February 12, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
G. DIMITROV/P. Carreno Busta
6-1, 1-0 (ret.)
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Not the way you expected it to go today. Did you know anything was wrong with Pablo before the match?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, definitely not. I think the beginning of the match was very crucial for me, especially the I would say first four games were very, very important. I was just trying to stay as positive as I could, as focused as I could. Tough conditions. Obviously the sun was coming out a little bit. It was heating up. I really wanted to minimize all the distractions.
Eventually I was able to really play a very consistent game. I think that might have played a certain role.
Q. We all woke up today to a lot of distractions that had nothing to do with play.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah.
Q. How aware were you of all the rumors?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Very aware.
Q. What was that like?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I mean, clearly it's unexpected. I think throughout the past months and everything that has been happening, in a sense I feel like nothing can surprise me to that extent.
Of course, safety first on all ends. Still being very fortunate to be able to play a Grand Slam tournament in the middle of a pandemic. Very, very thankful to the Australian Open, to all the parties that made that thing happen.
I mean, I feel like also very welcome from all the Australians. The government has played a significant role. Yes, it's not going to be the same without the spectators, but very thankful for the opportunity I get.
Q. Did you try to savor more than usual the crowd?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I mean, as I said, it's great. It's always wonderful when you have the crowd. You always take everything in, take the most out of this situation. Again, there's so many things I can't control, but there's many things that I can control.
I really need to focus on the things that depend on me the way I prepare for the match, the way I play. Yeah, hopefully after those days, things can sort of come back to the normality the same way we've had the past weeks.
Q. A much more lighthearted question. Sunday is Valentine's Day. I was wondering your thoughts about the role of love in the sport of tennis?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I mean, every time you play the first point, it's 15-Love. Love goes all the way through, I guess, if you think about it. It's never 15-All from the beginning.
I already bought a gift, so I'm very happy with that. You didn't catch me off guard, so thank you for that.
I like it. I mean, without that, I think we all based on love, us humans. You cannot live without it, just period. I don't know, like I don't feel like it needs to be a Valentine's Day to be able to do something special for your loved ones, for that one special person that is next to you.
I always like to surprise to the occasion. But, of course, I very much like it. I enjoy it. It's so nice to play tennis on that day. So hopefully I have a good day.
Q. Why is it nice to play tennis on that day?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't know. It adds more. We definitely going to miss the crowd, so it's just everything that comes into the occasion. It feels nice. Whatever we can get in terms of positivity and a good vibes, you absolutely take it. You accept it and you go along with it.
Q. When you have something like this happen in the middle of a tournament where you only get a set of tennis, maybe 30 or 40 minutes on the court, do you do anything with your routine to practice a bit more, or try to stick with the mindset of keeping the reps up?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I think it really depends on the prior matches that you had to play. It's always good maybe to do a little extra. But I think I have the experience to deal with those kind of circumstances very differently now more so than ever.
I feel like I'm in a good place right now physically, mentally, in the way that I'm striking the ball. Today, for example, I didn't feel the necessity to come out and try to play more or to explore more or anything like that.
I feel like the things I had to do right I did right. But, yeah, it clearly depends on the opponent, depends on the match. Even if it's a set or set and a half, it doesn't really matter. I think it's very important the personal feel.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports