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October 1, 2020

Grigor Dimitrov

Paris, France

Press Conference


6-4, 7-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you just kind of compare it to your first round, how you're feeling at the moment.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I mean, I think today was a little bit more tricky, so to speak.

I think the conditions were a little bit different from the first match. Yeah, I felt like I had to like just kind of get over the hurdle of the weather. The conditions were, I would say very, very different than the first match. Also it's a player I have never played against, so I just wanted to kind of feel out sort of the atmosphere and kind of move my body around and go for some of the shots, which was not easy.

It started raining at some point and was very windy. Like, there were so many variables today I just wanted to control to the best way I could. I was very pleased that I finished in straight sets and spend minimum time outside.

Q. You got to the semifinals in the other three slams. Wondering on a personal level what would be the key factors to do it here at Roland Garros?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, honestly I always like playing out here. For some reason I have always had, you know, sort of a tough -- not to sound like an excuse, but I always had tough rounds to get over to that second week.

You know, in the second week, anything can happen. For me personally I would love to get further in this tournament. I felt like I have been, quite a few times I have been a little short out here with good and tough matches. But every year I come back with a positive mindset.

This year is very different than any other, no doubt about it, but I'm just taking sort of one day at a time.

Usually we have so much time to kind of get ready for a tournament like that, but this time it's just my second tournament on clay this year. So it's kind of strange but it's the same for me and it's the same for everyone out there. And I like that part of the situation, so to speak, that we just, like, kind of gotta grind it. That's really what it is, like improvise a lot.

I mean, the first week I have played only indoors, for example. This is the most I have spent playing outdoors. It's kind of funny, but being on tour for so long, I still have so much to learn and I feel like I'm learning so much about myself in situations like that and conditions like this.

I'm very thankful for the situation right now.

Q. Just wondering with two coaches, Christian and Andre, how does that dynamic work? What are their messages for you here in Paris specifically?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: You know, we're just trying to keep it simple right now, I think on all ends. You know, me and Andre have, as I have said before, we have a very special friendship, I will say, that goes way beyond tennis.

I think the experience that he has had out here, especially at the French Open, it's been -- I mean, it's been pretty amazing. I think to a certain extent it helps me like a lot to sort of hear it and to hear how he overcame some of his, you know, obstacles on such an event.

So we are just focusing on this right now. Always after a tournament is done, we sort of reassess the rest of it and kind of progress from it.

Yeah, I feel like good for now. I'm going to definitely get on the phone with him and speak a little bit and see, yeah, see how things are.

Q. Regarding the psychological aspect of this sport, I wanted to ask you how you approach preparing yourself for all these mental challenges: the pressure, the expectations. Do you ever use a dedicated psychologist to help you with something like that? If not, who would you say you lean on for guidance in those kind of areas?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think especially in the conditions we are playing right now, as you mentioned, I think it's very, yeah, it's very important to stay within yourself. You know, every day sort of repeat itself, so that is something that sort of goes without saying. You have to go courts, hotel, hotel, courts, and vice versa every single day.

We have been doing this for over a month and a half now, so of course there comes a point that you spend a little bit more time on your own and a lot of different thoughts are coming through your head.

You kind of reach out to a lot, I would say a lot of friends and I would say family. I obviously lean on my family. And of course there are some people that have some tremendous amount of experience on the mental coaching situation that really I think I believe in.

I have done some of that in the past years, and I think it always helps, for everyone it helps to a different extent and on different perspective. For me personally it's more of getting to know more and more myself. It helps me like discover also like even more the goals that I want to do and how I want to achieve them, as well.

And also, the tennis itself is helping me a lot to sort of to progress in my life and outside of tennis. So all that goes hand in hand right now.

Q. I know you touched on this in the States, but the Nike Agassi range has created a lot of buzz. Wonder what your thoughts...

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I didn't hear that.

Q. You probably would have spoken about it in the States, but just wondering your thoughts on the Nike Agassi range. Not a lot of players get to play in clothing their coaches wore. What's Andre's views on it if you've chatted to him recently about it?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I mean, we got a couple of interesting conversations on that. I would say I'm one of the sort of -- I think I'm the only one that is playing with the colors that I'm playing in right now. It's very special to me.

Nike has been very kind that they did that sort of special piece for me. I feel very honored to be the only person. It feels nice to be the only person wearing that.

So I mean, it's very different colors. I just didn't want it to be exactly, exactly the same, because clearly like I have always liked to sort of stand on my own. But what Andre did, what was it, 1991, was it? '91? One of those years. What he did with that outfit is absolutely tremendous.

I mean, I love it. I really, really love it. We wanted to like sort of do that sort of collab. Who knows what's going to happen in the future? But it's pretty special. I have always loved those colors. I have always, like, wanted something like that to come through. Next thing you know, 2020, here it is. I was, like, Wow.

So I'm very humbled and honored to absolutely wear that outfit. Yeah, I mean, it's special to me.

Q. An off-topic question that you may accept, I hope. Do you still have contacts with Maria Sharapova? I know that you took different paths, but I was always quite jealous of you. I'd like to know if are you in touch with her, if you talk, what she's doing? Does she keep playing tennis? If she forgot everything.

GRIGOR DIMITROV: You can still be jealous. (Laughter.)

No, no, she's good. We have always kept a good friendship, good relationship. I mean, I hope you follow her on Instagram. Maybe like this you know what she do.

I'm not worried about her. I think she's in a good place I think in her life. She's also the type of person that when you make such a, you know, such a decision and transition, you know it's for the right and for the good.

I don't know. I wish I could tell you more (smiling).

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