Grigor Dimitrov: “I take all the confidence from Queen's out on the court” - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov: “I take all the confidence from Queen's out on the court”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 30th of June. G. Dimitrov d. L. Mayer 6-4, 7-6, 6-2. An interview with Grigor Dimitrov

 

Q. Andy Murray next in a Wimbledon quarterfinal. How does that sound?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Sounds great. Sounds good. You know, first of all I’m happy that I’m in the quarterfinal match, you know. Just going to give credit to myself for that. But my job isn’t over yet.

So I’m excited to get on the court tomorrow. Just go through my regular routines, through all the gears, you know, come on Wednesday.

 

Q. Obviously you’re coming in here fresh from your victory at Queen’s. How have you felt on the grass so far in this campaign and what sort of levels of confidence do you take into the match?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I take all the confidence from Queen’s out on the court on the grass here. I think it’s been a great first week for me. The grass has been changing also a little bit around the baseline. It’s getting a little tricky, which is a nice thing.

You know, just looking for every match that I got to play. At the moment I don’t think of anything else except what’s ahead of me and the opponent. So there’s nothing else that’s on my mind right now.

 

Q. You said your job is not done yet. What targets did you set yourself when you arrived to start Wimbledon?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, every tournament I enter is to win the whole event. I think that’s the whole point of competing and having those tournaments.

Of course, it’s not an easy task. I mean, it’s a lot to ask. You’re going to be asked a lot of questions from your opponent, so you’ve got to have the answers. So far I think I’ve been performing on a good level for me. I’m expecting to raise up my level in the next match.

It’s not a new opponent for me. I know him. There’s nothing major for me that I need to be aware of.

 

Q. You’ve beaten Murray once. Was it in Mexico you beat him? What can you remember about that match?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: It was a hard court, night match. What can I say? I think we played a great match. I think it was one of the best matches for me this year so far.

I mean, I know him. I’ve practiced against him many times. We kind of know our game pretty well. That match in Acapulco, you know, was really long and exhausting match. Another thing is to play best of three, another thing is to play best of five.

I think we’re both load up and ready to come out on that court.

 

Q. From a tactical standpoint, what are the keys on grass for you to challenge Andy Murray here?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, that’s a good question.

Well, we know, first of all, it’s his home basically here. So, you know, he’s been playing a lot of matches on the Centre Court. He knows his way around the grass pretty good. He’s a great mover.

I’m just going to play my game. I’m not going to step back. I just want to come out with my big game and play my aggressive tennis.

I mean, I don’t want to adjust to my opponent, so to speak. I’m focusing on my game and what I can bring to the court. The rest is, you know, going to come.

 

Q. Andy said that maybe it was a big burden for you to have, an unfair burden, to be compared to Federer at such an early age. Can you put in perspective what that has done to the way you’ve handled things psychologically as you’ve developed?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I think, as I said at the beginning, it was kind of easy to hear that. It was kind of funny. We were all laughing about it.

But, you know, at some point when I started to establish myself as a player on the tour, this thing was starting to get a bit out of hand. Of course, at the time it put a little bit of pressure on my shoulders.

But I think now all that thing is starting to fade away. I’ve proved myself not once, not twice, that I’m a different person, a different player. So that’s something to add up.

 

Q. How tough will it be, the fact of him being defending champion? Also, what about the influence of Amélie might have on his approach?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: As I said, he’s obviously feeling comfortable playing out here, especially on that court. All the crowd is behind him. Basically everyone is with him. That gives you, of course, an extra edge to whoever you play on the other side.

But I think at the same time that adds a little bit of pressure. But I don’t think that’s going to be an issue during the match.

On the other hand, there’s no point for me or there’s no value of me to give any comment about his coaching situations. Obviously it works out and that’s the most important thing.

 

Q. Andy hasn’t dropped a set yet in this tournament. If you can be the first person to take a set off him, do you think that will put him under the kind of pressure he hasn’t experienced for a while?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, Andy, he’s a great defender and a great returner. It’s not the easiest thing to do, especially when you play against him.

I’ve seen a couple of his matches, the previous matches, so I kind of know how he’s dealing with some of the serves.

You know, I just got to go out on the court and perform and play my game. Just go through that, you know.

 

Q. Today you have achieved what no other Bulgarian male tennis player has achieved so far. How does this make you feel?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: It feels good. It obviously feels good. You know, I don’t want to stop here. Again, I hope there’s going to be a lot more first times for me. I’m just aiming to be better and better every time.

 

Q. In terms of fitness, do you think you can go five sets with Andy?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Oh, yeah. I mean, I’ve been working for all those moments. And I think it’s a great feeling to get into that kind of a match.

I mean, of course, best-case scenario is straight sets. In the end of the day I’m not playing against a mediocre player, so I just need to be on my best behavior and in the same time just go out there and try to put every ball back.

 

Q. Can you talk a moment about your own coach, Roger Rasheed, what he’s brought to your game. I know he has an Aussie Rules background. Is there anything from that sport that…

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I haven’t played that yet. It’s not the best thing to run into him, that’s for sure (smiling).

What can I say? Discipline. Better shot selections. You know, there’s just bunch of things that are top of my head. But, as I said, we never focus on one thing in particular. We always try to work on things.

I think the most important thing is to really give 100% from each other every day because I think this is what we both deserve and what we owe to the game.

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Demoralized Alex De Minaur Says He Is Mentally Struggling After French Open Loss

Less than a month after achieving his best ever result in a Grand Slam, the 21-year-old is ‘not happy’ with his form at the moment as he tries to get the spark back.

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Australia’s top player says he needs to take a ‘long hard look in the mirror’ after crashing out in the first round of the French Open.

 

Alex de Minaur, who was the 25th seed in the men’s draw, fell in straight sets to Italian qualifier and former semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato. The loss continues his lacklustre record at Roland Garros where he has only won one match in four appearances. Although the Australian admits that he is at a loss following his most recent defeat at the clay court major.

“I’m going through probably this rough patch, and everyone has it, but at the moment it’s what I’m dealing with,” he said.
“I’m not happy with where I am, not happy with what I’m showing on court. So it’s a little bit demoralizing in itself that I can’t come out and play the tennis that I want to and that I know I can.”

The mood of the 21-year-old is a stark contrast to that of a couple weeks ago at the US Open. In New York de Minaur achieved a new milestone in his career after reaching the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career before getting knocked out by Dominic Thiem. The person who went on to win the men’s title.

It is the mental part of his game that de Minaur says he is struggling with the most. Echoing similar comments from David Goffin following his loss to Jannik Sinner in Paris. For the world No.27 he believes the only way to get out of his slump is to win matches. De Minaur also lost in the first round of the Italian Open to Germany’s Dominik Koepfer prior to Roland Garros.

“I’m not one to make excuses. At the end of the day, I just didn’t perform the way I wanted to. I’ve had two matches where I missed out on countless opportunities. And I believe that is what I needed to gain some confidence and some momentum,” De Minaur reflected on his current form.
“It’s a pity because a sport like tennis is very based on results, everything. Mentally, it’s a lot based on results. So you can do all the right things and be training well, be feeling physically fit, feeling mentally well, but if you go into a match and you’re not getting those results, then it almost feels like nothing of that counts.”

It is unclear as to what the next move for De Minaur will be as he refuses to rule out the possibility of taking a short break from tennis ahead of the new season. He has now lost in the first round in three out of his four most recent tournaments since the Tour restarted back in August.

“It’s bizarre because I’m basically coming off my career best in a Grand Slam. So obviously there are a lot of things that I need to just clear my head out and almost just maybe not putting as much pressure on myself, that’s probably one of the things,” he said.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do but hopefully whatever I decide to do, it will help me out and I can get back to where I want to be.”

As de Minaur exits France, his conqueror Cecchinato will play Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero in the second round.

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Alexander Zverev Motivated To Prove Critics Wrong As He Eyes Deep Run At French Open

The German tennis star weighs up his chances of glory at Roland Garros.

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Alexander Zverev at the US Open 2020 (photo Twitter @usopen)

Playing in his first match since narrowly missing out on his maiden Grand Slam trophy Alexander Zverev returned back to winning ways on Sunday evening at the French Open.

 

Zverev, who is seeded sixth in this year’s draw, recovered from a 2-5 deficit to defeat Austria’s Dennis Novak 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 Court Philippe Chatrier, whose roof remained open despite it drizzling with rain. The match was a test for Zverev due to a number of reasons. Not only did he have to contend with the cold and breezy conditions, it was his first competitive match on the clay and his first since losing to Dominic Thiem in the US Open final 14 days ago.

“Conditions are obviously very different than the US Open. First of all, we play on a different surface. Then we play in very cold temperatures,” Zverev told reporters.
“I’m happy to get through because Dennis is somebody that plays well on this surface. He can beat good players.”

A lot has changed for Zverev when it comes to playing in the majors since his last Roland Garros appearance. This year he has already reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open, as well as the final in New York. A big turnaround for a player who was once criticised for not shining when it comes to playing in the major tournaments. Although the French Open is still the only Grand Slam where he has reached the quarter-finals twice.

“I’m probably the third-best player this year when it comes to slam results after Novak and after Dominic,” he said.
“I obviously do want to win one, win more than one. I was two points away on multiple occasions in New York. That obviously was very upsetting, and in a way frustrating, but at the same time I know how close I’ve gotten. I had one hand on the trophy, but I do believe that I can win them now. “

The question is will Roland Garros be the place where he will win his first major title? When asked what he did between the US Open and now to address any issues with his second serve, the witty German played down any negatively by replying ‘I was on a boat doing nothing at all. Then I came here (Paris) to practice.’

Jokes aside Zverev is becoming a more prominent contender for the biggest titles of the sport. Although he admits that doing so at the French Open this year will be hard work for him.

“Obviously it’s not going to be the easiest slam for me with how the conditions are, with how the preparation was for me. But we’ll see how it goes now, the French Open and the following years to come, as well,” he stated.

Up next for Zverev will be a second round meeting with either France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert or American qualifier Michael Mmoh.

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Stan Wawrinka Crushes Below-Par Murray In French Open Showdown

The clash of the former Grand Slam champions turned out to be a one-man show.

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Stan Wawrinka’s much talked about first round clash with Andy Murray failed to live up to expectations as the former French Open champion powered his way to a comprehensive victory.

 

The 16th seed was rarely troubled throughout his dominating 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, victory on the Philippe-Chatrier Court, which was played without the roof unlike earlier matches. Wawrinka’s largely one-sided performance saw him break his lacklustre opponent six times as he hit 42 winners to 27 unforced errors. Avenging his loss to Murray in the final of the European Open last year and narrowing his head-to-head deficit to 9-12.

“It was obviously an extremely tough draw. Even if I played very well it would have been no guarantees that I win that match,” Murray said afterwards.
“I also didn’t play well. I served like under 40% first serves in the court, which that’s just not good enough, really, against anyone, and especially someone as good as Stan. You want to be serving in the 60%, that sort of region. You won’t see many players serve under 40% the rest of the tournament. That’s just not good enough.”

Sunday’s encounter was the first time the two have locked horns with each other in Paris since the 2017 semi-finals where Wawrinka prevailed. Since that meeting, both players have experienced a roller coaster journey with each having their own injury setbacks. Especially for Murray, who has undergone two hip operations and hadn’t played a competitive match on the clay for three years.

35 minutes was all that it took Wawrinka to clinch the opening set with 23 of those occurring over the first three games. In cold and damp conditions both players struggled at times but the world No.17 had the ability to hit through some slow balls and punish Murray for not hitting deep enough into the court. Despite dominating the opener Wawrinka only managed to get 33% of his first serves in.

Extending his stronghold by breaking midway through the second frame Wawrinka continued to tame Murray. The Brit showed little emotion on the court and at times unusually looked to be contempt with how the match was going. There were glimmers of world class shots from the former world No.1 but they were too inconsistent to turn around his fortunes. Meanwhile, Wawrinka continued to thrive in the conditions as he clinched a two-set lead with a forehand winner.

Closing in on victory, he continued to frustrate his opponent early on in the third set. After breaking a tentative Murray once again, he then came back from a 0-40 deficit in the following to open up a 2-0 lead. From then on the outcome of the match was a foregone conclusion as Wawrinka sealed victory with the help of an ace down the centre of the court six games later.

“For sure I wasn’t expecting that. I know Andy so well, we known each other so well for many, many years, had some amazing matches together,” Wawrinka commented on his latest victory.
“We practiced the first day I arrive here, and it was a tough practice .So I was expecting a tough match. I was really focused with a champion like Andy, even if the scoreboard is one-sided like today, you have to keep focus.
“You never know what can happen. I’m really happy with what I have done on the court. Great to be back, great to feel that way, and looking forward for the next match.”

Wawrinka will play Germany’s Dominik Koepfer in the second round who recently reached the quarter-finals of the Italian Open before losing to Novak Djokovic.

I saw him play last week. So I expect he’s in full confidence. He won a lot of matches against some top guys. So it’s going to be interesting match,” Wawrinka previewed.
“I never played or practice with him, so it’s gonna be a completely different match. Hopefully I can keep playing well.”

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