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May 26, 2019

Grigor Dimitrov

Paris, France

G. DIMITROV/J. Tipsarevic

6-3, 6-0, 3-6, 6-7, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Ended up a little bit trickier than you probably would have liked. You must be happy, though, given recent months to pull through that in a tough one like that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, absolutely. A win is a win. Obviously I was couple of sets up, up a break. I didn't know exactly how he was feeling, and clearly I think that disrupted me a little bit. I thought, you know, in couple shots I just saw him, like, not even moving.

And, yeah, but it's all in the game, to be honest. In the end, for sure, it's up to me that -- I mean, in the way that I lost the focus, so I take that for me.

But, yeah, overall it was great to win that match. I mean, this is what I have waited for, to win matches like that. In the past months, all those matches have gone the other way around for me. And I just felt that this time, really, at the important moment I really stepped up.

Q. How would you describe where you're at physically and mentally, just everything with your tennis right now coming into here?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I've had a lot of time to practice I think off the court, so that's great. I mean, shoulder is still not 100%, which is obviously something that it's on my mind when I'm competing and that takes a little bit of the focus away and the purpose when I get out there.

But I need to give everything I have when I'm out there on the court even if it's not going well. It's simple as that. I just can't sit around and wait for everything to be 100% in order for me to compete. Yes, it's hard. Yes, there's a lot of tough losses that I had. But, I mean, for me it's more the course. You keep going again and again even if things are not going your way, and they have not in the same time.

So, I mean, I'm admitting it, I'm accepting it and trying to move forward. That's the only way that things are going to sort of get back. And, hopefully, physically -- because I think once physically you're not 100%, also then your mentality changes a little bit when you're out there to compete.

So, I mean, today was a clear case of how I played a great two first sets. And then obviously suffering the shoulder a little bit again, so my focus started to focus there a little bit. Then his physicality was questionable. All of those things that before this wouldn't have -- I don't think it would have happened, but, you know, it is what it is. I need to accept it.

Q. Question about your coaching setup. Starting to work with Radek Stepanek, such a creative unique individual, could you tell us a little bit about what it's been like working with him and what made you make the decision to take it forward a little further? And then also the status with Andre, if you could update that a little bit.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I don't think -- this obviously happened pretty fast, if you think about it. I have known Radek for a long time. I always liked the way he was thinking on and off the court.

And, I mean, I was just starting when he was around. So I kind of find him very intriguing in a sense with the game that he had. In a way, he's achieved so much and has done so well.

As you said, very creative. And I think this is what I need right now, especially that I haven't played, as I said, many matches. I've had problems with the shoulder. So I need that positive energy to surround myself with the right people.

And what can I say about Andre? We have a pretty special relationship. We've known each other for, I mean, crazy amount of years, which is something that I always cherish and for sure appreciate it. And then obviously in the past year we've started to speak a little bit more and potentially try to set up the exact weeks or how many weeks we can do, but all that is in the air now a little bit.

Also, him and Radek are getting along so well. So that's sort of -- it's a great package deal that we all can be on the same page even if he's away for some tournaments. It's great to have that contact.

And, I mean, also those two guys have gone through so much on and off the court that also, to a certain extent, I feel I can relate to. And it's nice to know that you're not alone out there.

Q. Many people would say that Andre is really one of the most truly special people that --
GRIGOR DIMITROV: That's an understatement.

Q. Okay. Sorry about that. One of the truly special people that our game has produced. On the one hand, he thinks very deeply about issues and pretty profound guy on many fronts. But he also has another side which is a locker room side. He gets down and tells it like it is and is pretty hilarious.

Q. Could you just talk about those two very different sides of Andre or give an example of each?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I mean, he's -- I don't know. The personal side I would say it stays for me and him I would say to certain extent. Clearly he's a pretty straight up, direct person whether we're on the courts or off the court.

I mean, I wish -- honestly, I wish I could find words to kind of describe him exactly how it is. But it's always when you least expect it something, you know, for him to say, or kind of expect him to say something and he don't. So it's always like he's capable of playing that mind game with you at times that really makes it so interesting and it makes you think.

And I think also I'm in an age right now and a period that, I mean, I feel -- I mean, I'm sort of maturing by the day in the sense that a lot of -- obviously a lot of thing have happened. And also having him by my side to kind of put certain thoughts in my head. And he always goes, I have two thoughts, the first and the second.

So every time he says that, it stays with me for two, three days, and I keep on asking myself that question. Every single day I'm finding something new, which, I mean, I'm forever grateful for that, of course. And especially when we get out there on the court is really tennis time.

Q. Just going back to the match today, I was interested by your kind of lack of celebration at the end. Normally at the end of a five-setter we might see an outpouring of emotions. Was there a reason that you kept it reined in? You thought maybe you could have got it done in three or out of respect for Tipsarevic?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I think for me it was just appreciation. I'll say today was just for myself in a sense that, I mean, I absolutely could have closed the match earlier, but, you know. I think I'm past that stage, I mean, to celebrate to that extent. I think I have different appreciations for different moments, I would say, in matches. I mean, you never know. Maybe the next five match I will explode or something. I don't know what I will do.

But today it was an important match for me that I knew mentally was important. And I think that's why when I won it, You know what? Here we go. Let's begin something that hopefully can progress and get better.

It's good to have emotions but, you know, it's -- when you're out there on the court, it's not always ideal to have them because, yeah, you can suffer from it.

But today I just felt it was just important for me to be composed, and also that's how I felt inside. I was not trying to prevent any type of a different feelings.

Q. Careers in our sport are shaped by different choices. Players make different decisions. A tough question, but if you had to choose one single decision which was the most important in your career, what would that be?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: So that's a good question. I don't know. I feel like I had a lot of defining moments. I'm not sure I would have changed much in a sense that I always felt so fortunate to have the right people around me at the right time.

And all that was -- I mean, I gathered a tremendous amount of experience on and off the court with the people that have been around me. I mean, I don't let just people in. You know, we all work differently. We all have our issues with things, with people; right?

But for me, I mean, every, like, pivotal moment that I have, I always say, Well, that's going to make a great chapter in my book one day. I always try to take the positive out of those moments. I don't look at the negative side.

Because there's so much going on behind a tennis player, I always like to say. I mean, the majority of people see only when we get out there on that court. So I would love one day people to see more of that, and hopefully I can be one of the first people to bring it out. I mean, obviously Andre has started that.

But there's a lot more to it, and I'm pretty grateful and thankful for everything that I have gone through, and there's so much more to be written and so much more to look forward it.

Hopefully I have another 10 years to play tennis and the best is yet to come.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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