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November 13, 2017

Grigor Dimitrov

London, England, United Kingdom


6-3, 5-7, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I heard you on the court after the match saying you were nervous before. Even with all your experience, playing a new tournament, is it like going on a first date?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I've never been out here. I've never been out here. Now I can say that that barrier is broken, I guess.

It for me was just one of those new experiences that I think I'm going to remember for the rest of my life, I think appreciate for the rest of my life.

This is where I always wanted to be at, is among the top players. Also being able to come through in my first match, it's only positive.

Q. How much did your last match with him in Madrid come to your mind?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: To be honest, I didn't think that much about that last match against him. I thought about my last match against John in Paris. It was kind of a similar situation. I was like, Not again, definitely not again (smiling).

You know, whoever you play out here, you know it's going to come down to the wire. It's simple as that. I feel like I played an okay match. For sure I thought I could have done a few things different or better. But I think from now on, it can get only better.

Yeah, everything else, whatever comes across, as I said, it's on the upside for me. I'm just going to look forward to compete again.

Q. It is a special win for you, but also a special win for Bulgarian tennis. How does it feel being the first player from your country in this event? Does it give you extra motivation to perform?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I think you're right. It's not only big for me, I think it's for my whole country, for Bulgaria. It's great for me to show that everything is possible. You push the boundaries, doesn't matter where you're from, it's all up to you, everything is in your hands. Basically whatever you put in is what you get.

Yeah, I think it's a very special moment for me, but I hope also for the country and I think for the people, just to realize that whatever you put your mind into, if you push those boundaries every day, if you work hard, the sky's the limit. You can dream every day. I'm a dreamer (smiling).

So, yeah, I know at some point things would go my way. I think lately things have been going good. If I'm here, it means that I'm doing something right.

Q. You referenced you've given up some winning positions this season, but today you were able to come through. Do you think you're more resilient this season maybe as a result of going through those experiences?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I think so. I think every year you learn more about yourself, about the game, about the players. I mean, I've done also a lot of work on and off the court. I think it finally is starting to kind of, like, come together.

I think the past 10 months I've been playing against super elite players. I think also at some point, yeah, I was looking back to who I've lost my matches against and all that. It has always been quality players, like higher-ranked players. I mean, that's a good sign.

Obviously I'm trying to fulfill the little gaps that I think I can do better on. From now on, I think only the little things will make a huge difference. In order for me to do that, that's why I have my team around. I think they're going to help me figure the next step because I always think there's a next step. I want to push myself.

Q. The transition between being a young prospect a few years ago, and now I say almost a late-bloomer, is it over? Do you think now that you reached your best ranking, you've done what you expected? Are you still dreaming, as you say, to do much, much better, or a little better?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, hard to answer that question. No, I don't want to look at anything that way, for example. I mean, I appreciate your question. I think it's fair to say in my case.

But everybody has a different path, different way. It's just simple as that. I mean, what if I was, like, 22 and already reached out to No. 6 or 5 in the world, you would have asked me the same question, right?

What can I say? I think just sooner or later you realize things in life, I mean, whether it's tennis or whether it's life. It's the way you've been working, you do the stuff. I mean, I think there's a lot of components that are kind of coming together at some point. You kind of I think make a decision. I think my decision's been made since long time. It was just against like fighting with my demons to find the right path to be consistent enough. Other than that, I wouldn't put anything away.

I think the best is yet to come. I'm super excited for what's ahead. I'm already looking for the next season. Getting excited also a little bit for the off-season, which it's not the most exciting time, but I'm getting excited. I think that's a good sign, right?

Yeah, I can only give 100% from myself really. How the rest would unfold... Maybe I come back next year and I don't do obviously as good. What can I do? It's not the end of the world. I'll just get back at it and just keep trying, keep trying to reach out what I really want to reach out.

Q. What do you feel the main areas in your game that you need to improve to win this title are?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think overall your level has to be, even when you're not playing good, strong enough. I think this is obviously one of the most important things. I always consider myself as that aggressive player. I always want to have that mindset. I think this is one of the most important things, not only to win this event, but any event.

Picture, for example, playing a slam. You're in the fifth set, and you need to win seven of those matches. I mean, this is where it all comes down to that aggressive mindset, you know, carrying on with that positivity that you've built up. There's so many things you need to complete in order to win any of those titles.

That's why we see how things are right now and who is winning them, it's because of that. They've been doing this for not one, not two, but 10 years already.

So, yeah, in order to beat them and bring them down, you know they're not going to give it to you, you have to go grab it.

Q. We have a young Chinese player here, and you have practiced with him a couple of times. I heard you even invited him for the off-season training in Monaco. So he must be quite good.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, he's hitting the ball well. It was nice to see that. I mean, obviously lately I've seen a lot of younger kids coming to play (smiling). I think a lot of them are pretty talented, hitting the ball strong already.

Yeah, how he's going to develop, I don't know. I cannot tell you. But I think he's striking the ball very well. I think he's dedicated. Yeah, as soon as he gets out on the court, I think he knows why he's out there. That can easily separate you sometimes from a certain group.

I think if he does well, if he keeps it together and stays healthy, I think he has a bright future.

Q. Could you talk to me about playing Nadal next, if you think that's the biggest challenge in the game right now?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think there's still match to be play. Who I'm going to play, we don't know. Obviously Rafa is No. 1, finished the year No. 1. A lot of confidence behind. In the same time, David has been having a tremendous end of the season, built up a lot of confidence, a lot of momentum. So I think it's going to be an interesting match.

I have zero preference who I'm going to play. I'm here to compete. That's all I'm going to look after to, the rest. Honestly doesn't really matter to me right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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