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August 17, 2018

Grigor Dimitrov

Cincinnati, Ohio

N. DJOKOVIC/G. Dimitrov

2-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously the conditions have been tough over the last couple of days with the stops and starts. You played a very high level in the first set. How did things change for you after that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think overall I played good up until, what is it, set and 3-2, I think a few easy mistakes.

I mean, just the momentum changes during a match like that. That's that. I mean, I wish it didn't rain, for sure, last night. I just thought that even though I lost that second set, I was feeling well on the court. And I think I knew exactly the patterns and everything.

Today also is a completely different day. The conditions are a little bit different. So, yeah, everything came into play.

I mean, he managed to do that well. I mean, still had a break point today. Hit that slice, stop at the tape. I don't know what else I could have done in those kind of situations, but, yeah. It is what it is.

Q. Novak's been a difficult opponent for you for a while. What is it about his game that is such a challenge?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, we played, what, eight, nine times already. In a way it's always been, I think, tough matches. Last one in Queen's wasn't that good, I thought. Even like yesterday I just felt like I was playing good tennis. I knew exactly what I had to do.

I think also at times, like -- I mean, I got him exactly where I wanted him to be, and he also, in those moments, he just kind of relaxed a little bit and he started going for more, because that's his only chance to beat me. Everything went his way, to be honest.

I think obviously his experience and, you know, close matches that he had to play already throughout so many years, I think that that gives him a bit of an advantage. You know, his defense skills are unbelievable, as well.

So, yeah, there is just a lot of small things that sometimes if they go your way, you win; if they go his way, he wins. I mean, yeah, the past times it's been going that way, unfortunately.

Q. Maybe it's not easy to evaluate right after a loss, but it seems that your level has been quite high these past couple of matches here in Cincinnati. Is that a fair assessment?

Q. How much confidence do you take from that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, it started even last week with the match that I played. Yeah, it's going to be up and down, for sure, I think. Again, I haven't played that many matches, so every match that I win or I play well, I want to take the positive out of it.

And even if, from negative matches like last week when I lost to Anderson, I played a really bad match, but in the same time, I'm, like, okay, I need to try to get the best that I can from that situation, and, yeah, move forward. I mean, that's all I have to think of right now and that US Open is around the corner.

Yeah, absolutely. Take maybe couple of days off, maybe watch the match a little bit more, see what I could have done better or things that I need to focus on, keep on working and, yeah, I mean, we start again in New York.

Q. You mentioned small adjustments with respect to Novak. If you could consider your game right now, and it may be hard, but where are those small changes? Because I think you're there.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, adjusted yesterday pretty fast, if you think about it. I mean, the things that I had to do better than the previous matches, I did.

So I need to build off that. For example, if I played him again next time, I know what I've done well, what has been working, and maybe add something else. It's like building a house, putting brick by brick.

Who knows how many times it will take, how many more matches I have to play against him in order for me to beat him or something like that. I'm always there, I feel like I'm competing in that level, and it's always those little bits and pieces that are just running away from me.

Yeah, I'm not afraid to say it. It's always been like that. Even whoever I have played in the past, whether it's Rafa, Andy, or Novak, I mean -- and I'm sure they all know that, as well, like, there is no secrets about that, but I know that, I mean, I'm there, that level. Just for me to, you know, build up now and make sure that I can perform like that also on a daily basis.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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