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September 4, 2019

Grigor Dimitrov

New York, NY, USA

G. DIMITROV/R. Federer

3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I loved the match.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Me, too (smiling).

Q. During the match, what did you make conscious and secure that this would be different from previous matches? What would make this possible this time?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, everything was different. I mean, different circumstances, different court, different time of the tournament. I mean, I can say so many things that are different.

I was more present, to be honest. I was more of myself throughout every point, every game that I played. In the past, it's always been very hard to play against him. He always came out pretty fiery, make an early break.

Actually the same thing happened today. It's been a long time that I've been on that court. For sure, I had a little bit of nerves, trying to readjust.

I felt very comfortable from the first point, despite the fact that I was missing a little bit here and there. I had a few opportunities. I kept on believing in what I had to do, in my game plan. I was moving really well. I was hitting my backhand pretty good, changing up the shots.

One of the only things for me was try to keep him as much as possible on the court. I did that very well. A lot of long games. Yeah, clearly in the end he was not at his best. I used every opportunity I had.

Q. A lot of ups and downs in your career. This has been a steep climb. Saw your match in Atlanta against King, thought you wouldn't be in the semifinals here.

Q. What has clicked into the place so quickly?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Consistency. Despite the fact that I was losing very tough matches, close matches against players that, as you said, I shouldn't lose, yet I did. I kept on believing in the process, kept on working, kept on trying to improve whatever else I had to improve on my end. I really controlled the things that I could.

I think that's as simple as that. Sometimes the most simple things are hardest. Yeah, it was not a pretty time. I'm not going to lie. But for me also today, I don't want to sound too humble, but it was just another match for me really. I don't want to say I had nothing to lose, because I felt I did.

I just came out prepared the best that I could, especially coming out from the past two weeks of preparation, fitness, good matches. I'm trying to build off that. Little by little things are starting to fall into their place. Today was just another step.

Q. This is obviously a tremendous high. What was the low for you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It was that low that I don't even want to go there any more. It was just obviously injury, losing points, ranking. That's the lowest point of any player.

I think the past six, seven months have been pretty rough for me. But I had somebody to lean on, my friends, my family. I kept on believing again in the work, the rehab I had to put behind my shoulder, the exercise, the practice, fixing up the racquet a little bit. There were so many things I had to adjust in such a small but big period of time.

Next thing you know, you're almost end of the year, you have a result like that. It's pretty special to me.

Q. You said throughout the tournament that you didn't really want to look back, or too far forward, you wanted to be present. In that moment as you're trying to close this match out, how difficult was it to stay there? Were there thoughts about what this could mean for you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, here and there. Sometimes when you've gone through so many matches of maybe getting a little bit tight in the end, a little bit nervous, so on, thoughts and whatever, you are starting to learn a little bit.

It was one of those days that when I was serving for the match, I was just as relaxed in a sense that I was able to control my nerves pretty good, control my shots, and taking the right decision. That's the most important.

Clearly I had three first serves, good points. That for sure helped as well.

Q. What are his great strengths or gifts?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: His strengths? A lot. Clearly a lot. I think one of the best qualities I've always admired in him is moving on. Doesn't matter what kind of point he's playing, winning, losing, he just moves on. That's a hell of a quality to have. He's building that up for the past decade. I think that's also from where his mental strength comes in.

Of course, he's a great player, plays amazing, does amazing shots, serve, everything. There's not enough words to describe him clearly. As a player, I notice other things that I always admired and focused on. Try to make sure that I learn from that, as well.

Q. When he wins the first set, gets ahead, it's so hard to come back and beat him. How do you stay in there, stay confident?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: As I said, I knew what to do. I knew what to do. Also I know why I lost the first set. That doesn't rattle me as much. Especially when I sat down on the changeover, I was definitely pissed because I had a few opportunities here and there. I wasn't able to capitalize on that.

I think I raised my bar a little bit of my movement. I kept him in the points quite a lot. Just kind of make him, I felt, a little uncomfortable. Start coming in, using a few dropshots. I clearly had to change up something in order to see where he's at.

Yeah, I think the percentage of the first serve went up, as well. That helps a lot against him. The decision making of my shots was really good. I'm really, really happy with that one today.

Q. You talk about keeping Roger in points. The long game in the fourth went 20, 30 minutes. You end up losing that game. Seems like it had a lasting effect on him.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I was very happy even though I lost the game. I did exactly what I wanted to do.

Q. How important was that going into the fifth set? He looked gassed in the fifth. It almost spiked your energy.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I didn't know to what extent his injury was or whatever was bothering him. But I think even when I lost that game, I was actually smiling going through the changeover because I was, That game must have hurt him a lot. For me, it actually filled me up.

I tried to use that negative sort of situation into my positive. After that fourth set, I felt also he kind of needed a little bit of a break, as well. I kept on pushing through.

I think in the first game in the fifth, I put so many returns back, pretty much all the returns, so he had to go. He wanted to keep the points really short. I used every single opportunity I had.

Q. When you were down two sets to one, what were you thinking? How did you understand that you were fitter than him?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: How did I know?

Q. If you did. Also if you expect to be fitter than Medvedev that today we saw sometimes in trouble physically.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I don't look a far ahead. I had Roger in front of me today. Again, I was not even focusing on Roger. I was focusing on myself. I was kind of looking at my dashboard to see where I was at really.

I knew what I had in my legs. I know what I had in my body overall. That gives me a great comfort whoever I play. Today was also one of those days that I had to stay as much as possible on the court.

Q. You didn't realize he was somehow in trouble?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Obviously I started seeing in the fifth. Even if I would have gone two sets to love down, I wouldn't have give up. I would still stay on the court and just try to do as much as possible to make sure that whether I rattle him or put him off balance.

I kept on pushing, I kept on believing. I was hitting I think very good shots, playing good tennis. That got me through the line.

Q. Can you describe what you've seen in Medvedev that has propelled him to this great run, what sort of a challenge he is for you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't know. I think obviously he's been pretty focused throughout the whole summer. He's been having a great summer, a lot of confidence building up, winning Cincinnati, being already here. A lot of good matches, a lot behind him really.

I haven't looked that closely. I've just seen him a little bit in the background here, how he has played. Clearly he's doing something right. Again, it's not going to be an easy match. I have a good day tomorrow and here we go again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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