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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Fabio Fognini beats Guido Pella in straight sets to reach the fourth round in Melbourne

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Fabio Fognini beat Guido Pella 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-3 to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open in Melbourne. The Italian star converted five of his six break points to close out the match after 2 hours and nine minutes.

 

Fognini saved two break points in the first set with a forehand and a backhand and held his serve. The Italian star did not convert a break point in a long seventh game. Both players went on serve to set up a tie-break. Fognini did not drop a single point to cruise through to a 7-0 win.

In the second set Fognini earned a crucial break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. He held his serve on the second deuce after saving a break point. The 2019 Monte-Carlo champion sealed the second set with another break with a forehand return winner.

Fognini earned a break lead in the fourth game of the decisive set. Pella broke straight back in the fifth game. Both traded breaks again in the sixth and seventh games. Fognini broke for the third time and converted his second match point with a serve up the T.

He is also the 12th player to come back from two sets down at all four Grand Slam tournaments.

With his five-set victories over Reilly Opelka and Jordan Thompson in the first two matches Fognini made history on Wednesday when the “Come-back king” became the first player to win back-to-back Australian Open matches in final set tie-breaks.

“I am so happy to be in the fourth round again in Australia. Now it’s time to recover. I played a really solid game against a really tough opponent. I am happy with the performance”, said Fognini.

Fognini set up a fourth round match against 2018 Australian Open quarter finalist Tennys Sandgren, who beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 52 minutes. Sandgren fended off nine break points and converted just 2 of his 14 break point chances. Two years ago Sandgen beat Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem en route to reaching his first quarter final at a Grand Slam event.

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Marin Cilic prevails over Roberto Bautista Agut in five-set thriller in Melbourne

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Marin Cilic overcame Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-0 5-7 6-3 after 4 hours and 10 minutes to score his first top 10 win since the 2018 US Open, when he beat David Goffin.

 

Cilic fought back from losing the first set at the tie-break, but he bounced back in the second set by breaking serve in the ninth game, when Bautista Agut made a forehand error. Cilic held on his serve to win the second set 6-4 to draw level to 1-1.

Cilic cruised through to a bagel win in the third set. The Croatian player got an early break in the fourth set to open up a 3-1 lead. Bautista Agut broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Cilic did not convert a break point chance at 5-5. Bautista Agut earned the break at 6-5 to force the match to the fifth set.

Cilic broke serve in the opening game of the fifth set with a forehand winner, but he did not convert a break point at 4-2. He broke for the seventh time in the match in Bautista Agut’s next service game to clinch a thrilling win, as Bautista Agut fired a backhand into the net.

Cilic took a re-match against the Spanish player, who won their previous head-to-head clash at the 2019 Australian Open in five sets.

“I had an incredible patch. It was a surreal level. Every ball I was hitting was going in. It was coming off my raquet incredibly well. I knew Roberto would always fight and he pushed me all the way in the fourth set”, said Cilic.

 

 

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Karen Khachanov edges Mikael Ymer in marathon match in Melbourne

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Karen Khachanov battled past Mikael Ymer 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8) in a marathon match after 4 hours and 14 minutes.

 

Ymer broke serve twice in the second and fourth games of the fourth set to open up a 4-1 lead. Khachanov broke back in the seventh game, but Ymer broke for the third time to take the fourth set 6-3.

Khachanov broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2, but he was broken back in the next game.

Khachanov was not able to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fifth set before trailing 6-8 in the decisive match tie-break. Khachanov came back by winning four consecutive points to clinch a thrilling win.

Australia’s Alexei Popyrin beat Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after 2 hours and 4 minutes setting up a third round match against Danil Medvedev. Popyrin broke twice in each of the first and third sets and saved all four break point chances.

Taylor Fritz came back from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2. Anderson was leading by two sets and 4-2 in the third set, but Fritz broke back before winning the third set at the tie-break. Fritz cruised through the fourth and fifth sets. Fritz will face Dominic Thiem in the third round.

“That was huge for me. He played a really tough five setter just the other day and then obviously coming back. Going back to back five setters is going to be tougher for him than usual. I felt fresh, so I just told myself that I have to keep running”,said Fritz.

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