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August 9, 2018

Grigor Dimitrov

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


7-6, 3-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I suppose it's always nice to win two matches that close for the confidence and can you talk about that and about your physical shape at the moment?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, it's great. Obviously, I haven't competed in about, yeah, four, four and a half weeks. And to come out and just play, I mean, that's all I wanted.

I was really not focusing on, you know, on winning or losing. I was just focusing to build up and start playing good tennis and start building the right habits. And eventually, if you do all these things right, you win. And I think those days were just that for me.

I mean, clearly I'm not playing my best tennis, but I'm finding a way and managing to go through those matches, and I think I'm improving. With each game, with each point that I play, I feel more confident, more stable on the court, and everything falls into its place.

So hopefully that's a great step forward for me.

Q. Can you just review what happened in the tie-break and what was the difference in being able to come back from 4-1 down? What were you able to exploit?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I just kept on playing my game and, of course, believing towards the end.

I mean, I know in moments like that it can get tough for whoever. I mean, I feel like I can defense well when I have to and attack in the same time. When I can, you know, find a way to turn the point around, it's great.

Also I was playing against the wind till 4-1, so it was pretty hard to generate a good pace or, you know, to use my slice better. So I was just trying to manage that, obviously just win my service, my service points.

And then obviously when we got the change, I'm like, okay, well, you know, it's all good. It's just still one point down. But in the same time, I like my chances on that side again because I know I can -- I was returning well throughout whole match, and I think that ultimately give me quite a bit of confidence, especially when we switched out the sides.

And, yeah, after that, I think it was -- I don't know. I felt a bit more experienced in that situation. In a way, I knew what I had to do in order to win.

Q. My question is about pressure and where it comes from, what it is for you, if it comes from you or your opponent or the score and how it affects you positively or negatively, your game.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I wish I knew where pressure was coming from the most. I mean, it's inevitable part of the game for sure.

I think in different moments of the match you can feel different type of pressure. Before match you feel pressure. Serving for the match you feel pressure. Having to come back from a break down is a pressure. So you're basically surrounded by that. I think it's finding a way to channel that, I mean, simply put, at least for me.

I mean, even I got quite a bit of frustrated at some point in the third set because of the tough calls here and there. I mean, there was quite a bit of pressure on myself having to come back and serve from a breakpoint down.

So, I mean, I'm trying to channel my way in a very positive way and just try to feed off that. I think that's -- I know those kind of things are very tricky.

But I've been on tour for so long that I feel like I need to -- everything that comes along that is negative or something to jump, like a hurdle or whatever, I know that I'm able to turn that as a positive thing. It's very hard. I know how it is. And also one of the toughest thing is to stay positive when you're negative.

And all these things, I think they come into play on a daily basis for us.

Q. So your mindset?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, absolutely the mindset is so important. I think the preparation, whether it's before the match or the night before the match, whatever. It's just however. You need to discover that for yourself. I think for sure you can get help from the outside factors, but ultimately you're the one that needs to make the change.

Q. You've got Kevin Anderson in the next round tomorrow. He's been playing well lately. Can you talk a little bit about the matchup and how you can hope to win that match?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I mean, he's been playing unbelievable throughout the whole year. That goes without saying. I mean, final of Wimbledon was also another great performance for him.

But, you know, as I said right now, I'm just happy to play another match. I mean, given the facts and the stats right now, for sure he's the favorite for tomorrow's match.

But as I said, I'm very, like, determined to just keep on fighting and keep on building from my game. I mean, this is what I want. I want to be here, and I want to play in the week, and it's the best time to play the tournament.

So, yeah, I'm just going to prepare, go through my routines the same way that I have done in the past weeks, in the past days. So, I mean, that's that. I'm not going to go try to do anything crazy.

I think also both of us have played quite a few times against each other. So we kind of know how certain things will go. So it might come down to a few points here and there.

Q. You just mentioned pressure. Did you find it difficult in any way to follow up on the best season of your career last year and did you feel any more pressure to do well this year, and how do you judge your season so far?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I wouldn't say that, you know, as a pressure because, I mean, I think it's a necessary pressure.

And again, it all comes down back to you. I mean, I have always -- the biggest pressure that I could probably experience has always been from myself. And that is to play better, that is to do things better, to improve and stuff like that.

I have never got that from anything else. Whether it's, like, I have to defend tournaments, points, or, you know, outside factors. Like people and the negative talk and everything that has been coming along my way, I don't care about it. I mean, I have my inside voice. I'm surrounded by the people that I want to be surrounded by, you know, family, friends. I feel I have the right people around me.

So yeah, I don't think of -- okay, last year was, yes, unbelievable year without a doubt. But it's a learning -- it's all a learning process for me. And I still believe that there's a lot of more to come for me. Yes, this year hasn't been the best, clearly, but it's not over. I mean, we're just halfway through.

So, I mean, one of the best things, everything is in your hands. So if things go the right way, let's see how it ends.

Q. Where are you at on the Davis Cup front? A lot of players are saying that they don't like the change, some players are saying they do like the change. Do you like the format the way it is? Would you like it to stay the same or do you want to see something at the end of the year?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I wish I could say more on that. In a way, I have not much to say, unfortunately, because I haven't played the past couple of years. And that's entirely up to the players that are actually, you know, going to play in that format.

I mean, it's hard for me. I've always been a person that likes tradition and the way things were done throughout the years. So, I mean, honestly it's entirely up to the players. This is my view on that.

Q. For you, though, with the way -- a lot of the players say it's just so hard between all the tournaments to get in Davis Cup matches.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Of course it's hard. I mean, it's hard.

But I think ultimately you have your team, you have your -- it depends what you prioritize in your life. It's simple as that. No one is pushing them to play. No one is pushing us to play a tournament for that matter.

But if this is how you want things to be, that's that. I mean, you can easily manage your own, I mean, career, your own way of playing tournaments, scheduling and all of that.

So for me, I mean, that's my outlook for that.

Q. What is your perspective on the shot clock and what happened at down break point when you had the discussion I think?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Honestly, I think it's great. I mean, it's my first tournament to play with the shot clock. I think it's actually pretty cool. I like it a lot.

I think what happened was just -- first of all, it was heat of the moment, and I just believe that you just don't give warning right away. It's like you can warn me a few times. Say, "Hey, you're close," or something like that.

But in such a tough moment to come up with that, I just didn't think it was fair. And I guess that was the flamboyant side on my end. And I apologized. I absolutely apologized after for sure. Behavior like that shouldn't be tolerated.

I'm not that type of a person. But, again, it was just in such a big moment of the match that, yeah. Yeah.

Q. Just a word on the break you had between Wimbledon and here. How much vacation you take, and when did you start practicing again? I know you were in the south of France I hear.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I live there. Why does everyone think I'm on holiday there?

Honestly, I took about three days off. And, yeah, throughout the whole time off there I was just occupied and busy with tennis. You know, that was that. I mean, I know it sounds weird, but that's all I had rest. I wish I had a week. I wish I had more than that.

But, you know, given the circumstances and the way things have gone the past, yeah, couple of months for me, it's just I wanted to keep on playing, keep on performing, even if it's a practice. I was still very, very excited to do that just because I haven't played matches.

And I didn't feel like I needed that big, big rest to -- I mean, it's always important to cut through the season a little bit. But as I said, I didn't feel I deserved it.

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