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January 23, 2018

Grigor Dimitrov

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

K. EDMUND/G. Dimitrov

6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After the way you played against Nick, you must have had big expectations. How did you see today's match?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Look, Kyle deserves all the respect. He deserved to win, simple as that. He's been working so hard the past months. I've seen that. Played him a couple of times.

I take full responsibility of my match today. There's no point for me to say what I did wrong because I can sit here and talk about it, but it's all about him right now. He's the winner.

Yeah, that's what I can say right now.

Q. You say you've seen him working hard. You've played him a couple times. Have you seen an improvement from those two times?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, absolutely. I think, I mean, obviously I could feel he was also a little bit tired, was going a little bit more for his shots. Sometimes it's even trickier to play against opponents like that. You know even if you play good, they're going to just shoot couple of times when you don't expect, play a bit of a different game. That's what he did. Everything went his way today.

But yeah, for sure, I've seen him improve throughout all the months. Yeah, you have a good result, and that's just the current situation.

Q. How much did the match against Kyrgios two nights ago drain your energy?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I would say all the matches out here, especially I think from day one I was not playing well. It took me a lot of work to get back to playing a decent match once again.

Against Nick, for sure, you played the crowd, you played him, you played your own expectations. There's a lot of components that come into the game.

In the same time, I was at least happy I found the way. But all that behind the scenes, what you do in order for you to feel better on the court, takes a lot out of you. Doesn't matter how fit I am, I think also mentally I was just a little bit tired. With each match, you're draining up. You try things the next day to kind of get better, get into a better shape, in a better head space.

Yeah, today was just one of those days that I just couldn't find a way. Simple as that. You have days like that. In a way, I need to also see what exactly had happened. I mean, I kind of felt okay, but still there's a lot of factors out there right now.

Q. How do you go about trying to process this? Are you going to take a couple days off, then actually look at it, or leave it behind now and focus on the next?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It's hard to hide a disappointment. I am disappointed. It's how I feel. It hurts, and so it should.

But, yeah, right now I won't think too rational, simple as that. I need to give myself a couple of days just to relax a little bit and kind of do things I don't get a chance to do during the tournament, and kind of I think reassess the whole Australian trip.

I think overall it wasn't a bad one, but certainly wasn't where I wanted to be. That's at least the positive thing, that there's a little bit of a room that I feel I can improve quite a few weeks ahead of me. I need to be smart the way I'm practicing now, not to overdo it again, but in the same time make sure I find my rhythm again, my game itself a little bit, the elements when I play.

That requires quite a bit of work, but I'm certain I'm going to be able to do it and hopefully produce a better tennis as the year progresses.

Q. Do you take some positivity from the fact you actually reached the quarterfinals?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, as I said, it's hard for me to admit that, but I have to. I'm very critical with myself. I always want a lot from myself. When I don't reach a certain goal that I've planned, it really drops me down. It makes me sad.

But those are the moments that I think I've learned throughout the years, especially last year after here was tough after I lost the semifinal. But, again, I still had to kind of lift myself up and kind of go on, like pick myself up, dust myself off.

Good thing in tennis, there's always the next week. Yeah, pretty much you can play every week that you want. But as I said, it's just the way I've been playing throughout all the matches was really something that I'm happy with, not on my best days being able to win and fight.

But, yeah, sad that it came into an end. But there's always that silver lining out there. I'm just going to try to make sure I see it a little bit more clearly right now.

Q. There's so much depth on the men's tour these days. You ended the year on such a high win in London. It's difficult to back up good years immediately the next. Do you think maybe a few weeks off will help you, almost the end of the year spills over into the next one?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I mean, I wish I could answer properly on that question. I think it is what it is. I mean, you've seen guys doing it over and over again. To me, those are the examples I'm looking up to.

In order for me to be a top 3 guy or chase No. 1 one day, this is what I have to go year in and year out.

This is my first year I've done something like this. At least I knows what it is. I've gone through the way now. At the same time, I still need to push and see the way where the limits are. Once maybe you feel that you reached those limits is after to see where you can get that little percent here and there, in different department, whether it's tennis, fitness, if it's mental or anything like that.

As I said, I think the year is still young. I mean, I would say all the matches from Brisbane till now, I don't recall to have an easy, easy match that I played 1 hour 20. Everything was over two hours, over three hours. For sure that takes a bit of beating on the body, considering that my off-season was pretty short. The only time I actually had off was one week.

Basically I have not stopped playing since, yeah, November, which is good. I take that also as a positive sign, that the body's been healthy, I'm good. Still being able, again, to win those kind of matches, that puts a good perspective on me right now.

Q. How good do you think Kyle is? What are his chances in the semifinal?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I mean, as I said, I watched pretty much all his matches out here. I mean, for sure he won a lot of tough matches. He doesn't fancy the heat too much. Obviously I saw it again today. But he really pushed through it in a way that he went for his shots and believed in himself, counted when he really had to step up the game or do something else.

I don't know. I think once you reach that stage of a Grand Slam, anything can happen really. It's really how much you want it. Yeah, these kind of opportunities don't always come on the door. So once you have them, try to make the most out of them. That's the best thing. Two in the quarter, and one comes out a winner.

Q. Do you think your tennis has been a little jaded, not in terms of results but in terms of just winning matches easily like you can do it?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't know. I think everybody's vision of tennis and everything is very different. I think player to player, we're like miles apart. Everybody has got their own path. We've all gone through different struggles, a different way to get to the top.

That I had a lot of expectations coming up? Yes, I did. What can I say? Everybody did.

If you ask me if that had such pressure on me throughout all the years, yes, it did. In a way, I have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. I'm playing tennis for myself. I've pretty much done, in a way, what everybody thought I would do. To me, that's not about it right now. It's really about stepping up my own game, my own belief, my own way of playing.

For sure once you get to the top, everything becomes more narrow. You have a bigger target on your back. Everybody wants to beat you. Everybody plays better matches against you. So, yeah, it gets harder.

I mean, that's the beauty of it. I think that's why a lot of us are competing to have that kind of sensation before or after the match.

Q. Did you get an opportunity to see the match yesterday with Novak and Chung?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I didn't see it, to be honest. I just saw a set.

Yeah, clearly he must have done something well to beat him. I think he's also a very good player. We're going to see a lot from him.

Q. The end of last year, second half of last year, you served really well. Here you've struggled with your serve all the way through. Is there something in particular? No rhythm? Was it the sun?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I really don't know. Sun or wind or anything, it does not bother me. I really need to think about it.

I've been thinking since day one, even Brisbane, I still felt that I have not served well enough. Yeah, obviously I'm going to watch quite a bit of video and see some of the stats.

Definitely that's one of the things I've struggled a lot in the past week. That's one thing I know if I can turn around, make sure I'm a bit more consistent. Even now, I felt like some of the matches I was serving pretty much all the matches over 50%. It's just the winning percentage on the second serve was pretty low, made quite a bit of double-faults. Can only blame myself on that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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