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August 19, 2016

Grigor Dimitrov

Cincinnati, Ohio

G. DIMITROV/S. Johnson

7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations.

Q. You saved a match point very late in the first set tiebreaker and then you broke him.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Set point you mean?

Q. You saved a set point in the first set tiebreaker and you came back and were able to break him right out of the gate. Did you sense a dip in his play to begin the second or did you amp it up a bit?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think we started like pretty tight in the beginning of the match. I think we were both serving like a really good percentage of first serves; taking care of all the shots that we had to.

Yeah, I mean, that tiebreak was -- I mean, was first of all long; second, I knew what he's going to do. I think was serving really good and hitting his spots on it. I just had to sort of like break down his game a little bit by using my slice a little bit, hitting my forehand a little bit better.

I think after that return I think at, what was it, 7-6 for me, after he missed that I just felt that now I had built a very good momentum. Soon as I came out to play that second set, I felt a little bit more relaxed, a little bit more confident.

I was I think even looking more for his serve. I was waiting in a different spot. So that helped a lot.

Q. You lost to him not that long ago. Obviously different tournament, different surface. I wonder if today you feel like it was you kind of made a change or had some progress in the last couple months? What were the differences?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think I played a different match since Wimbledon. I mean, I've watched some of the videos and the highlights the past days, and it was just interesting for me to see what I did good back then, and in the same time, what I had to work on.

Today I executed everything, all the plan from the first point. I thought I was the leader of the match, which really helps, especially against a player like Stevie. He's super confident right now and playing great, great tennis, so that makes him super dangerous.

I knew what I had to do. I think that that was the match for me today. I was just playing smart and the execution was just on pinpoint.

Q. You get the winner of the match coming up next, Cilic/Coric. Will you watch the match? What do you think about either of them?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, for sure I'm going to watch a little bit. It's always nice to see how both of them are playing. Well, whoever I play, I mean, doesn't really matter. I'm just going to try to do what I've been doing this week: focus on the tennis side and just taking care of whatever is in front of me.

Just focus is entirely on myself now and on tennis. I've worked a lot, but still, there is just another match for me.

Q. This on the live rankings will move up about ten spots into more familiar territory as far as your ranking is concerned. Does that cross your mind at all as far as the points and moving back up?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, not really. I mean, my only goal was to get seeded for New York, and then I would for sure think about the rest of the year.

I mean, if you win, everything else comes with it. It's so simple. As I said, I've been just practicing a lot. I'm not going to lie. I've been just practicing. Just dug myself like right into tennis. I haven't been actually able to follow anything else but that and what I had to focus each day out on the court.

I think it's fine for now. Like I'm happy the way I'm playing for sure. There is still a lot to go. Yeah, if I keep playing like this, for sure the ranking is going to get even higher.

Q. You connected with Dani who was with Andy as you know for a long time and then with Tomas. What do you think he's going to bring to your game?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Simplicity. Right now -- I just spoke about it this morning, about the practice and what we need to do and what we need to focus on.

We're just looking at the big picture. Yes, it's a great week. Yes, I'm playing good. That's not the ultimate goal. Just a result of what we have been doing.

I think it's actually a very good way to look at tennis that way. I feel the same way. I think that helps us to sort of get out there on the court and structure the right way of practicing, the right amount of work, and what needs to be done.

That's how you put yourself in the best position to play a match. I think that's a good way to look at things.

Q. Going deep here in Cincinnati as well as you're emphasizing putting in a lot of practice court time, how are you planning on managing your schedule in this time to keep the level up but also to not wear yourself out in advance of the US Open?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, there is still quite sometime to the US Open. I mean, I'm hoping I'm going to be playing here on Sunday. That's a nice problem to have, to actually figure how you need to rest a little bit and sustain that form. For sure it's not an easy thing.

I mean, obviously if you lose a match you're like very down in the same time; if you win you want to do more.

So it's about finding the right balance. You just never know how the body would feel many you wake up every day and something is hurting, so -- even on a good day.

So you just take it as it is. You take one day at a time. I think for me, this is very important now. Just come out there every day and do the work.

Q. You mentioned couple questions ago right now your ultimate goal is focus. What is the ultimate goal after you're taking these steps with Dani, the ultimate goal itself for you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It's big picture. That's what I said right now. For sure right now is to play a lot of matches, to win a lot of matches, to put myself in the best positions when it comes down to the big scene.

Like this, like tomorrow for example. Being in the semifinal, it's great. I'm happy. This is what you work for, to get out there and put yourself in positions like to to give yourself the best chance.

Yeah, take it one day at all time. As I said, if you keep winning you're going to go out in the slams, be in the quarterfinals, semis, you're not going to think about anything else but how to get out there and play tennis.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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