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An Interview With: Grigor Dimitrov

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Q. Pretty significant turnaround from the first set. What was going on at the beginning?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Oh, well, I think everything but me. He played a great, great first set. I mean, whatever I was trying to do was just not enough. I mean, he was taking every ball on the rise, penetrating through the court, coming in, volleys. His game was just, you know, too good in the first set. But, you know, I didn't let go of my belief, especially coming into that second set. I knew that my serve was not working the way I wanted it to, so I knew I was going to struggle a little bit. But I thought if I kept a good composure and if I just stayed there mentally, I knew physically I was able to go, you know, the whole five sets. So I wasn't even thinking about that. But it was just mind over matter a little bit at the beginning - especially at the beginning of the second set. But after that, after taking that second set, I knew eventually I was playing my game. I knew he pushed back a little bit, so he started struggling I think also with his footwork. His shots were not as accurate. I took charge of the game.

Q. In addition to what he was doing well in that first set, did the rain delay have anything to do with why you right out of the gate?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: No. I mean, obviously that wasn't the best part, changing the court. We knew that we basically had to warm up earlier, the whole new routine. It's in the game, so I have to go along with that. But I was 40-15 up in the first game, beginning of the match, and I felt I actually played well. I started the match a little bit sloppy and I think he saw that right away and took advantage of it. But on the other hand, I knew what I wanted to do out there on the court. I knew my game plan pretty well. I wasn't worried at all I lost that first set 6-Love - even though it was a bit shocking to me, because I can't remember the last time I lost a set 6-Love. It's in the game.

Q. You said mind over matter. How long ago would that have been a different match when you lose a first set that way?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I think maybe a year and a half or two ago I think I would have struggled a lot with a match like that. But I think that's one of the beauty when you play best-of-five sets. Even though you lose the first set, you got another three to go or fourth to go. But I think I've worked a lot throughout the past years, especially when I started working with Roger Rasheed. We definitely established a good base. We put a lot of pieces together, checked out a lot of boxes. Just everything started to feel right. I was starting to feel well the way I was practicing. I was stronger mentally and physically. That's why now I feel, even if I lose a set, it's not end of the world. I know I can turn things around pretty quick. I have the weapons. I have the tools to incorporate it, so I just try to make the most out of every match.

Q. What do you think about Monfils? You've played him at this event before. He's a popular player in addition to everything else. What do you expect?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Everything. I mean, we all know that. We all know Gaël. When he's at his best, it's tough to play. But, you know, as I said, I respect him. I played I think a few times against him. I think it's going to be a good matchup for me. It's a great stage to be in, second week of a slam. This is where it all enters and you're starting to see what's been happening. So I love that part of it. I must say, it's my third or fourth slam that I'm into that second week. Every time I come, you know, play Monday or Tuesday the following week, it's a different feeling, it's a different state of mind. You kind of get out there and, you know, try to give your best. I think also the court you're going to play on, the crowd, the tournament itself will lift you up even more. It's inevitable for you to play good tennis.

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