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July 8, 2017

Grigor Dimitrov

Wimbledon, London, England


6-1, 6-1 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel when you saw that your opponent was having problems and he stopped?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I think early in the match, I couldn't tell you if he was injured or not. Obviously I was just trying to be very focused. I was just out there to play my game.

Of course, after that first set, I felt I was getting, like, my confidence was actually getting pretty high, I started to be a little bit more locked in, more positive with each ball, with each shot. I was following my game pretty well.

After that, he called the trainer. Then I just had to basically keep on going the same way that I was playing the first set.

I think I had a good hold in the middle of the second set. I think that was it for him.

Q. How is it for a player out there when that happens and you have to wait for an opponent to come back? What is in your mind?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I mean, it is what it is. You can't do anything about it. The only thing you can is just control obviously your thoughts a little bit. You try just to keep moving so your body doesn't settle in. You don't get into your head for unnecessary thoughts.

But, yeah, I think I'm pretty used to it by now. I had quite a few players that have done that before against me. Yeah, it's part of the game as well, so you need to learn how to deal with those kind of circumstances.

Q. You mentioned your confidence is sky high. Do you feel in that mood where you feel you can beat anyone who is put in front of you right now?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I hope so. Yeah, I think I'm just really focused on myself right now, on my game. That's about it. Whatever's on the other side of the net, I mean, I can't control it. I can control only what's on my side, in my team, what I do to prepare myself the best way that I can before the match.

So, yeah, I mean, I'm pretty positive. I like my chances.

Q. Will you watch Federer's match later?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, for sure.

Q. If it is Roger you face, he's a guy who has beaten you in all your meetings before. What has been the difference in those previous losses? What do you think you need to get right this time to beat him?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, there's still a match to play actually. Let's see how that one go. I think both of them are, I mean, great tennis players on grass. Roger has proven himself more than once, twice out here. Yeah, we all know what to expect.

Let's see who's going to win, then from then on I can think about what's ahead for me.

Q. You're now part of middle Monday, where both the men and women play on the same day. It's a great day for fans. What does it mean for you to be a part of that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It's amazing. I mean, I always like that feeling. I've done it a few times already. It's just great. Especially tomorrow I think is going to be the best day, that Sunday just when everything is so calm. Yeah, it's just us, the players. All you can hear is, like, the hitting of the ball. You can just hear how the ball sits on the strings. You just hear that.

Honestly, it's a pretty special feeling. It puts a huge smile on my face. But, yeah, I appreciate that a lot. I mean, to be into that second week, not only in this event, but in all the other slams, it's kind of a little achievement I think for any player.

So, yeah, I really appreciate it. I cherish it. But my job is far from over.

Q. It is a different feeling for you? Obviously it's business as usual, but there's something different about it?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: As I say, I think tomorrow is going to be more that different feeling that I'm talking about. I think for sure, as soon as the next week hits again, you're back on the court, back to prepare for your matches, back to preparing mentally and all this.

So, yeah, I think obviously tonight, have a great dinner, try to enjoy this a little bit. Tomorrow get out here, do what you got to do. Then, yeah, you know, Monday, it's game day again.

Q. Life on the tour is not easy sometimes. Rafa has a great support system. Tomic has a different reality, maybe says things that aren't appropriate. How do you see the game? What does it mean for you to be a tennis player?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: We all have different perception of life. I'm not even just putting tennis, per se. We all come from a different background, different country, different culture. So I can only speak for myself when it comes to that.

I have nothing but love for tennis. Every little win that I have, every little battle that I have to win in my head in order for me to win, I appreciate it more than anything else.

That's why I often say I appreciate my wins even more when I'm playing bad. This is the moments that you not only overcome the opponent, but you overcome yourself. I think this is where you, you know, put yourself on the line and you start to understand yourself a little bit more.

I think tennis is, I mean, part of that. It's why I play, also to understand myself. It's not only that I love the game. I put everything else aside. That's why when you have that great feeling, when you're locked in on the court, when you're just so, you know, you feel like so alone, just you and the ball, this is a feeling that I just love. Or this little feeling before you get those butterflies. Like today even before the match, I was saying to my coach, My God, I'm so nervous.

He's like, Me, too. Don't worry.

I'm like, Yeah, right. You're just smoking right now, which he is, but in a nice way.

This is like that feeling. I believe as a competitor this is what you crave, in any sport, not only tennis. You crave that type of adrenaline.

Of course, a support system is very important. Family first. Yeah, after that you kind of see who you want to surround yourself with, who you have, you have your team as well.

Q. If it was Roger in the next round, a good chance you would be bumped up to Centre Court or Court 1. What is the difference between the atmosphere playing out there, you have good memories in the past?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I've only played on big courts here. I'm pretty pleased with that. I'm not going to shy away from Centre Court. I've played there before, I've won. I know my way now to the Centre Court, which is great, not like the first time I walked out.

Yeah, just going to embrace it.

Q. You talked about the love of the game. I guess playing Roger Federer on the Centre Court of Wimbledon is a climax of a career.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Let's see. There's a match to play. I don't want to speculate again. Yes, maybe he's the favorite. Yes, maybe he'll win. What's the point of talking about this now? There's still a match to play.

But, yes, there's many times that I felt I had like a huge moment in my career playing against any player. I wouldn't just put that. But, of course, again, any match that you play into that second week is a special match to me.

Q. What are you working on now? You talked about learning from tennis.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: You got to love the disappointments.

Q. Say the one or two things you think you've really learned about yourself.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Tennis I think taught me a lot of discipline. I mean, this is the first thing always comes to my head when someone says tennis, is like discipline.

Yeah, I think this has been my biggest asset throughout the years, my discipline and will to keep on working, even when things were going downhill for me. There's quite a few times I dropped my ranking to about 40 in the world. You know, I was down on myself, trying to find a way to get back to it, trying to find a way to work better.

So, yeah, I mean, I can sum it up in one word, and that's discipline right now. At least that's what it is for me right now.

Q. Are you proud of yourself?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I am, absolutely. Through all the obstacles I had to go through, not even on court, but off the court, with a lot of things that were surrounding me, I think I dealt with pretty well.

But, of course, in the same time I feel pretty lucky, pretty blessed to have certain people in my life that have always been there for me, always try to guide me the right way.

Q. Any professional has a set of skills or a craft they continue to develop and work on throughout their career. In terms of your craft, how do you stay motivated to keep working on specific parts of it? Do you look at it that way?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: In terms of my game, you mean?

Q. Yes.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, you improve every single day. I mean, you work to improve every single day.

Like, for example, I finished my match today, and I went on the court, because I felt I could have done a few things better. So those are the kind of examples I can give you.

Other than that, I mean, I don't know. I've never thought about it that way, because I always want to improve, I always want to do better than the day before. To me, that's way more important.

Often I'm very hard on myself. That's sometimes why I struggle to find that fine line of saying, Good job, Grigor, or, Oh, that's not good enough.

Yeah, I guess that's it.

Q. You got to the semifinals here in 2014. How do you feel now in comparison to back then? Do you feel stronger, wiser?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I feel better. I feel better. I feel my game is better. My physique is better. I'm in a better place in my life, in my head. Those are a lot of positive things. I'm going to stop right there (smiling).

But, yeah, again, I'm just excited. I'm just excited. I'm not hiding it. Again, I appreciate being in that second week. You know, my goal, ultimate goal, is always to be to win Wimbledon.

Q. How tired are you of the question of when the next generation is going to break through? What do you think the one key factor that the next generation has --
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Are you considering me the next generation or the past ex-next generation? I don't know where to put myself. Categorize me and then I'll answer (smiling).

Q. The group of players who are not what I'll call the big five obviously have had a big challenge, very few victories over the past 54 slams. The group who are younger than Rafa and Andy.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I think everybody is trying to find their way to succeed. Everybody have like their different path of doing those kind of things.

Again, I can only talk for myself for this. I think I'm on the right path. I think I'm doing the things the right way in order for me to put myself into those kind of positions, I mean, in terms of to win and to hopefully win a slam one day.

Again, what the other guys are doing, I don't know. For sure, I see their game. I watch their matches. But you never know what's inside of their kitchen. You don't know what are they up to, how are they practicing.

On that matter, I don't think I'm good enough to judge that. I can only speak for myself and follow my program, follow my schedule, follow my game, the way me and my team want to position ourselves, again, to make sure we win those kind of matches.

For example, in the second week, it is that kind of match I want to put myself in. Yeah, I'm there. So, yeah, just go out there and play.

Q. It seems you have more balance in your life.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: You said it, it's balance between everything. When it comes to, yeah, from your diet, the way you practice, again, the way you sleep, the way you have the right amount of time for everybody around you, also to make sure you do the things that makes you happy in order for you to recover and be positive and excited to play.

Again, I can sum up all that thing in one word: discipline.

Thanks, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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