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January 17, 2015

Grigor Dimitrov


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You've been asked a lot about the changing of the guard. But does it feel this season with Nishikori, yourself and Raonic, you're getting closer to the big guys? Or after your defeat against Roger last week, do you feel the gap is still a little bit there?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I mean, I'm not going to lie. It was a tough match that I lost last week. Definitely didn't perform the way I wanted to. But that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm discouraged to keep trying and keep believing that any of us is going to make it through, so to speak. I think that's pretty much it. But the other hand, the year just began. We have already the Australian Open, the first major. Anything can happen out here. It's a good way to start the year. Hopefully everything goes in a positive note.

Q. Have you set some specific goals for your game for the start of the season? Have you worked on something specific?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I've worked a lot in the off-season. There's nothing specific that I would like to say because obviously now I've had a pretty good 2014. Obviously we knew what was working for us and knew what we needed to focus on. That's the one thing that we felt that was good. In the same time I've put a lot of work in the off-season on and off the court. I think that's pretty much it. I never wanted to put too many tasks on my paper to say, Okay, in the off-season I need to work on this and that. Just the more you simplify it, the better it is, when you know what's working for you.

Q. How important was your performance here last year?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It was a major thing for me. Definitely gives you a lot of confidence. Gives you like a boost. Next time you come to any other tournament, you felt that you started on a good note. At the same time that confidence gives you, how do you say, to come and play every match better, feel that you can perform on a high level, beat better players. Eventually when I had to come up against better guys, I was able to win, and win quite a few tournaments. I think all that is a good factor. At the same time let's not forget about the big picture.

Q. Did you replay that tough loss to Rafa much?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It took me awhile to get over it, especially having a set point in that third set, missing that shot by just like a few inches. Of course it's something not to forget, but at the same time I think I took it really positive. I took that loss as a win even though it wasn't the case. It gave me a good start. Eventually I think I was performing at a high level throughout the whole season. I think I finished it on a good note.

Q. You're on your second Aussie coach now.

Q. Are you expecting to get your money's worth out of him this fortnight?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Still a long way to go for that. I'm kidding (laughter). Yeah, we have a great relationship with Roger Rasheed. I think it's been a mutual feeling for both of us. So far it's been great. But I think there's a lot of other land that we want to sort of invade. That's what we're working for.

Q. Seems the courts are faster this year. Do you feel this and do you like it?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't think they're faster, faster than last year. The Margaret Court Arena, it's one of the best arenas I've actually played on in a really long time. It's a tremendous experience to get out there and practice on that court. I even hit when the roof was on. When they opened it, it was amazing. Well done for the tournament, the way they've done it. It's just amazing. Laver, it's always fun to get out there and play. I'm not thinking so much about the surface out there because the whole environment puts you in a good vibe to perform at your best.

Q. What's so special about Margaret Court?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't know. It feels every time you get on that court you're already in the quarters or semis. It's a great feeling to have. I think the whole surrounding is great. The roof, it just shocks me how you can do that in a year's time. It looks almost identical to Rod Laver. I think it's a great court.

Q. How many languages do you speak?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Speak? Bulgarian, English. That's about it (smiling).

Q. Do you speak Russian at home?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: When I need it (laughter). No, I studied it a little bit. But that's about it.

Q. You don't have anybody at home helping you out with your Russian?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think we have someone, but we stick to the other language.

Q. With English?

Q. Didn't you do a French academy as well?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I understand a bit of French. But honestly I'd rather stick to my English, yeah.
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