Grigor Dimitrov: “I just feel comfortable at the moment and, of course, happy with the title I got at Queen's” - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov: “I just feel comfortable at the moment and, of course, happy with the title I got at Queen's”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 25th of June. G. Dimitrov d. L. Saville 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. An interview with Grigor Dimitrov

 

Q. Do you feel you’re playing particularly well this year?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I think at that point I’m having a good results and I’ve been quite healthy and successful on all the surfaces. So it feels natural to me to come and compete on that level.

In the same time I feel really excited. So that brings even more to the game. Of course, to my confidence. I’m looking forward to every match.

 

Q. You may not know, but when Boris Becker won Queen’s, he was almost unknown, he won Wimbledon a few weeks later. He was paid 16b#1 by the bookmakers, exactly like you. Is that a good omen?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I hope (smiling). What else can I say about that?

Of course it’s a great feeling to come play a tournament with odds like that, I’m sure. I got to take each match at a time. Especially nowadays I think the level of everyone is quite high, everyone is playing a great tennis.

You just have to be really optimistic, as well. It’s not just what the odds are and how you do everything else. But I just feel comfortable at the moment and, of course, happy with the title I got at Queen’s.

But I’m here, and I’m here for the long haul, so yeah.

 

Q. How much of an influence has your coach been? He works you very hard, doesn’t he?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, Roger’s been next to me ever since we started working together. I think we’ve put a tremendous amount of work throughout all the months. Especially in the off-season, when we really needed to step on the gas and create a solid base for the year ahead, I think we found a good combination on and off the court.

So basically, you know, we clicked. It’s something that I think we have just a good relationship. We’re finding our way around pretty good so far.

 

Q. What does he put you through?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: A lot of work. A lot of weights. You know, he’s a very tough but fair man in the end of the day. And I love to work. I mean, I love to give everything from myself every day. You know, on occasions when I can go 110% every day, it’s a good base to have.

 

Q. What have you learned from the type of competitor and worker she is?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I mean, I think you can learn a lot in a way. But I think in the end it’s not about what I’m going to learn from her. It’s about what I want to learn from myself and for the game. That’s to me in a way more valuable because I’m competing in that sport and I want to be at my best.

I’m trying to find all the ways possible on my own. Of course, it’s great to have a surrounding and support like hers.

 

Q. For nine years there’s been a virtual roadblock to major championships with four guys. What is it like for a guy trying to break in and join that group?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: In a way it’s nice to see, but in the same time I think it pushes you to the limits of your work. I know we all want to break through. I think especially the younger generation, we all want to push through those slams and start winning a few, which I believe it’s around the corner for any one of us.

Of course, it’s not the easiest thing to see. But I think at the same time it pushes you to work harder and to appreciate things in a different way.

 

Q. You have to play Dolgopolov next round. You both are very talented. When you have to play a player who is very talented, do you fear him more than someone who is more consistent, that is always playing at his level, or not? Does it create new problems to you?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: In a way I don’t need to fear anyone. I don’t fear from opponents in that order.

But I think I always focus on my game. I know what to expect from my opponent. Obviously I’ve played couple of times against him.

To me it’s nothing new. I don’t want to get out of my way because it’s a different opponent or he’s talented or anything like that. I think a lot of players out there are talented. We all know how he can play and compete.

I think I’m just focusing on my game at the moment.

 

Q. You said before about being honored to play on Centre Court. Besides the prestige of Wimbledon, is there particularly anything special about the tournament? What gives you sort of goosebumps when you come here?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, tennis started here basically. I think it’s just a lot of tradition. The week before you walk on the grounds, you see how everything is lined up in a perfect way.

I think it’s just a special feeling for everyone. I think you kind of embrace it as soon as you step on the grounds.

Again, coming on that Centre Court was just definitely something to remember. How many people can say, you know, I walked on Centre Court and played a match? That’s pretty awesome, I think.

 

Q. The British fans are pretty excited about Andy Murray. You could be facing him in the quarterfinals. Can you allow yourself to look that far ahead?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I can but I don’t want to (smiling).

 

Q. Would it be an exciting challenge for you?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Of course. Of course. That’s why I’m playing that game. That’s why I’m competing, is to get into that phase of a tournament and play against an opponent like that. I mean, what’s better than that?

 

Q. Speaking of Andy Murray, we were speaking a moment ago about the big four. When you think about that group and the way they’ve played, what do you learn from them and appreciate most?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think you can learn a lot in general, I mean, watching those matches. Especially them going through those early rounds, the way they’re preparing. I think it’s just the surroundings, you can learn a lot from them.

But I think I’ve reached the point that I don’t need to follow or copy anyone or look into anyone. I’m all focused on myself and what I do in order to get there and be able to compete on the same level as them.

ATP

Stan Wawrinka Parts Way With Long-Time Coach Norman

Stan the man is on the look out for a new coach for the first time in almost a decade.

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It is the end of an era for three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka after he announced his split from coach Magnus Norman.

 

The former world No.3 confirmed on Monday that the two have decided to end their collaboration with ‘mutual consent’ following eight years working together on the Tour. Norman was last with Wawrinka at the Italian Open last week where the Swiss player lost his opening match to rising star Lorenzo Musetti. It is unclear as to exactly when the decision was made.

“After 8 great years together Magnus Norman and I have decided to part ways by mutual consent. We have had an amazingly strong, enjoyable and hugely successful partnership. We reached the height of this sport together and I want to thank him for helping me win everything that I could ever dream of winning,” Wawrinka said in a statement posted on Instagram.

44-year-old Norman is a former world No.2 player himself who reached the final of the French Open back in 2000. During his coaching career, he guided Wawrinka to various milestones in his career that includes 13 ATP titles with three of those being at Grand Slam level. The Swede has also been recognized by the ATP for his work with Wawrinka after winning the inaugural Coach of the Year award back in 2016.

“He’s been a great coach, friend and mentor and will always be a dear friend,” Wawrinka said in a tribute.
“I want to publicly thank him for all his hard work, dedication and commitment in making me a better player over the years. Winning three grand slams have been a life changing experience for me and I could not have done that without him. I wish him all the best in his next chapter in his life.”

The announcement from the world No.17 comes a week before the French Open starts. Wawrinka has been training on the clay for the past few weeks after deciding against travelling to North America to play in the US Open. Instead, he played in a couple Challenger events and won a trophy in Prague last month. Overall, he has achieved a win-loss record of 15-3 so far in 2020.

It is unclear as to who will be replacing Norman in Wawrinka’s team.

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Novak Djokovic Survives Krajinovic Battle To Seal Last Eight Berth In Rome

Novak Djokovic reached an 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic (@ATPTour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic survived a tough battle in Rome to beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6(7) 6-3 to reach the last eight.

 

Although the World Number one got the victory, it was a tough battle as he fought his compatriot for a place in the Quarter-Finals.

Breaks were shared to start the match as Krajinovic brought his fearless game to the top seed.

Djokovic created a total of ten break points, with only one executed as Krajinovic saved two set points in the tenth game to hold for 5-5.

After two comfortable holds, a tiebreak settled the winner of the first set as Djokovic was having a hard time to contain Krajinovic’s power.

The world number one battled from 3-0 down to edge the tiebreak 9-7 and win the opening set in 88 minutes.

Once Djokovic had survived the Krajinovic stormed, he took control and went into another gear as a break of serve in the third game was all that was needed to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

Winning 47% of his 2nd return points was key as Djokovic reaches his 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final of his career.

Next for Djokovic will be either talented teen sensation Lorenzo Musetti or Dominik Koepfer.

In other results today, Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov set a last eight showdown after tight three set wins.

Shapovalov edged out Ugo Humbert 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 while Dimitrov defeated Jannik Sinner 4-6 6-4 6-4 in a tough match.

There were also third round wins for Casper Ruud and Matteo Berrettini.

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Rafael Nadal Missing Fan Support Despite Emphatic Win At Italian Open

The 19-time Grand Slam winner reacts to his latest win 200 days after his last.

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Rafael Nadal (image via https://twitter.com/InteBNLdItalia)

The absence of a crowd at this year’s Italian Masters has been branded as ‘not beautiful’ by Rafael Nadal following his opening match on Wednesday.

 

The world No.2 raced to a 6-1, 6-1, triumph over US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta in what was his first competitive match of any sort since March 1st. Despite his lengthy break from the Tour, Nadal showed little rust as he dropped only eight points behind his serve and broke the world No.18 five times overall. The latest victory is Nadal’s 62nd in Rome and he has only won more matches at four other tournaments.

“Of course I have to improve things. The things that I have to improve, the only way to improve is to keep practising with the right attitude, the right intensity and to spend hours in competition matches,” he said afterwards.
“Today has been a positive start for me,”
Nadal later added.

Choosing to skip the New York bubble due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nadal is still getting used to the concept of playing without the crowds. Something many of his rivals has already had experience of. The Italian Open had originally hoped to allow fans to enter its grounds before the local authorities ruled against it over concerns it could trigger an outbreak of the Coronavirus.

“It’s Not beautiful the feeling of playing without the spectators because the energy of the fans is impossible to describe. But for me, at least, today has been a very positive comeback,” Nadal assessed.

It is a case of wait and see as to how the Spaniard will fare in the coming days given his recent lack of match play compared to his rivals such as Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic. Fortunately for Nadal, he is playing on the clay which is a surface which he has won more ATP titles on than any other player in the Open Era. As for the upcoming French Open, will a lack of play in recent weeks be problematic for him?

“I don’t think so, no. If Roland Garros was this week, maybe yes. Roland Garros is two weeks away.” He concluded.

Nadal will next play either Milos Raonic or Dusan Lajovic who will play their second round match on Thursday.

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