, but in a way it's a step forward.

Q. It's been a while since you won back to back matches. When you did that, in your mind did you feel like...
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Of course I'm feeling I'm doing better, that's for sure. I also got a little bit tired. You know, I haven't played that many matches and he came off a very good win. I think that the tournament before he won the tournament.
I knew who I was facing. I think if it was early in the tournament maybe it would have been better for me, but right now he has obviously again a lot of confidence. That helps him. That helps him a lot to go for his shots and just to follow his game a little bit more.
You know, he wins today, for sure.

Q. At some point today play was suspended on all courts except yours and Petra's. Were you playing under the rain?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't know. I really don't know. Like when you're on the court you don't think about that. That's what I said the conditions were very different.
The other day I played on Court 1 and all of a sudden on 18 like the whole dimension of the court was very different. It just took some time for me to really get into it. And yesterday we waited the whole day to just play seven games. Coming home late. You just have to do everything all over again.
You know, it's in the game. It's the same for both of us. He was the stronger person today.

Q. Would you tell us about your coach and your team.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: What do you need to know about it?

Q. I don't think it's been addressed yet, but we haven't seen Franco around.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, no, I'm alone in this tournament. I'm not trying to hide it, obviously. Things just haven't worked out good for us. It is what it is. This is the situation.
I mean, I know how to play tennis in the same time. I just have to do a little bit extra work on my own with the racquets, with the stringing, the balls, the courts, the practice.
Other than that, you know, I'm pretty comfortable right now and happy.

Q. Is that a permanent decision or are you looking to change that in the near future?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Obviously if they're not around, it's for me to obviously find something else, something new, something that would get me back on the right track. I mean, I want to improve. That's my main goal. I mean, I want to improve and I want to win matches. If you do all that right, I mean, everything's coming together.

Q. When did you split with Franco? Was it right before this tournament?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Right before the tournament, yeah. The week before the tournament.

Q. What's the most important thing for you now and your next coach, do you think?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I haven't thought about it, to be honest. I'm just trying to that was the first time for me just taking obviously such a decision and especially before a tournament like that. You know, I'm just trying to stay positive and not think about it.
Obviously now I'm going to have a bit of time to think about all that, but the decision is taken. As I said, I'm confident behind that. So let's see. I mean, this is just a process now.

Q. You are a very experienced player. When you have a tough year or like tough time, in terms of maximizing your resources, would you look to psychologist or what do you do? Like what do you do? Like is there any specific behavior...
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think not necessarily. I think it's just sometimes your game is just not there. No one sees like the way that any other players putting behind. Like they practice like crazy for four, five hours. Next thing you know they come out and cannot hit the ball in the court. On the other hand, you have guys that are practicing two, three times a week or whatever, and then all of a sudden they come out and get deep in the tournament.
So you can never, you know, calculate that of course. But I think a little effort every day counts a lot and goes a long way. I'm the type of guy that just likes I like working, I like working out. The other day when my match got canceled, I was down in the gym running and squatting, and I was the only guy there. Quite frankly, it felt really good. It's different for every player.

Q. You were one of the last ones to use a smaller racquet head, you and Roger back a few years ago. Could you go through that process of changing the racquet? How did you adapt? The testing?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: The racquet, it's something that, I mean, obviously you play with. This is something that I have in my hand and I always want to maximize the performance. So depends what you're looking in a racquet.
Like I said, every player is very different. Roger, Novak, Andy, whatever. Everyone uses a different pattern, different racquets, different strings, different grips. So like it's just details. It's so personal for each player.
My goal is to just, you know, just get the most out of my racquet. If that means, you know, change or get even better and better and better, yeah, of course I'm I like that process, and, yeah.

Q. You used to have the racquet that Roger the 90, right?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I never play with Roger's racquet.

Q. The size. You were playing with the 95?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, I always had a bit smaller than him.

Q. With the 95? You still keeping the 95 head size?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Uh huh. Yeah.

Q. Have you thought about the Olympics? Have you planned anything? Are you preparing? Any chance you play doubles with Tsveti?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I haven't thought about it at all. Yeah, it would be nice. I don't know if we're going to get in obviously. It's exciting time. Olympics is always exciting. I remember here, yeah, four years ago it was a great atmosphere.
So it's just a long way to go. Right now I'm definitely focused on all the other tournaments and what my next step is going to be to prepare for those tournaments ahead. I mean, I'm going to be playing pretty much everything in America, so I just need to be ready and fit throughout the whole time. So my focus is on that right now.

Q. Do you remember when was the last time you played a slam without a coach with you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Never that's what I'm saying. I never did that. Yeah, I never did that. I mean, if you think slam, just in a way it's another tournament. Of course it's very big and it gets you excited and all that.
It's different. I'm not gonna lie. Of course it's different. You know, you have to go through all the logistics, as I said, the balls, to fix the practice, get the car in the morning. It takes a bit of energy. Of course it takes a bit of you know, I think also emotionally when you just try to do everything right and when you go to bed, you're like, Whoa, did I do everything right? Did I leave the racquets and the strings and all that?
But I'm pleased with it. For some reason I feel very positive, first with the decision that I took, and then to be able to control everything on my own after that, it shows me a lot. I don't do it for anyone else but me.
I think that's just very important for me right now, to show to myself to show that what I do is not for anyone else. It's just for me.

Q. If you're to catch the golden fish, the one that gives you the three wishes, what would your three wishes be?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Win Wimbledon, that's for sure. Win Wimbledon. Become No. 1 (smiling). I don't know. I'll let the third one just, you know, years down the line. I think that would be it.


Grigor Dimitrov: Third round - The Championships, Wimbledon 2016 - Official Site by IBM
07-02-2016 07:49 PM
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Wimbledon

Second round

Grigor Dimitrov talks to the media after his 6-3, 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-4 win against Gilles Simon


Q. How good does it feel to get a tough win in against a tough player on grass?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Excellent, excellent, excellent. I mean, I didn't expect anything less from me today. I came out on the court and I played a very solid, I think, two sets.
Third one was a little, I think, just I think not doubt, but I was not hitting the ball as well. I did a few unforced errors, but, you know, back at the fourth, I felt very comfortable.
I had quite a bit of fuel in the tank, which is a good sign. I was going after my shots. I broke him twice to finish the match. So it was a good match overall for me.

Q. Do you feel that losing the third and struggling and kind of reflecting on some of the hard matches you have had, ones that you have played really well, but not come out on top, and then to be able to get the fourth, coming back from a break down...
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I was just saying, Not again.
Also, I have been, I think, quite a bit unfortunate with some of my matches the past months, I would say. I just figured, well, it is what it is. I can't do anything about it. But the only thing I can do is give myself the best shot possible.
When I got to that point, when I got to that feeling, you know, I just kept playing my game. My excitement for the game was there, which always helps. The positivity brings you good shots, good decisions.
I was like, I'm not losing that match, even if it went into a fifth.

Q. What went through your mind at the end of that, you won 7 1, that tiebreak and then it was like all of a sudden, the focus went...
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I was actually up 1 Love and I had break point, and I think that break point cost me a little bit. I didn't think about it, but I knew he's gonna change his game a little bit, and the problem is I fell into that trap.
And, yeah, I was just following his game for a set. Set and a little bit. I think that didn't help me at all. You know, I started taking the wrong decisions, and I was not following my game plan. I was not going after my shots enough.
Then I knew that as soon as the third set was over, it was like, Okay, you can't do that again. Yeah, and I tried to correct myself.
Even though we had quite a few big rallies I think in the fourth, even though I was up a break, I knew I was returning well, serving well when I had to, and I had the confidence to finish the match.

Q. What did you make of having to play in the rain? Because Gilles didn't seem to be particularly happy with how the officials dealt with it. He seemed a bit frustrated that you carried on for a bit. Did you notice him being frustrated? Did that help you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I mean, everyone has their own way. I understand his frustration. But, you know, it's whatever, it's for him is the same for me.
I think it's just, you know, we have all the officials out there. We had the umpire coming down, the supervisor, so all these guys are taking unbelievable care of us, you know, to protect us and to take the right decisions and all that.
I know when there is a little mist in the air, the grass is a little slippery. Yeah, we all know that. That's logistics, yes. And you just try not to push too much, so you don't want to slide. You have to be a bit more cautious.
But, you know, in the same time, it's whatever is for him, is the same for me. You know, it's like we are both in it together, yeah.

Q. It doesn't really bother you just to realize that's what it is and you just get on with it?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, you can't fight the weather, you know. It's like things in life you can definitely fight...

Q. He seems to get frustrated by it, where it doesn't seem to frustrate you.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't think he gets frustrated. My personal opinion, I don't think he gets frustrated. That's just, you know, I guess how it is.
He's a cool guy, though. We have mutual respect and all that, but everyone has their own ways...

Q. I'm just basing it on what he said after the match.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't know what he said.

Q. He said he was annoyed.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, then I guess he was.

Q. In the past you have had some good moments with Novak on camera. These things kind of go viral, back and forth. Do you guys ever think about doing a TV show or something?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Me and him? (Laughter.)

Q. It's pretty entertaining stuff.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: We never spoke about it. Obviously, I mean, we're neighbors in a way. We live close by in Monaco and our countries are next to each other.
I don't know. Maybe you should ask him next time. It's kind of cool. I mean, I'm happy to do whatever videos and stuff with him. It's fun.

Q. Did you ever ask him for advice? I mean, he's obviously in this other planet. Do you ever hit him up and ask him for tips on this consistency, longevity of the way he's playing?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I would say not yet. I would say this is I mean, I think we're still competing against each other and believe it or not, we all have egos. You know, it's very hard to take it out and put it in your pocket and ask another player.
Yeah, we all talk and discuss a lot of things in the locker room, yes, of course. But when it comes to tennis and, you know, professional stuff, I think it's a pretty fine line there that we are, like, I think keep a distance on.
I think if that happens, there will be just a few players that I'll definitely ask, but it wouldn't be him at that point, I guess.

Q. You had a good run a couple years ago. You beat Andy Murray. Up until today, it's been a while since you have had back to back wins. Do you feel like this is the kind of thing that can get your confidence back to where you were a couple years ago?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Absolutely. With each match you get more and more confident. You start to feel the grass more, your movement more, your shots, your routine. Everything becomes very natural. You get in a good rhythm. So that gives you that calmness when you come out on the court.
But for me, I mean, honestly I'm trying not to think so much about what happened two years ago, because if I just keep playing on that, oh, I had unbelievable Wimbledon two years ago, I will never be able to do better. In a way, I just don't want to live in the past. I take all the good moments and the good experience, yes, indeed I do.
But if I want to get even further, there is just obviously a long way to go. But in the same time, I just I need to focus and follow how I want to be and how I want to structure the whole tournament and any other tournament ahead.


Grigor Dimitrov: Second round - The Championships, Wimbledon 2016 - Official Site by IBM
06-28-2016 01:51 PM
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Wimbledon

First round

Grigor Dimitrov talks to the media after his 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Bjorn Fratangelo


Q. Well played. You looked really confident. Didn't look like somebody about whom people are saying his career might be going slightly down instead of up. Looked like you were in the zone. Do you pay attention to it when people say this is a player who should be playing better?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I mean, I'm always I mean, I always criticize myself. This is the person that, you know, I answer to, anyway. Coming back to Wimbledon, it always brings back good memories to me.
I had a good week, I would say, weeks of practice considering my previous results. So I'm just confident to get out there and play. I mean, I have always wanted to play my game in a certain way. Now, I mean, today in particular it felt really good. I felt like I was serving well, felt I was moving well on the grass.
Yeah, you know, I was just getting back to the basics. I mean, whatever everyone is talking about it, that's their thing. You know, I have said it before, I never listen and frankly I don't care.

Q. How does it feel now today compared to how you felt, say, in 2014 when you had a fantastic Wimbledon?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think 2014 was like throughout the whole year I think I had a fantastic year. But now I'm just you know, I'm just feeling in a way just as good. I'm very happy when I start striking the ball the way I was striking it today, and I think my confidence also is getting back after playing matches like today. I mean, I know I have struggled a little bit in the past weeks, but that didn't, in the same time, didn't discourage me. That also got me thinking a lot.
I think about myself I wanted to find also a lot of answers, and I was just I think I was just in my own, in a way, in my own world.
But, yeah, I was just focusing again on the tennis. That was the most important thing for me, and I just kept practicing, practicing, and practicing. It seems to be good for now.

Q. Can you give an example of what went wrong in the first round defeats you have suffered recently that you really focused on and thought, right, I can't do that again?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I can't say one thing in particular. I think I had quite a few first rounds in a row, but it's you know, it's also the work that you put in, you know, the team and what we have, you know, worked on. There is just so many components I think in the game that I just felt were not up to speed with everything.
And I think of course my confidence was down a little bit also, and I was not going for my shots. I was not playing my game in the way I wanted to structure the point and, you know, the first serves, returns. So there are just a lot of uncertainties around that I just couldn't, you know, couldn't get a handle.
But the one thing is I have always put in the work, so no matter the result, even if it's bad, you know, or anything else, at least I know that I'm honest in front of myself and know that I have done the work.

Q. When we spoke in Paris after your match you were telling me that you didn't know what the problem was and you were looking for answers. You said you were open to anything. What was the process like for you after that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I'm still looking for answers, you know. I just think I have played long enough to, you know, to know, as I said, how I like to play and how I want to structure myself, I think, in and out of the court.
So I just felt that I just was not settled enough, I would say. I was just not feeling comfortable the way I was practicing, the things I was doing. So that's why I said I just need some time, I need to find these answers, and what can I do better?
Because I have always wanted to be better. I always wanted to improve. You know, the moment you feel you stop improving, then you know something is not right.

Q. You were on a six match losing streak. Does that weigh on your mind at all? Are you aware that you are...
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Of course I'm aware. I should be aware, of course. But as I said, this should not discourage you. It's not the end of the world. It's just, you know, a tennis match. But in the same time, you're like, Okay, what did I do wrong?
Obviously when something is not going the way that it should, I mean, then of course all of a sudden everyone starts talking. Oh, the guy is like losing first rounds and this and that. I mean, everyone has periods in their career and I think in their life that things are a little bit uncertain and they are struggling a little bit.
But to go ahead and start making assumptions and judging, you know, that's just there is just no need for that.

Q. What would represent a good tournament for you over these next two weeks?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Hey, I have gone pretty far out here. I have gone pretty the thing is I'm not fearing anyone. I'm not fearing...
(Novak Djokovic pops head in the door.)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Are you sure you're not?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No. Especially you. Especially you. (Laughter.) Especially you.
No, on a serious note, I mean, honestly I don't fear anyone. I have beaten I think top players and in big tournaments. Like I'm not afraid to get out there and get my hands dirty. I'm very happy to play right now. I think that's the thing is like I'm happy to play. And I think when you're happy, things are just happening.
I know I have very tough rounds in general. I'm unseeded. It sucks, you know, I must say. It's been a while since I haven't been seeded.
I take the positives out of that. Of course I don't forget everything else and I don't forget what I have done and I don't forget where I come from, of course. Now I just need to go back to the basics and just work my way through again.

Q. You don't fear him, then?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah. (Laughter.)

Q.How much do you like playing on grass? Do you feel grass...
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Oh, yeah. I think it's again, I mean, when I finished my last tournament on clay I was like, Oh, God. Thank God.
In the same time I I love grass. I mean, I remember the first time I came here I didn't I barely hit a ball on grass, and the following year I won Wimbledon as a junior. So I think ever since then, I was like, Yeah, I can play good on grass.
So I think, you know, I have I think mentally I'm always prepared coming on grass. So I think that's just something to have in your pocket and at least you know, like, Let's open the files. Let's see how it goes.

Q. Does the whole sort of Wimbledon thing, I don't know if we just like writing about this, but if you have gone through a period quite difficult to play and you come here and feel comfortable and you like the surface, does that sort of build momentum for you? Do you sort of feel more comfortable?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I guess. You know, I guess. This is where tennis starts. I mean, I think every player feels very special out here. It's just how it is.
I mean, I don't know if it's the air or if it's the grass or the strawberries or that we all stay in houses. Like, seriously, I don't know.
But whoever you ask, just a special feeling. Even guys that never liked playing on grass are like coming here, Oh, it's so nice.
Dude, you don't like playing on grass. Yeah, so that gives you that vibe. So, yeah.

Q. How difficult is it really to go from practice? You say you've been practising hard. But then to play in a match after waiting?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I have practising a lot. I think that's the problem. I think when you have that much time on your hands I mean, as a player, you always feel that, okay, you know, it's a tough loss. Let's just practice this week. And then another week. And then another week happens. Of course it weighs off your shoulders a little bit. That's why sometimes you're coming out of a match and you're a little bit anxious to just hit more balls or try to put the ball in the court and just to rally a little bit more.
I think this is also a little bit dangerous because you kind of get out of your rhythm and your game plan. So, yeah.
For me, it's just simple. I mean, it's tough to say simple, but it's simple in a way, coming out on the grass. At least I know what my game is and I'm following what's working.

Q. You say it sucks not being seeded. How does it feel being on court 16?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I was just about to say something about that and I didn't. It was different. I think, to be honest, that was the first I played my first round there as a junior before I won the tournament. So I took it as a good sign, to be honest, like a good omen.
Yeah, it was different. It was definitely different. I'm not gonna lie that. It wasn't bad or anything. I mean, it's still grass. It's still Wimbledon. Just was a little bit more windy than usual. People are walking a little bit behind, a little bit more noisy.
But it's not that I have never done that before. It's only positives.

Q. Your next round opponent?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Who am I playing?

Q. Simon? I think he finished while we were here.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: As I said, like, I have to play big opponents next round, so, yeah, the only way for me to get back to where I was is if I go through him. That's just how it is, guys. Nothing else would help me, even if I'm a wildcard or whatever. That doesn't give you an extra privilege or anything. Just back to, you know, back to basics and explore that you know, of course my opponents I have played pretty much everyone out there. I know what it is. I mean, I'm playing I'm playing Simon next round? Obviously he's a tricky guy on any surfaces. I need to definitely bring my A game, but in the same time I'm pretty confident that my game is going to be good enough to beat him. So I'm coming out there with of course expectations for myself to win.

Grigor Dimitrov: First round - The Championships, Wimbledon 2016 - Official Site by IBM
05-24-2016 01:55 PM
CCTennis
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

Struggling Grigor Dimitrov feels ‘insecure’ on the court as he exits French Open at first hurdle

sport360.com
23rd May 2016


A slumping Grigor Dimitrov makes a third consecutive first round exit at Roland Garros and admits his current struggles are "scary" and that he is "insecure" on court.

Once touted as the next Roger Federer, Grigor Dimitrov now finds himself coming off a third consecutive first round defeat at the French Open and describing his current struggles as “scary” and his feeling on court as “insecure”.

The Bulgarian, a former top-tenner, now down to No36 in the world and unseeded in Paris, was up two-sets-to-one and leading 4-2 in the fourth before he succumbed 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 to No22 seed Viktor Troicki in a three-hour, 35-minute battle.

Dimitrov has not won a match since his meltdown in the Istanbul final on May 1, where he destroyed three of his racquets before forfeiting to hand over the title to Diego Schwartzman. First round exits in Madrid, Rome and now Roland Garros ensued and he admits he needs to go back to the drawing board and figure things out with his team.

The talented 25-year-old seemed lost and genuinely concerned when he addressed the press after his five-set defeat on Monday, with his biggest frustration stemming from his inability to find solutions for his troubles.

“I’ve lost a lot of confidence in myself,” said a dejected Dimitrov.

“It’s not easy to come off losing those kind of matches, those close matches. In the past years I’ve been winning those close matches and that gives you a lot of confidence and motivation and everything and overall I’ve lost a lot of that…

“I’ve been there before but this time it’s just kind of different. Sometimes it’s scary of course, it’s just really scary. But I’m positive and happy to come out and work and work and work, that never scares me.

“What scares me is that I’m really not finding a way and usually I’m pretty good at bouncing back, whether it’s from a loss or something else. A lot of losses have always motivated me – just right now it’s not happening.”

Dimitrov’s start to the year was promising, making the last eight in Brisbane, finals in Sydney, third round at the Australian Open where he took Roger Federer to four sets before surrendering, and semis in Delray Beach, where he lost to world No86 Rajeev Ram.

It’s been up and down since then for him and he can’t decide why things “aren’t clicking”.

“I think right now my serve is very off, I’m breaking a lot of strings on clay this year, today I broke six strings again, over the course of five sets, which is a lot considering we were changing balls quite often,” he explains.

“Just small things that aren’t working, a little piece there, a little piece here and you can’t really fight it. It is what it is, you accept it and you try to find solutions. Right now I’m just fighting to find a solution. I’m disappointed. I’m very disappointed, it’s my third French Open in a row that I’m losing in the first round, it’s not like I’m playing bad on clay or anything…”

Dimitrov, who teamed up with Juan Martin del Potro’s ex-coach Franco Davin in September last year, can’t determine whether the problem is more mental or technical and says he’s relying on his team to sit down with him and draw up a plan of action.

“Those doubts start to come and once they come they make you very insecure on the court and then you have to change your game a little bit, whether stay back and hit some more shots… it gets you off your game plan a lot and that’s not good. As a player when you have a game plan and you have to change it, it’s really no fun. You find a way and sometimes it’s too late and sometimes it’s not working and for me right now it’s both,” he concedes.

“I do put the work in but there’s just hurdles non-stop that at least, I’ll be very appreciative of whomever from my team or anyone to sit me down and say ‘listen this can’t go like this anymore and we need to do something about it’. I’m very open to that kind of discussion.”

Some have questioned whether his failed romances with WTA star Maria Sharapova and more recently pop singer Nicole Scherzinger have been sources of distraction but Dimitrov insists the tennis court has always been his happy place irrespective of any off-court drama.

Asked whether he has considered seeing a sports psychologist, he says: “I don’t know. I don’t think I’m there yet. I don’t know about sports psychology or any of that. If for example someone from my team says ‘hey, maybe you should try that’, I’m always open to try things in general.

“But I don’t know, I think I’m not there, it’s just more mentally for me when I’m alone out there on the court than outside factors. Whatever you have in your life in your life you have it, but then after you come out on the court it should be your nice place, a place that you can feel good, smile and play the game.”

The real problem is that Dimitrov’s opponents can detect all those doubts he has in his game and Troicki said it played a factor in their match.

“Yes, I did (sense that he doesn’t have confidence in himself now). I knew that, after his loss in the Istanbul final, where he was serving for the match, and he didn’t play well especially this year on clay. I think he can play very well on clay but I knew his confidence isn’t very good right now,” said Troicki, who next faces his fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic in the second round.

Struggling Grigor Dimitrov feels ?insecure? on the court as he exits French Open at first hurdle - Tennis - International | Sport360
05-16-2016 08:33 AM
CCTennis
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE



HAPPY BIRTHDAY
05-05-2016 09:19 AM
CCTennis
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

MUTUA MADRID OPEN

May 3, 2016

Grigor Dimitrov

Madrid, Spain

P. BUSTA CARRENO/G. Dimitrov

7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You looked a little bit uncomfortable, like you couldn't get into a rhythm. Was it just a little bit soon after the final or just the courts were different?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Everything is different, you know. It's a new tournament. It's a new match. What can I say? Whatever I say it's going to sound as an excuse.

I don't have excuses whatsoever for it. I'm not going to lie. I had a pretty rough final out in Turkey, and then I flew yesterday morning.

I didn't even hit on the courts yesterday. Today was my only sort of 20 minutes to adjust for the match. Only thing I could do is go out and try. I mean, this is something I have to accept and move on. I'm looking a little bit on the bright side. I'm going to have a few days' rest and get the chance for my body to recover, maybe go early to Rome, and hopefully it's better.

Q. What is the mindset now? I guess emotionally it was pretty hard for you past couple of days. How did you feel on the court before that? Is it a tough period you feel you're in now?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't feel it's about the period. I'm very hard on myself in general. I always want perfection. I know there is no such thing as perfection, but I'm always aiming to be the best that I can. Sometimes it gets to you a little bit. Like I wanted it too much. That also showed that I cared a lot. I'm not just playing sometimes a match just to say that I'm playing matches, but they mean something to me.

Yeah, the past days have been rough, but in a way I'm happy that this just is behind me now. It just passed like a little storm. Like I felt a little bit like a kite in a perfect storm, so to speak, you know. It felt all right, you know, so...

It's in the past, and only thing I can do is just put a smile on my face and be happy for what I do. I'm healthy. A lot of tournaments ahead. Just get on with the positivity and keep up the good work.

Q. About the Istanbul match, looking back on how it ended, what are your thoughts on it? I guess you can explain what was going through your head as the strings keep breaking and the warnings were piling up.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, a lot was going on. It's no fun when you break strings on such big points and in such big of course moments. As I said, it gets to you. That shows also that we're all human. I mean, I let myself down, and mainly like my family and my team. Of course all the audience. You know, me. I don't usually do that kind of stuff. It sets a super bad example for the youth, in a way.

It happened. That just happened. That was me that day. I'm not trying to hide it. I'm sure everyone saw it, so I don't shy away from it. As I said, I care a lot for the matches. I care and I was so close. In Sydney I was so close. I had a match point, then serving for the match there. So it just builds up a little bit, yeah.

Q. Did you talk to Diego after the match? It was obviously a weird way for him to win his first title.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, of course. He was in the locker room and of course I apologized. I know what is it to win your first title, and to win it in that way, I know it feels shit. If I were him I wouldn't talk to me, you know what I mean?

Yeah, I congratulated him and really apologized for taking that moment away from him. I can only learn from it. In the same time, in the heat of the moment, you just sometimes don't know what can come up. Actually I tweeted as well because I really owe like to him personally that apology.

I mean, I would've done it to whoever I played because I know it sucks.

Q. You said for this year you want to reboot and start over but get off to a new platform. How do you feel that has gone in the past four months and would you rate your year so far?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think I'm a better player right now. I feel I'm in a better spot. A few sets back, like they're not going to like really bother me too much.

I have a strong team around me now. We're just, working to find the best way possible. It's not easy. It's going to take time to structure the game again, everything. Everything takes time.

I feel I'm a better player than one year ago. Of course I don't judge this by the results or the ranking or anything like that. For me, it's important in my game. I feel, for example, like my backhand side is so much better and stronger, so I feel that I can count on that a little bit more.

Few other elements of the game are getting there. Now the only thing is to put it together into the game and to find that rhythm.

It's not about rebooting anymore. I don't feel that. I think I've established quite a few things around me. I've established myself as a player. Now I want to get back to of course where I was ranking-wise, and then think after that.

I think I've learned my lessons. I know the feeling what is it to be 8 and 28, so I'm sure when I get back there I'm going to do things differently and have a different approach.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
04-30-2016 10:30 PM
Spirographus
Re: News & Articles about Grigor

Here is the presser after the semi-final with Karlovic. It was done in Bulgarian and I've used a couple of sources (my own translation), but I think there are a couple of very promising things in there...



Grigor Dimitrov reached his second ATP final of the season, having defeated Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (0) 7-6 (2) at the tournament in Istanbul. In an attempt to grab his fifth trophy of the ATP level the Bulgarian will face Diego Schwartzman, and here is what he said at today's press conference:



- Grigor, you play better with every match. What did you change in your game?

- Am I disappointing you? (laughing). I have nothing much to say, the result speaks for itself. Ivo is a very tough opponent and I knew I had to be patient and use every chance. I played two good tie-breakers. In such cases it is very important to stay focused and try to put the ball back in. Today I made several very good returns in the tie-breaks, placed the ball close to the lines. I got the mini-break, then another one, and that makes things easier.

- Against Karlovic there is no easy match. How did you manage to survive against his mighty serve?

- Ivo has many qualities, but definitely the most dangerous one is his serve. Indeed, it was a game of nerves. Especially in the early minutes as I was unable to put a single return of serve in or even find my position on the court, which is dangerous, because you have only two sets to come back if you screw up. I played well when it was important. Returns today were the key thing.

- Finals are always special matches ...


- I'll stop you right there. There is nothing particularly special to me in tomorrow's match. The way I think of it: Tomorrow I have a match, then onto Madrid on Monday where I play another one, so I do not see anything too particular. A match is a match. I do not want to burden myself by giving it too much significance. This will neither be my first, nor my last final. I just have to focus on myself and on my game, as I said in the previous interviews. This is the most important thing for me at the moment. It does not matter whom I play against, what matters is how I play.

- How did you manage to unsettle Karlovic in the tie-breaks?

- Ivo, tends to play risky in tough moments. And sometimes he does get nervous, I have noticed this in many of his matches. I knew that the more returns I manage to put back in, the more he would start thinking about where to serve, how to serve, how fast to serve. And in such matches that sometimes makes the difference.

- You look more settled and stable with every match in Istanbul. Will we see the trend continue tomorrow?

- Hopefully. As I said - the important thing is to go out with the same attitude and just play. For me this is the most important thing at the moment. I’ve got two more tournaments, Madrid and Rome, one straight after the other, then Paris. So the more matches I get to play on clay, the better. I’m absolutely settled at the moment, my game is gradually settling as well, I am becaming more consistent.

- Do the Bulgarian flags help?


- Yes, always. I've said this before. Wherever I am, no matter if I'm 200 km from Bulgaria or 20,000 km, Bulgarian flags are always helpful. I have a Bulgarian passport, I play for Bulgaria, so ...

- When was the last tiebreaker you won by 7:0?

- I cannot remember. Actually, that's what I was thinking after the match (smiling). Especially against such an opponent... I don’t think it’s happened to me before. I think it may be my first.

- May be not the last ...


- Hopefully (smiles).
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