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November 19, 2017

Grigor Dimitrov

London, England, United Kingdom


7-5, 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you compare the preparation for this quite successful season to the previous ones. What did you change with your coach? What has changed which raised you up to this level?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think all the consistent work. I think this is pretty much, and I said it in the previous press conferences, I mean, as soon as you're prepared, you have a good stability behind you. I felt I had a good mental toughness throughout the whole year, physically we keep on working, while the tournament, before the tournament, after the tournament.

So when my body's allowing me to do this kind of preparation, I feel I already have an advantage over any other player. And right now those are the moments that I rise up to.

I mean, it's not just a result from one, two weeks' work, it's the result for, I mean, the last off-season, the whole year so far, the way you've managed play tournaments, and so on.

So for me, I don't feel there's one secret ingredient to say, Yeah, that was the thing, that was the key for me. It was overall the work we all put in, the way we structured ourself, put ourself out there for every tournament to compete, to play, to be excited.

And, yeah, you win some and you lose some.

Q. What was in those tears in the end? Was it that it's been a long wait for you? Something else?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It just came out. Simple as that. I don't know, it's a special -- it's a special event. I mean, you don't get the chance to play that -- well, sometimes you get the chance to play that every year, but sometimes you don't.

For me, the way that the year has been, I mean, I felt I deserved to be here, yes, but I didn't want to imagine that far ahead that, Yeah, I'm going to be on the final, win the whole thing.

It was also just the end of the year, the last match. Knowing I don't have to go to practice tomorrow will be great feeling when I wake up in the morning, I just can do whatever I want (laughter). As a tennis player, you don't have that freedom that much. If you want to be up at the top, there's no shortcuts.

Yeah, I'm fully dedicated. This year I think I've done a lot of work on that. I sacrificed days that I should have probably had off, maybe go to a little vacation here and there. Now it pays off.

Q. Some new faces at the top this week. Do you think we're seeing a decisive shift at the top of the men's game? Do you see yourself as part of that new wave?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Next year I think is going to be obviously pretty interesting, especially the beginning of it. There's still quite a few names that are going to come back and play. That's just obvious. You should never count them out.

Honestly, I don't really want to think about that right now because it's something that they've been in the game for quite some time already. So I just want to focus on my side of what we are doing with the team, how we can improve, how we can get better, and next time I play them, how can I beat them. Also, again, to be consistent when I play those kind of matches in any type of tournament.

This is what I'm going to be focusing on rather than, Oh, am I one of those guys? Well, right now I'm right here. I'm the winner of the tournament. So, yes, I'm happy with it. But that's about it.

Like, the important thing is just to stay on the ground and put your head down, even work harder because once you get to that point, everything becomes so narrow for you. I just want to keep the same line. I don't want to get too hyped up because I've done well, now I'm No. 3 in the world. No, this makes me even more I think locked in, more excited about my work, and for what's to come.

As I said, right now it's a great platform for me to build on for next year. It's going to be amazing in the off-season. I know what I have to do in order to do good.

But again, you can control the controllables.

Q. What do you think you're capable of now that you've achieved the biggest title in your life?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I'm still trying to think about what I just did. I think now definitely we going to sit down with the team and reassess the whole year, see what we've done good, what we can improve. Of course, one of my main goals is to win a tournament, you know, a Grand Slam tournament. This has always been, again, a dream of mine.

Now slowly I think this thing is getting there. I think I've had good results in the past, but now, as I said, I need to be even more consistent on those kind of events, and in the same time raise up my level on occasions like this.

Obviously, this is a great, unbelievable achievement for me, yes. But, yeah, I just still have a lot to give. I want to perform better and better.

Q. Back a couple years when things were not going right with results, the ranking had slipped, frustrations. At that stage, could you picture yourself being in this situation?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No. No (smiling). Definitely not. If you ask me, no. What was I, like 43, 44, 45? No, there I was thinking, How can I put it together, put three balls in the court?

But again, with the right set of mind, with the right people, with the right support, things happen. For me, that period really helped me a lot. I think I needed that. And I appreciate those, like, six, seven months that were a complete struggle for me. I appreciate them in a way that, I mean, only yourself if you've been through that you would understand that.

In that particular moment, I really realized what I really need to work on, who are the real people around me, who really counts on me, who matters to me. There's so many lessons that I took out of that period that everything else, what I did, every little step that I took every day, you know, towards the good, it felt like a great day.

Little by little, yeah, drop by drop, here I am.

Q. You seemed a little conservative with your play today. You were maybe waiting for errors from Goffin. Was that a deliberate strategy or was it because of the way Goffin was playing?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I was a little bit tired, as well. I had to play a few matches obviously back-to-back against solid opponents. I think throughout the whole week, I've been keeping a good level.

Yeah, I knew that David is going to try something new. He had to be aggressive in order so he doesn't let me play my game. That was very obvious from the first point. Even broke me in the first game. I knew how things would kind of go.

But, yeah, I really had to dig deep, especially in that first set, which I thought was the key. Yeah, in the third set I just felt that I could have done obviously a few things different. I got to be a little bit more aggressive, and that was the break.

Yeah, obviously a little nervous towards the end of the match, which is I think quite normal. But again, I'm over that hurdle. I'm very happy just to finish strong. That's just simple as that. We move on.

Q. In this season you pretty much achieved the biggest results of your career. Do you have any big regret about this season?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: About this season? That's a strong word: 'regret'. Yeah, I've missed on a couple of opportunities here and there, yes. Regrets? I wouldn't think so.

Yes, I could have done better on certain tournaments. Yeah, that's for sure. Or I could have, you know, won matches that I shouldn't have lost, won the match points that I had in certain matches. But I wouldn't call that a regrets. I mean, I tried my best. I would regret if I didn't try my best on the court. That I would regret, for sure.

But I cannot recall on matches that I really just kind of like gave up or anything this year. I think that's a good thing.

Q. Could you name a specific point or moment that you think turned the match in your favor?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Today's match?

Q. Yes, today's match.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think obviously that breakpoint in the third set. I mean, we were back and forth on that game. I knew I had to go at some point for something big because he was really going for his spots on the serve. He was serving really well today. It was hard to read. Serving very close to the lines. At some point I felt I needed to pick up a side.

I knew when that second serve came around, I knew if I had a clean hit on it, that would have been enough for me to get in the offense. I think that was kind of the key.

Also the two points pretty much in the last game that I served pretty well. I was able to kind of, yeah, make them work.

Q. Your week with Rafa in Mallorca, was it a nice story for the media, or how important was it for your development?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Do you think it was a very nice story for the media?

Q. I do.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: You think so?

Q. Sharing experiences with a colleague, it's not normal in the business.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Why it's not normal? I mean, I took this as a very friendly practice week. I mean, plus there's something -- I mean, I have so much respect for this guy. It's enormous. I love playing with him. I lost, what, eight times against him, and I still want to play him. There's so much to learn from that.

They had a great hospitality out there for me. It was very positive days for me. I think there's always so much to learn, whether it's Rafa, Roger. I mean, it's always on the upside. To me, that was the only thing I take out of it. Everything else, I guess, was just what you see and hear.

Q. You spoke about having the right people around you. How big a part has Dani Vallverdu played in your success? How important has the experience he's brought with him, having previously coached Andy Murray?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I mean, obviously a lot. Of course, he's done a tremendous job with Andy, but then with Thomas. He was one of the biggest assets, I would say, in my team, especially when he joined in last year. If you think about it, we've actually been together just a little bit over a year.

I think we have a great understanding of the game. He can easily be the hardest-working coach out there. He knows the game inside-out. I mean, a lot of that success goes to him, absolutely. And, of course, everybody from the team has been on point throughout the whole year.

Again, to make sure that we are far ahead, you know, whether it's booking practice. I already have practice booked for Australia, so that's pretty cool if you think about it.

Q. Do you think Andy Murray can get back to what he was? Do you hope?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: If there's one person that can come back, that's him. That's for sure. He's going to prove that his head that is stronger than the hip itself. That's how Andy is.

Again, I wish him all the best. I'm sure he's going to recover and we're going to see him pretty soon out there.

Q. Are you going to the beach, relax? Can you tell us your plans?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: That's a broad question (smiling).

Yeah, for sure I will rest a little bit. It will be nice, right? The year has been long. Yeah, a few days. A few days. I know after a few days I'm going to get so restless, I'm going to go for a run.

Again, I just appreciate everything right now. I will take the day as it is. Absolutely, I'll rest, yeah (smiling).

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