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.

ATP

Next Gen Star Alexei Popyrin Fears He May Be Forced To Play US Open Despite Health Concerns

Like many other lower ranked players on the Tour, the 20-year-old finds himself in a tough situation.

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One of Australia’s rising stars has said he is worried that he may have to play at the US Open against his will or risk losing a chunk of ranking points.

 

Alexei Popryin has raised his concerns about travelling to the New York major in August amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in some areas of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there were 52,228 New Cases of the virus on July 5th compared to 24 hours before. Furthermore, the governor of New York recently announced that people travelling from 16 different states in America are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days if they visit the city. According to USA Today this ruling applies to roughly 48% of the entire American population.

Despite the concerns, the organisers of the US Open have insisted they will be able to hold the tournament in a safe manner and will be implementing various restrictions. Including holding the event without fans for the first time and conducting frequent testing of players. However world No.103 Popryin admits that he still has his concerns about attending.

“There are talks regarding the US Open but I really don’t want to go with the situation in America right now,” Popyrin said at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown over the weekend.
“But we have to see if we would be forced to go because of ranking points.
“If the ranking points won’t be frozen, then most of us would be forced to go play cause our ranking will drop and we wouldn’t have any say in it.
“But if the rankings are frozen, then I am staying here.
“I will stay in Europe where it’s safe with my family.”

Popryin has a considerable amount of points to defend in New York after reaching the third round there last year. Therefore, if he skips the event he faces dropping further down the rankings. Something which will then impact on his chances of entering the bigger tournaments later in the year. Usually the cut off for Grand Slam tournaments is around 105.

It is still to be announced as to what will happen with the ranking points system at the US Open and if there will be any adjustments made due to the pandemic. Although organisers will likely be against any idea to remove them from the event as it is a key factor to attract players to take part.

Another player to voice their concerns about the US Open is France’s Benoit Paire, who has said he would not attend the event if it was taking place today. Speaking to RMC Sport the world No.22 said he would rather not go to the event if he meant that he would be ‘taking a risk’ with his health.

“Going to the United States would be at risk of catching it. I am a great professional and I am one of those who would always like to play tennis, but your health is the most important thing,” he said.
“If going there is taking the risk of catching the disease and staying quarantined when I return, I prefer not to go, really.’
“It looks like if we play the US Open, we will have to sacrifice not to play the Mutua Madrid Open or the Masters 1000 in Rome.”

Meanwhile, world No.3 Dominic Thiem recently told Austrian media that he believes a final decision regarding the Grand Slam will be made within a week. Something that is yet to be confirmed by officials.

Should it go ahead, the US Open will start on August 31st.

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REPORT: Former Spanish Tennis Star In Talks To Coach Alexander Zverev

A former world No.3 could be returning to the Tour later this year in a new position.

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Tennis sensation Alexander Zverev could soon be mentored by somebody whose career he ended last year at the Madrid Open.

 

Spanish newspaper Marca have reported that the world No.7 is set to enter in a 15-day trial with former French Open finalist David Ferrer where the two will get to know each other better. Ferrer has reportedly travelled to Monte Carlo to start working alongside Germany’s top player. Should everything go well, the two could start a formal partnership in September ahead of the European clay-court swing of the Tour, which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both men are already fairly familiar with each other after facing off nine times on the ATP Tour, including three times last year. Zverev was the last player Ferrer played against at the Madrid Open before officially retiring from the sport at the age of 37.

“He’s the most respectful guy for me on Tour, and one of the most loved people on the Tour as well,” Zverev told reporters in the Spanish capital following their match.

Whilst never winning a Grand Slam, Ferrer achieved numerous accolades throughout his career. Including spending 4914 consecutive days in the world’s top 50, winning 27 ATP titles and achieving a ranking high of No.3 back in 2013. Overall, he has played 1011 matches on the ATP Tour (including Grand Slams) which is more than John McEnroe.

Should Ferrer receive the green light, Zverev will be the first high-profile player he will be responsible for. The Spaniard had previously hinted at his desire to enter coaching with his long time objective being to captain the Spanish Davis Cup team. He is also currently serving as the tournament director of the Barcelona Open.

“I would be very proud to be able to be (Davis Cup captain),” Ferrer told Marca in April 2019. “I also understand that this is very far away and there are players who are ahead. First, I have to train as a professional in teaching (coaching).”

Neither Ferrer or Zverev has publicly commented on the report. At present Zverev is coached on the Tour by his father who guided him to the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January.

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Father Of Dominic Thiem Condemns Criticism Of Novak Djokovic’s Role In Adria Tour Fiasco

Wolfgang Thiem has come to the defence of the world No.1 before suggesting that COVID-19 cases among players at charity events are worth it.

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The father of world No.3 Dominic Thiem has said it is ‘too cheap’ to blame Novak Djokovic over the outbreak of COVID-19 at the controversial Adria Tour.

 

Wolfgang Thiem lent his support behind the 17-time Grand Slam champion during an interview with Austrian newspaper Die Presses on Friday. The Adria Tour, which was founded by Djokovic, was cancelled following an outbreak of the virus during the Zadar leg of the event in Croatia with Grigor Dimitrov being the first player to confirm a positive test. Shortly after, Djokovic and Borna Coric also tested positive as well as some coaching staff. Viktor Troicki also contracted COVID-19, but only played the first leg of the Tour in Belgrade.

Throughout the Belgrade and Zadar events organisers were criticised for a lack of social distancing being applied. Players were seen playing basketball matches, attending nightclubs and interacting with the public. Although all of those actions were in line with local government rules.

“I do not approve of what happened on the Adria Tour, but condemning Djokovic and saying he screwed it up is too cheap for me,” Wolfgang commented.
“Of course the dance at the disco was not optimal, but Djokovic basically did nothing wrong. They just got a little sloppy, they were euphoric,” he continued.

Djokovic, who has been at the centre of the criticism, is yet to publicly speak about the incident. On Friday it was confirmed that both him and his wife Jelena have now tested negative for the virus. 10 days after they were first diagnosed.

As for Thiem, his father said the Austrian tennis star will be donating his money from the event to charity. Although he did not say how much that would be or which cause it would go towards. It comes just days after Djokovic donated 40,000 euros to the Serbian town of Novi Pazar, who has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Speaking about the outbreak of COVID-19 among players, Wolfgang has suggested that it is worth it if it meant raising money for charity.

“I prefer that there be a few more cases of coronavirus and be able to raise a few thousand euros for a childhood cancer clinic,” he explained.

Since the Adria Tour, Thiem has played at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) in France. He has undergone five COVID-19 tests in recent days with all of them testing negative for the virus. The 26-year-old withdrew from the UTS on Wednesday to focus on the upcoming Thiem 7 event in Kitzbuhel which will start on July 7th.

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