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June 25, 2014

Grigor Dimitrov


G. DIMITROV/L. Saville
6/3, 6/2, 6/4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Convincing win.  What were your feelings out there?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I think, first of all, I just want to say how honored I was to play on the Centre Court.  I think it's every kid's dream.  I was just really happy to get out there and play a match like that.
You know, a convincing win.¬† I was just trying to be solid and well‑composed on the court.¬† I think it was all about my game today.¬† Felt comfortable.

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 16‑1 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.  It's some years since you won the junior title here.  Does that experience help you now?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Yeah, I think it's more mental I would think.  It brings back good vibes for me.  I mean, I know the grounds pretty good.  Now I've played almost on all the courts.
It's always a good feeling coming out here.  Juniors are juniors, but I'm looking forward to the next one.

Q.  Being you're so lucky to share your company with Maria Sharapova, how different is the preparation and the work you say you have to do compared to the work that she has to do?  Is it completely different, two different stories?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Well, we're competing in the same sport, but not in the same category.  I think that's a question everyone can answer.

Q.  From the point of view of work.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I think I'm not the one that should judge that because we know everyone has his own way of working.
All I can say is that I think Maria's one of the best workers that can be out there, one of the best students of the game.  In the end of the day, you know, she's just the best at what she does.
I'm just different towards my preparation and how I like things to be done.  I mean, I'm also a workaholic.  It's sort of a fair deal.

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.  Another question about Maria.  Would you two sort of see each other much over the course of the fortnight or do you go into some kind of isolation?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Everyone does his own thing.

Q.  With you two, do you make a conscious effort to see each other while you're both competing or is it better to stay apart?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I think that's more of a private thing, so I don't feel comfortable commentating on that.

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.

Q.  What does it say about the four of them that they've had such control of the men's tour for so long?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Well, they're experienced, all of them.  If you think about it, at the very early stage they were winning slams and they have a lot of matches under their belt.  Rafa yesterday, he won his 700th match.  That just shows you.  Some of us are 150.  You can just say something about that to find the answer.

Q.  I remember Stoichkov and Kostadinova as the most famous Bulgarian athletes.  Who is the one who is most famous apart from you?  One or two names that are the top stars?  Are you the number one or not?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  You got me here.  You got me here.
I honestly don't know much.  Of course, when I'm back I'm trying to follow a little bit of everything.  But unfortunately I don't have much time for that.
I think the people appreciate me in a good way for the moment.  I think a lot of people are focusing on tennis from what I've heard.  I'm happy to hear about that.

Q.  Are there champions in other fields?  Dimitar Berbatov?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Soccer.  Thanks for that.

Q.  Back to the coaching style, there's been a lot said about how influential he's been and that you had a lot of talent for a long time, but this year you seem to be moving, and he is the main inspiration for that.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Yeah, I can give him a lot of credit for everything, for digging that part of me that was obviously missing, especially when I need it the most.  To bring that discipline and mental toughness, all that, really, really counts a lot to me.
I mean, you just can't describe nor appreciate any of that.  He's one of the reasons why I'm definitely doing better.
But we're still at the beginning.  A lot to be accomplished.  Our goals are way too higher than that.

Q.¬† How did the link‑up with Roger come about?¬† Was it your agent's suggestion?¬† Had you seen him?¬† Did you know him?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  We knew each other from before.  But briefly we said hi to each other.  That was it.  We all know how private he is.
I mean, part of me is that way, as well.  I think when I was looking for someone, I just really wanted someone strong with a good attitude to be able to put up with me.  That's the easiest part.
But I think at the beginning it was just really tricky.  I came off of a few losing matches.  I was not in a good space.  I heard that he was available.  We linked up, and there we go.

Q.  Because of your relationship with Maria, what was your reaction when Murray decided to have as a coach Amélie Mauresmo, who is a lady?  Did it shock you at all?  You said before that you have different preparation, women's tennis is something, men's tennis is something else.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:¬† Everyone is self‑sufficient.¬† Whatever works for you.¬† I mean, I think it's very simple.¬† Who am I to judge that?

Q.  You talk about the mental strength, mental toughness.  How does a coach help you hone that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  That's a little secret.  How you want me to tell you a secret (laughter)?
We have our ways around.  But I think in a way just sometimes it hides behind the work that you want to put in.  It's very simple.  I think the rest is what's really between you and the coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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