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January 8, 2017

Grigor Dimitrov

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

G. DIMITROV/K. Nishikori

6-2, 2-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Must feel immensely satisfying?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah. I was just talking to my team, and, yeah, it is, for sure, one of the big moments for me. As I said on the court, it's been quite a few months for me, I think, on and off the court.

I think that was kind of an emotional win for me, but in the same time, it wasn't unexpected. I think I have put in the work. I think I have learned a lot. I have gone through some serious work and just -- you know, I have just been working on myself, you know, on and off the court.

I think at some point, you know, things need to start, you know, giving back to you a little bit. I just feel that -- first, I feel fortunate enough to be at the final, to be so healthy and to being obviously in such a shape. But in the same time, I'm pretty humbled, because I have set myself quite high goals, actually, for the first six months, and one of them was actually to win a tournament. And it happened during the first week of the year, which makes things definitely look a lot more positive for me, and I'm definitely happy with, but I'm just staying with my feet on the ground.

And as soon as I go to Melbourne, I'm going to just focus on what's ahead of me, you know, the heat, best-of-five sets, other players. I just really need to stay focused now.

Q. You are referring, I'm assuming, about how your rankings slipped down for you. What else was sort of eating away at you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't think that the ranking had such an impact on my performance or my mental state. I'm the type of guy that I don't really, like, look at those things.

I just set myself, and my team, we set goals, and we just need to reach them. Whether you're going to lose first round of tournament and go to the next one and win it, doesn't really matter to me.

But as I said, we sat down at the end of last year with my team, and we just said, Okay, well, you're 25 years old. You have obviously proved to yourself that you can play tennis, you know, your hard work and all this. So what's the next step?

Well, there you go. That's the next step. But there is still a lot ahead of us. And of course if you play well, perform well, you win tournaments, everything else comes with it. You know, you come to a higher ranking. Everything starts to ease up a little bit, but in the same time you need to get even more focused and pay more attention to the details.

Q. You said at the presentation that it's been an emotional past 12 months for you. We are trying to tap into has there been anything not tennis related which has been hard for you to deal with?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, it's just -- it's all together, you know. I mean, life itself, you think about it, I mean, if we don't play tennis, we're just, you know, home or trying to find a solution, you know, what makes you happy, what kind of lifestyle you want to have, what kind of rhythm you want to have.

It's obviously never easy when you can't spend time with your close ones, with your family. I mean, we travel 23 weeks a year. If you think about it, it's just brutal. And sometimes you need to feel, like, normal, so to speak.

I'm the kind of guy that I cannot just lock myself in the room and just think tennis for 24 hours. There is definitely -- you know, it hasn't helped me. And since I have been here, every night I've been going to the arcades, for example, for an hour and a half, been playing arcades. It's given me tremendous joy.

You know, it's something so childish, if you want to say it. Well, every time I was going to bed, I was, like, Wow, that feels so good. It's just something so small (smiling).

That's why I say those, I think, these 10 days that I have been here -- I don't remember having -- I want to say, for sure, fun, but in the same time I was very focused, played quite solid all the matches. So I was just -- overall, I just felt good.

I don't remember the last time I felt that good on and off the court.

Q. I didn't know we had any arcades left in Brisbane.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, they're great. Albert Street. Anything you need, Albert Street. Go from Nando's to, you know, anything you want.

Q. Video games?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I played motor bikes, we played cars, basketball, I mean, I went there with my fitness coach and we were -- I think we were the biggest kids out there. It was disaster. I have some videos. It's, like, wow.

Q. Did you find any difference between the second and third set in terms of Kei's performance? He took an injury timeout.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, for sure. I thought something was happening, but there was this one point, I believe in the second set, early in the second set, when I took a wrong decision to play that shot, and I felt like Kei took advantage of it, and I think that was my mistake in the second set from then on.

You know, players like him always -- they can sniff that, like they can just feel it. I felt from then on he changed his position on the court a little bit. I paid the price, obviously. Didn't win one point after that shot.

In the same time, I mean, it's part of the game, and one of the biggest things I'm happy with this week is just my mentality and my positivity on the court. Even though I was down or a break down or tough moments, Love-40, I was just, you know, keep believing. If you believe, you're halfway there.

Q. You're not playing Sydney, are you?

Q. You're going straight to the arcades in Melbourne?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Absolutely. Tomorrow night, arcades, Melbourne. I need to find it, so if you guys have some tips...

Q. Obviously winning a title, it maybe elevates you for the Australian Open results. How do you feel about that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, this is the type of thing I really don't think about it, because, I mean, nowadays everyone can beat everyone. That's just how it is.

Let's face it, guys, you have tremendous talent on tour, from No. 1 to, let's say, No. 100, let's say. Anyone can beat anyone.

Things have been pretty different lately in sort of tennis world. You see people are improving. Younger guys are coming up. So to speak traditional guys are starting to slow down a little bit.

We all see that, so let's not shy away from it, but I'm pretty focused on myself right now, to be honest, and I'm really gonna stay away from all that, you know, talk or the commentary or anything like that, because, as I said, I just want to do things and be with people in a way that makes me happy, makes me feel comfortable to come out there every day and under that sun, you know, 38 degrees or jump in the ice bath and feel happy about it. Just focus on that, to be honest.

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