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January 2, 2020

Grigor Dimitrov

Adrian Andreev

Alexander Donski

Alexandar Lazarov

Dimitar Kuzmanov

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Team Bulgaria, for your time today. We will be using the Catch Box microphone for everybody in the room. I will pass over to Team Captain Grigor Dimitrov who can introduce his team by name to the room.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yes. Alexander Donski, on the right side; Alexandar Lazarov; Grigor Dimitrov; Adrian Andreev; and Dimitar Kuzmanov.

THE MODERATOR: First questions?

Q. Grigor, you have picked yourself as captain. Can you give us an explanation behind that decision?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I wouldn't call it picked myself up as a captain. I think I'm surrounded by a great set of guys that I finally get the chance to kind of spend some time with them. I think clearly it's from their approval, and I'm just very pleased that I'm able to contribute something to the team, and that's me right now.

I have taken this duty very seriously, and I know it's a little extra work, but it's fun, it's great, it's positive. I think the guys are taking everything up pretty well so far. Everybody is healthy.

I think they are absorbing a lot of practice, a lot of thought process behind it, so everything is positive on our end right now, just focusing on what we have to do right now.

Q. One of the interesting parts of your role is you're going to have a match, you're going to be coaching. Then after your singles match, you're deciding if you're going to play doubles and all of that. What do you think that process is going to be like? How exciting is that for you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It's challenging, no doubt about it. It's always been a dream of mine to always seek kind of on the other end, and that is I think to be a coach is never easy. I don't know if I'm going to be a good coach. I can only, like, share my experience, my thoughts with the guys.

That's why it's called team. We can all discuss, we can find a good way to approach every single thing every single day, which is great. It's very new from what I'm doing and what I have ever done.

Now I'm on both ends. Without a doubt, I'm going to, you know, for sure I'm going to feel a bit of the pressure on each end, but I have been doing it all my life dealing with pressure and everything, so that's what makes it even more special for me and the boys.

Q. How much of a whirlwind do you think it's going to be when you have that 10 minutes in between matches to be running all over the place?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I was just thinking about that literally. I don't know. I mean, I have done it before. I have jumped on the court with like five minutes' warmup or anything like that. Only thing clearly I'm just careful not to overdo my body just so I'm kind of fresh.

I know it's not going to be very easy to just sit on the first match. And jumping right out is going to be I think super challenging, but I don't know. I'm kind of excited for it. I will be actually ready, and plus we have all the support from the boys on the side.

I think in moments like that, you always -- I don't want to say you seek the help, but that's what makes a great team a unity. And I think we all have that. Regardless of what time it is or what time of the match or the tie is, we're going to absolutely support each other for whatever we need out there, and I would say that's probably the most important thing.

Q. When you're playing, who's going to be sitting on the bench?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I have a lot of guys around me, so I would say some of them. I think them, for sure.

Q. All together?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think so. We have nine people can sit in the box, right? So, yeah, I mean, let's see. Let's see.

We haven't gone that far, but again, I'm really so focused on the first match tomorrow, I think all I want to do is put my energy into the player that is going to play right now, do the right strategy, think about the match, prepare the last day, and then everything else will kind of flow I think as soon as it starts.

We'll take, I think, one match at a time first.

Q. And you're pretty familiar with the setup over here, the facilities, but it's a different format altogether. Is it going to be any positives or it's starting afresh?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think, first of all, I think everything is positive. Everything that is new is exciting.

First, I think it's great that we have the roof out here, and they have done a tremendous job to put it together. I think it's really important, especially conditions like this, it can be very hot and, you know, overwhelming for some players that never played on that kind of stage and venue.

But it's also good to see that everything is evolving. So, yeah, it's quite a few things will be new for me. We'll have a four-minute warmup, as well -- by the way, guys, four-minutes' warmup. I forgot to mention that. Totally forgot to mention that.

So there you go. So thank you for that question.

Again, just going to -- especially me, I'm going to get out there and enjoy it and try to embrace every single thing that is new.

Q. Talking about the conditions, do you have any concerns about the air quality they are talking about? Saturday might be a problem. Is there any message from the team to the people suffering from these terrible bush fires?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, it's terrible. We are aware of it. I think everything is under control. We saw obviously a little bit on the news.

We get the, you know, the right information and suggestions from medical and everybody, and everything seems to check out pretty good for us.

You know, we're kind of happy that everything is kind of in control right now, and nothing worse is going to happen. Obviously we're concerned about that, but we're all ready to play. Hopefully everything gets better and better as the days go by.

Q. How is your body holding up? I think you missed two months total last year, shoulder injury. That's all behind you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah. It's been quite a journey. 2019 has always been -- it's going to be a year that I remember for the rest of my life. Yeah, body checks out pretty good right now.

I'm still monitoring a lot of my work, a lot that I'm going through. I kind of pace myself in the right way.

I'm not in a rush, which is also a good thing. That's why I'm not going to force myself to play too many tournaments early on and really look after the body. That's No. 1 thing.

Clearly I haven't competed for, yeah, almost the past four months of the year, and so that itself brought a lot of doubts and dropping a lot in the ranking and so on.

But in the same time, I was able to kind of recover as quick as possible, and hopefully now I'm at a place that can only get better. I'm really going to focus on that. What a great way to actually start the year with such an event, again, surrounded by those guys, which gives me also time to practice a little bit more and kind of test my body a little bit.

Q. What is the feeling to be in the team of Grigor Dimitrov?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Are you asking me?

Q. For the others.
ALEXANDAR LAZAROV: It's amazing. I was thinking about it the other day, and I think that every single one of us going home after the event is going to go home with memories which stay for life.

We're not losing anything. Whatever happens, we can only learn, because we don't get the chance to spend so much time with a guy who has been everywhere around the world, played so many great tournaments, and have so much success.

So for everybody, I think I'm speaking on behalf of everybody. It's just going to be unbelievable for us.

ALEXANDER DONSKI: So much things he's teaching us on court right now, a lot of knowledge. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we're extremely grateful and privileged to have him as a captain and as a player. Yeah.

Q. Murray will not play. This help you?
A BULGARIAN PLAYER: Yes. (Laughter.)

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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