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June 16, 2015

Grigor Dimitrov


G. DIMITROV/S. Querrey
4‑6, 6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  What was different today to what happened yesterday?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  It was a different match, I felt, today. Yesterday coming into the match, I felt good but it was just ‑‑I knew we weren't going to finish the match.  Deep down I think that was in the back of my head.
I was a little bit like disappointed also that we got in that late, obviously, but what can you do?  There were quite a few matches that went pretty long.  So for me it was just a matter of, you know, time.  And I had to be patient enough to go through the match.
But I didn't play good tennis in the first set even though I started well.  I mean, I was down a break in the second, and, you know, I thought to myself, I mean, you know what?  Just try to relax a little bit more and try to do like better shots, try to get into the rallies and all that kind of stuff.
You know, I was very calm, which really helped me.  I mean, after the first break, I knew that I was on the right track.  Then obviously making the second one, finishing for the set, and today coming out was a completely different day.  It was warmer, brighter, so everything was just totally different for me.
It was a new day.  For me, it was a new match.

Q.  Psychologically, how important was that win?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  It was a tough opponent.  I think it was just a very tough opponent.  Obviously I know Sam for quite some time.
I played him, and I practice with him a lot down in LA, and for me it was just ‑‑I knew what to expect.  Pretty much know what to expect from anyone that we are playing against.  But I know he really likes that tournament.  I know he really likes that kind of surface.
I mean, he was hitting the ball really clean, I thought.  I haven't seen him play that well in a really long time.
I was like, okay, well‑‑ you know, of course I didn't like the odds early on, but it was just a new day for me.  I woke up, and I thought to myself, well, you know, it's a new day and I can exploit some of his weaknesses.  And I think as soon as I started getting the ball back, some slice, and keeping the ball low, that really troubled him on a few occasions.  I think that was the match pretty much for me.
Regarding the confidence part?  Yeah, I think it was a good win for me.

Q.  What's it like coming in as defending champion?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  It's different (smiling).  It's different.  Especially here.  I don't know why.  It's one of the tournaments for me that I feel that every time I step on that court, I feel like I own the court (laughter).
It's a really nice feeling to have.  I mean, I wish that on every tournament I was playing, but I go way back here, so everything is just so familiar.  Everything with me is just so familiar.  I think it's just I'm putting less and less pressure every time I come on that court, which should be the other way around, but it seems to work so far.

Q.  Would you still feel like you owned the court if you stepped on it in the quarterfinal against Andy Murray?  If so, wouldn't you like to?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Of course, that's my goal.  Doesn't matter who I play if I'm going out there to perform and play better tennis, and one of my goals is to really just play better every day, you know.
I don't want to let anything else get in my way for that.  Doesn't matter who I play.  I know it's a pretty tough field out here.  Everyone is playing good, a lot of good guys.
That's the beauty of it.  If you get to those kind of rounds, you go out there and give it your best shot.

Q.  Is there something extra special about playing the home favorite in their backyard?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I played him last year.  Obviously I played James I remember first round last year.  It's never easy, of course.  The crowd is going to be behind him and going to support him 100%, but that's the game.  I'm sure if you go to play in Bulgaria, it would be the other way around.
So, yeah, I think it really depends where you're at.  I think in that particular situation ‑‑and I feel that the crowd is pretty fair, to be honest, especially the English crowd.
I played him last year at Wimbledon, and I felt actually very welcomed.  I mean, of course they were cheering and they wanted him to win, but they appreciated good tennis.

Q.  Just in terms of, like you said, enjoying it more even though being the defending champion, is there an element of being pleased to win the first round when you come back as defending champion?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  It's always good, yeah (laughter).  At least you know you add one more.
Yeah.  I mean, it's a different feeling, honestly.  It happened to me recently and quite a few times that I have to defend titles, which is a great feeling, but I think that's the beauty of it.
You need to start repeating it, and this is where it all comes down to that.  Because at some point you have worked so hard in your life and your tennis that you don't want to be too much up and down, you know.  You want to do what you have done and eventually get better.
So if I'm here again to do that, I'm here to do that.

Q.  Given how well you played on grass last year, do you think Wimbledon represents your best chance at a major?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I wouldn't say the best.  I mean, you know, in a way I like all the surfaces, to be honest.  I don't discriminate any of them.  I said that before.
Obviously I didn't play good in Paris again, which was, for me, I think it was one of my biggest disappointments.  But, I mean, any other tournament that I play, whether it's going to be on hard court, I feel like I'm putting myself in a good position for it.
But in the same time, you know, the grass court season is pretty short, if you think about it.  Even though the weeks are pretty spread out right now, it's just a special event for me, considering that I won the juniors.
So, for me, it's a tournament that I would like to think that's my biggest chance, you know, to win, to win the first slam.  But, you know, you never know where it's going to come for me.

Q.  Stan won the French juniors and went on to win.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  That's true, yeah (smiling).

Q.  You said you were disappointed in the way you played in Paris, but what do you think of Jack Sock and his potential?  How do you see him as a player?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  To be honest, I was pretty disappointed with that loss in particular on clay.  I mean, I think Jack is a great player.  I mean, a lot of things are ahead of him, still a lot of homework to be done, of course.
But, you know, it's hard for me to say, because, I mean, when you're upcoming, in a way, you have nothing to lose and you're free, and I remember the feeling when I was at that age I had absolutely nothing to lose.  So the higher seeded player I was playing, the better I was playing, which I totally understand, but to be able to back that thing up every time, this is where it's going to show the most.
I think only he's got the answer for that.  But, I mean, I have played him I think twice now?  I don't know.  I think twice.  He's a good player, but, I mean, I'm not going to hide my disappointment from that loss, to be honest.  He's going to be pretty dangerous of course on the fast surfaces.  He has a big serve and big forehand. Potentially he can be a dangerous player for whoever is out there.

Q.  Is there something about the French Open you haven't quite figured out?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I guess, I guess.  I'm accepting tips.  I swear to God it's been two years in a row.  I don't know what wrong I am doing there, but it's just weird.  I'm completely honest with that.
I even spoke to my coach.  It's just something that I'm not happy with there.  I don't know what to say about it, you know.
It's been funny how two years in a row I played the same court and I played the same way.  I'm fascinated by it, to be honest.  I was thinking, you know, should I cry about it or ‑‑so I have mixed feelings, to be honest.

Q.  Maybe you need to bottle the pressureless feeling you have here and take it to Paris.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  There you go.  I have it with me (holding up water bottle).  Yeah.

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