Grigor Dimitrov: “I had enough fuel in my body to go through the match. I was just physically really strong” - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov: “I had enough fuel in my body to go through the match. I was just physically really strong”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 27th of June. G. Dimitrov d. A. Dolgopolov 6-7, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. An interview with Grigor Dimitrov

 

Q. It all seemed to change on that backhand that hit the baseline to take you to 5b#4.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, the slice shot. Yeah, I mean, what can I say? First of all, I think it was a good fight throughout the whole match. Alex is a tricky opponent to play. The only thing, my game wasn’t at my best level today. The only thing I could do is just stay in the match and fight with every chance that I had during the match. I had to basically use it and try to break him down.

I think he came out of the match really intrigued, and I just had to just play a better tennis in the end.

 

Q. Were you surprised how quickly the final set went? I think he won seven points.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: You know, as soon as I had that break in the fifth set, you know, I knew I that could close it up fast. I saw his movement changed a little bit. His shots were becoming lighter and lighter. I just had to put my foot down and really close it up the best way possible.

I was happy I was able to do it that fast.

 

Q. Is this where all the hard work on and off the court really pays off?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I mean, obviously, as I said, it’s one of those days that the game wasn’t there. I had to count on something else. I had enough fuel in my body to go through the match. I was just physically really strong, you know. I knew that the deeper the match goes, the better odds I have of winning it.

That fifth set proved a lot to me today.

 

Q. It might be a little bit surprising to some people because obviously as a player you’re quite known for your elegance, the beauty of your shot-making. It’s nice to see the scrappy fighting elements.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I mean, not every day you wake up and feel at your best. You have to do anything you can to win the match.

Today I was capable of doing pretty much everything that I had to do. I knew I didn’t play one of my best shots or I was not playing beautiful tennis. But, you know, it’s in the game. In the end it doesn’t matter if you’re going to win crappy or if you’re going to lose beautiful. I’d rather win that way.

That actually gives me another chance, another look for the next match what I can do better. That’s my goal, to be better.

 

Q. Last year you had a heartbreaking loss in five sets here. Now you’re stronger. Did it help you that you had that tough experience last year? Did you think about it today?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think you always think about moments like that, regardless if it’s that tournament or any other ones.

I was really positive coming into Wimby that year. This year has been a better preparation. Obviously I had a great week before that, winning Queen’s. Of course, that gives me extra hype, extra excitement.

Still, you don’t have to forget one of those moments that you fail. I think because of those moments, you know, I’ve prided myself on some of the matches that I played so far. Some of my mental strength comes from that. I was able to overcome that.

It’s a great feeling.

 

Q. I’m sure you knew part of what you were letting yourself in for when you brought Roger onboard. Has it been tougher work than you expected?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, I don’t look at it that way. I love working. I enjoy working with him. I think sometimes it’s not even enough.

That’s how it’s been. He’s the one that brings definitely those little details of my game and I think of my mentality as a player. It’s something nice to have between a coach and a player.

 

Q. Respectfully you’re a player with a number of nicknames. Some people call you Baby Fed. Some call you Mr. Sharapova now.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I didn’t know that.

 

Q. Do you feel a bit like with this run now, you can make your own name?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: People will judge anyway. What can I say? I think I’ve grown through all the nicknames by now. I think it’s time for everyone to kind of come up with something better.

I think all those things are starting to fade away. I’m proving myself not only as a player but as a person outside of the court. So to me it’s much more valuable.

 

Q. How do you want to be regarded? Does that come back to the fighting spirit you showed today? Is that the way you would like people to see you?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: It would have been better if I won in three, straight sets, I’m not going to lie to you.

But when it comes down to matches like that, yeah. I think I want to create my own legend, my own trademarks. I’m the only player that is playing out there on the court, so everything is in your hands.

You have the choice, the opportunities, the varieties, to make something.

 

Q. You said you wanted to make changes at the US Open because you weren’t happy with your fitness. Do you still consider yourself a work in progress?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I think I’m just at the beginning. I still have a lot of things to work on. I think it’s a good way of thinking because if you think that you’ve reached the top, this is where you don’t improve.

For me the most important thing is to improve, to get better every day, every match I play in, and take one step at a time.

I never wanted to be one of those that takes numerous steps to the front and settle with that, then wait till the next big thing comes. It’s all or nothing.

 

Q. Millions of Bulgarians are following your matches with excitement. Do you ever think about the fans back home when you play?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I always think about the fans at home. Luckily when I was back home after Miami, they were showing some of my matches, the excitement of the people. It makes me happy, makes me happy to see that. I’m happy that people in general are engaging with that sport in Bulgaria and it’s developing in a good way.

 

Q. Most of the top players name Raonic and you as the next generation. Do you feel proud or do you feel pressure for that?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: In a way it’s nice to hear it, but I think, so to speak, the youngest generation, we all look for what we are looking for. I don’t think we ever listen or hear.

I’m like that in particular. I don’t listen to those things. I just want to take my way and have my team around in the surroundings which is the most important thing and focus on what I have to do.

I think it’s important thing for me to just keep that way, not paying much attention to anything else around.

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Thomas Musters Hints At Conflict With Thiem After Sudden Axe From Team

The unexpected move by Thiem has left more questions than answers.

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Australian tennis legend Thomas Muster has seemingly suggested that a difference in opinion was behind his sudden departure from Dominic Thiem’s team after just two weeks.

 

On Saturday the world No.5 unexpectedly confirmed that the former French Open champion has left his team. Exactly 18 days after Thiem said during a press conference at the ATP Cup that the two have arranged a ‘working relationship.’ The announcement followed Thiem’s four-set win over Taylor Fritz in the third round of the Australian Open.

“We ended our working relationship,” He told Austrian reporters in Melbourne. “It did not fit. It’s easy like that. It is just about work. We get along well personally, and we said in the beginning, if anything is not all right we will tell each other.”

Questions are left remaining about what the exact reason for the two to go their separate ways. Especially given their short period spent working together. Both have been coy on the subject, but Muster has shed some light during an interview with Eurosport.

Speaking with fellow former world No.1 Becker, Muster said he was initially expecting to be working with Thiem for a two-year period. Adding to the mystery, the 52-year-old fuelled further speculation when he gave a cryptic insight about the two-time French Open finalist. Who had previously said that his career was to emulate and surpass Muster’s career achievements.

“To be honest, I have seen myself in this role for the next two years.” He told Becker.
“Why he chose differently…l I know why, but I don’t want to say the details.’
“It’s like this. There are houses which look nice from the outside, wonderfully from the outside, but you rarely know who lives inside.”

Speaking about Thiem’s performance on the court, Muster believes there are still areas of his game that requires further improvement. Last year the 26-year-old won five titles on the ATP Tour, including his first at Masters level. Something that was only matched by Novak Djokovic.

“He’s a fine guy and likes to learn a lot,” he told Eurosport.
“But he has also got some shortcomings, he has to work on if he wants to be at the top. He has improved a lot, but he to catch up in the technical, physical and foremost in the mental area.”

Muster isn’t the only former professional with a view that Thiem needs to improve. Mats Wilander recently called on the tennis star to improve his attitude on the court.

Thiem will play fifth seed Gael Monfils in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday.

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Injury-Stricken Juan Martin Del Potro Suffers New Blow And An Uncertain Future

There is more bad news for fans of the former world No.3 and his hopes of a return to tennis.

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Hopes of Juan Martin del Potro returning to the tour in the coming weeks have ended after it was announced that he will undergo further surgery on Monday.

 

The former US Open champion hasn’t played a competitive match since June after fracturing his right kneecap at the Fever-Tree Championships in London. The same one he also hurt towards the end of the 2018 season. Shortly after his mishap the Argentine underwent surgery in Barcelona in an attempt to fix the issue and have been undergoing rehabilitation ever since.

Unfortunately for the former top-five player, the surgery hasn’t been a success with him continuing to have pain in the region. In an official press release published on Sunday, it was confirmed that the issue is affecting the Argentine in everyday tasks such as walking up a flight of stairs. As a consequence, Del Potro will have yet another operation on his knee in Miami.

“We want to update you that after long weeks of inter consultations in Argentina, Europe and the United States, most doctors have come to the conclusion that a new intervention in the right knee of Juan Martin del Potro is necessary.” A statement reads.
“After analyzing the options, Delpo trusted Dr. Lee Kaplan to perform the surgery scheduled for Monday, January 27th in Miami.”
“We hope that this is the definitive solution to eliminate the pain that not only has prevented Delpo from playing tennis, but also making it difficult for him to perform daily activities.”

Speculation over the future intentions of the 31-year-old started earlier this week when he withdrew from the Delray Beach Open. The tournament were where he was set to make his comeback next month.

During his rehabilitation, Del Potro has sought various treatments. Including types of diets, training and trips to specialists. All of which failed to deliver the desired outcome and forced him to undergo surgery.

“Thank you for your patience and for understanding that these past weeks we have taken our time before communicating his next steps. The situation is never easy when it comes to the physique of an athlete and, more importantly, the health of a person.” Team del Potro said.

The latest revelation has cast concerns over Del Potro’s future career. Who at one stage said he was unsure if he would be able to continue playing due to his knee injury (prior to his first surgery). It is the latest setback for the injury-stricken player who have also been forced to undergo four wrist surgeries.

So far in his career, Del Potro has won 22 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as third in the world last year.

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Milos Raonic reaches the Australian Open quarter finals for the fifth time in his career

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Milos Raonic beat Marin Cilic 6-4 6-3 7-5 to advance to the quarter final at the Australian Open for the fifth time in his career and for the second consecutive year. The Canadian player has advanced to the quarter final for the tenth time in his career at Grand Slam level.

 

Raonic saved an early break point with a big serve and hit a backhand down the line to force an error to break in the 10th game closing out the first set 6-4.

The former Wimbldon finalist and eight-time ATP Tour champion hit a backhand return winner in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead in the second set.

Cilic brought up two set points on Raonic’s serve in the 10th game of the third set, but Raonic fended them off with three serves. Raonic got a break in the 11th game at 15 and sealed the win on his first match point with an ace.

“It feels pretty good. I have got to say. I can’t complain about it and I am just happy with how things are going. I am happy I have another chance to play in two days here and it’s been an exciting tournament for me so far, but hopefully there are more exciting things ahead. I did a lot of things really well, and I had the idea of how I wanted to play. I was happy I could execute and live up to that”, said Milos Raonic in the post-match interview.

 

 

 

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