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August 17, 2017

Grigor Dimitrov

Cincinnati, Ohio

G. DIMITROV/J. Del Potro

6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Great match today. What's it like playing against Delpo, that huge forehand? The kind of strategy, when you play someone that's got such a big weapon, how do you handle that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I lost five times against him. What can I say? I kind of know what to expect now.

He's a tricky opponent. I mean, obviously he's won slams, I mean, a slam, and quite a few tournaments. Super-experienced player.

Yeah, I definitely have to stay away a little bit from that forehand. I knew if I keep the ball low on his backhand side and just kind of work my way into the court, it would have been the right thing to do.

I think I did very, very well this thing today. The short slice really made him very uncomfortable, and he was giving me a lot of short balls so I can start moving him with my forehand. So it was also a bit of a mind game, because we know our game pretty well. We practice a lot. And, yeah, basically who's going to crack first.

Yeah, I was just pleased that at least I did -- the things I wanted to do today on the court, I did them very well. Yeah.

Q. Could you go a little more into detail the things you wanted to do, more about the game plan?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, that was that. Just to keep my slice low on his backhand side and waiting basically for that short ball to come around. So, for me, then it was easier to run around and hit a forehand and maybe just move him a little better.

Against him, you can't pull the trigger on the forehand too early, because he has one of the best forehands in the game. And if you get him on the run, that forehand crosscourt is going to come chase you down. Yeah, I just have to be very cautious with this. Yeah, my first serve was a big asset today, as well.

Q. It's been a very hot, very humid week. How tough are the conditions out there today?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I love them. To me, the warmer it is, the better it is. I think I'm very used to it. I have gone through quite a few matches in the past. I know how it feels. Sometimes you suffer. You just suffer. That's how it is.

But in the end, it comes down to a little bit of a will and how would you want to be. Like, I know it's hard. I'm not saying it's piece of cake to be out there and just sit and enjoy the sun. But it's the same for him and it's the same for you. So it's how you deal with it. I seemed to, you know, cooperate well with the weather so far.

Q. You are playing well in this tournament, but I think you are expecting more from yourself. Where do you find your level of your tennis?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I always expect a lot from myself, whether it's, you know, this tournament or any other. I think the past weeks has been a little rough for me, and I just want to get back on a good path. That's all I'm asking for myself.

Again, I try to lower my expectations at least a little bit so I can accept more and not get, you know, aggravated on the court, or whether I'm practicing hard and if the shots are not there, like, I have to just keep on, you know, going through those motions.

Yeah, right now I think things are slowly, like, progressing for me and I'm looking at one match at a time.

Q. So what changed after you were down 4-1 in the second set? All of a sudden, seemed like you flipped a switch or something.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I played a pretty sloppy game, to be honest. I think the first two games of the second set I really played sloppy tennis. I missed, I think, three shots on his serve. Yeah, I was 40-15 up on my serve when I got broken. That was all my fault.

Yeah, I had to accept it. I knew if I stayed with him and just take the right decisions, I would eventually get a chance. I caught quite a few of his serves actually. I was reading his serve pretty well today. I was ready to kind of hold my baseline, which was the key, especially when I broke him back.

Q. Your record against him, you hadn't won against him in five tries before. How good does it feel to break that record?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Always, it's a good feeling, definitely. I spoke with my coach in the locker room after that, and I was, like, Listen, I really needed that match. He was, like, You know what? I kind of agree with you.

Yeah, I always wanted to, coming up the rankings, I always wanted to say that I want to beat all the players out there. That's, like, a goal of mine. Yes, slowly and surely I'm getting there. There is still a few guys that I haven't conquered yet, but I believe in good times, good things will come.

Q. Who is the player you haven't beaten yet you most want to beat?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Roger, I haven't beaten. I don't think Tsonga. Yeah. That's about it, I think, from the top guys.

Q. Your next match up, Sugita. It's been maybe a year since you played him last time, and it was quite a close match. What kind of match do you expect?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, he's been playing really well. He's been playing really well. I watched quite a few of his matches.

Yeah, I think he seems to play pretty good right now. The conditions don't really bother him. He's going to be definitely a tough opponent to play. I don't need to underestimate his ability to play good tennis.

And, yeah, you're in the quarterfinal of a Masters 1000. Anything can happen. He's pretty determined, and he's pretty excited to play, so that makes him even more dangerous.

Again, on my side, I can just control what I'm going to do out on the court tomorrow, but I'm definitely gonna focus on my side and just my game.

Q. I saw a piece of paper on the ground this morning that said "Your favorite tennis memory" for people to fill out. Do you have a favorite tennis memory?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Favorite tennis memory?

Q. Maybe even as a kid?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Probably winning Wimbledon for the first time. Yeah, winning the junior slams, I think, was always -- it always sticks in my head. And then the same year, yeah, was US Open Juniors, as well. Played quite a few Futures that I won back to back.

I think those are my, like, early memories that I like to say -- of course, I had too many other specials, whether it's even playing a Madison Square Garden exhibition to winning my first title on tour, beating certain players. So, yeah.

Q. You have a lot of them?

Q. The draw looks pretty open from the outside. Two top 10 guys left in, which is rare for a Masters 1000 event. Is that in the back of your mind, that there is a lot of opportunity for guys?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I mean, for sure. I want to answer more modest than that, but no, I'm going to say it: You're right. You're absolutely right.

But in those kind of circumstances, I think the best thing you can do is really just focus on yourself and what you need to do, because to me, it's not about this week. It's not about next week. It's about the next year.

So I don't look at it that way. I like to look at things from the big picture, and yeah, if opportunity presents itself, yeah. You've got to grab it, absolutely. Whether you get scared or you're afraid or any of those thoughts that are coming or putting the pressure on yourself, it's pretty normal.

I think you need to go through those moments in order to prepare for yourself for what's more to come and even bigger.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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