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January 5, 2013

Grigor Dimitrov


G. DIMITROV/M. Baghdatis
6‑3, 5‑7, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions first.

Q.  First final.  How satisfying?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I'm very happy.  I have to say I'm very, very happy.  Definitely it's a great feeling.  Especially to start the first tournament for the year, first final, I mean, it's definitely a great feeling.
I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.  I'm going to get a few hour's rest and try to compose myself for tomorrow.

Q.  How were the nerves today?  You started the first set really well?  Did it feel look you were ready to meet this moment?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I felt good in general today.  When I walk on court I felt good.  I wasn't very tired.
I think I played a great first set, and up to 3‑2 at a break I was feeling actually quite confident on court.  Let's not forget that he's a great player, very experienced, and he knew that I was out there to win.
He felt that, so he instantly tried to change his game and his rhythm in the match.  Well, he did, so he won the second set.
The third set I think was just matter of who was going to take the first opportunity, the first chance.  I was down break point and stuff, but I tried to come back into the set.
So that helped me also to look further ahead.  And then when it was a tiebreak, it was just a matter of a point.

Q.  How big was that backhand down the line pass at 4‑4 in the tiebreak?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  It was pretty big.  (Smiling.)
Well, that was definitely one of the shots that I shouldn't miss at that point.  I knew he was going there.  I was on the run, so in a way I kind of improvise little bit because I had ‑‑ I mean, I couldn't lob or do anything, so I said, Might as well go for down the line.
Luckily I got the ball into the court.  I think that definitely took him off a little bit.

Q.  What's your take on the time violation?  Did that have much of an impact there?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I think rules are rules.  They're put out there, so there is not much else I can say about it.  I'm sure to put him off a little or something.

Q.  There is more focus on it now than there has been for a long time.  Could you empathize with him a little bit or not?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Yeah, of course.  We had a long rally before that.  I think it was over 20 shots.
But, I mean, whatever is for him is the same for me.  That makes us even, I guess.

Q.  Do you feel the stricter policing of that rule is a good thing for tennis?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I think it's good.  I think it's good, of course.  Let's not forget that the players voted for that, so I guess it's‑‑ if they want it to be there, it's there.
So it's kind of their call.

Q.  In the tiebreak at 5‑All, what's going through your head?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Was I serving?  Yeah, probably.

Q.  Yeah.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I mean, just I was thinking, How can I make the first serve, because I think I didn't serve good at all today.  I was just saying, Put the first serve and wait for the opportunity.
I mean, of course it's pretty tense when it's 5‑All in the tiebreak in the third set.  The crowd was getting up there a little bit, and you feel that vibe of the other player as well.  Everyone is anxious and stuff.
I think that's an awesome feeling most all.  I mean, all tennis players live for that moment that it comes down to this little margin.  I was really happy today.

Q.  Talk about playing Murray, if that's who you play tomorrow?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I played him I think once before.  I mean, well, he's a top guy, of course.  I mean, I will be happy to play him, of course.  I think my game is good for his standards.  I mean, I think it will be a fun match anyway for me.
I have nothing to lose tomorrow is the one thing.  Whoever I play, I just want to go out there and compose myself and say, Okay, it's your first final.  Don't be nervous at least.  You know, I think it's going to be a good match.  Doesn't matter who I play.
Of course Andy has the advantage.  He's No. 1 seed and he's been playing well 2012.  He had a great season and won his first Grand Slam.  He's not an easy opponent to play.

Q.  What particularly will you need to do well to beat him?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I think I got to serve better than today, that's one thing.  He's a tough player overall.  He doesn't give balls away.  I mean, I just basically‑‑ I don't have to play bad tennis at all and unforced errors and just try to make everything, you know ‑‑ try to use every opportunity that he gives me, if there is one.
I think he's also a great sever, a great returner, so I think everything in the game is gonna be very tough to play against him.  I mean, if I can sink some moments into the match, that will be great for me.

Q.  Talk a little bit about you made a big decision at the end of last year to go with a new coaching team, and you went to Sweden and spent your time there training.  Why did you make that decision, and why did you feel it was necessary for you going into this season?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I spent quite a few years in France.  I think the time that I was there, I think it was the appropriate time for me to be there.  I mean, it was a great four years.  I experienced a lot of things.  I learned a lot of things.  I had a couple of very good coaches before that.
But think there is a time in life when you want to find the best way for you and improve in what you do.  I mean, the years are rolling and you don't want be stuck at a certain spot, so you got to try things until you actually find the right formula for it.
I felt it was time for me to change and experience something new.  Of course, that gave me fresh air and I spend the last six, seven weeks in Sweden.  So that was something new for me.  Of course there are awesome guys out there at their academy, Good to Great.
They've been more than supportive over this five, six weeks that we prepared out there.  I mean, it's tough conditions, but afterwards, I mean, everything will be to show up on court, of course.

Q.  What did you see as the biggest benefit you've gained with a new coach?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I think we have made it work overall.  I think on the fitness side and the movement and I think just basic endurance on and off the court.  We were hitting tons of balls a day, just hitting and hitting and hitting until actually you don't want to hit anymore.  It wasn't much fun, I can tell you that.
Then after, when I came here, I saw the sun for the first time in six weeks, I felt rejuvenated.  I said, Might as well stay an extra week, you know.
No, but I think it's a great team, great atmosphere overall.  They all know what it takes to be out there.  All of those three guys been out there and been top guys and gone through certain stages of their life, and you can definitely learn a lot from that.

Q.  Did you feel stale under the old setup, or did you just think it was time to change, to sort of move into the next phase of your career?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Yeah, probably.  I felt that, you know, also it was good time for everything, I have to say, for me.  Like to live somewhere else, to change the environment, and everything that I've been doing for the past years.
So it was of course not an easy step to make.  I mean, everything is new.  It's not easy.  So I tried to just have it as a good sign and just go on from there.

Q.  Have you set yourself a rankings goal for this year?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  For this year, I was thinking just come here and play and then I will see.  But now that I got to the final, I'm certainly going to have something to look forward to in 2013.  The higher the ranking the better it is.
But to me, the most important is first to stay healthy and just play my best at the slams.
Of course these tournaments are always nice to play, and if you get to the semis, finals, it's great for you.  Then you eventually become a better player, and in general you set yourself higher goals.
But for the moment I'm just going, I mean, week by week for now to really establish myself this year, 2013, on the tour, and then, yeah, run for the rest.

Q.  You been talked about as a player with enormous potential for three years now.  Do you think you've come close to reaching your potential?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  No, not yet.  Of course I been showing here and there matches that I played, well, outrageous tennis, and I've had matches where I felt like, Okay, I go on court and everything is on.
But you have these matches four or five times a year.  That doesn't make you any better player.  I think talent doesn't win matches.
I tried to understand all that quite early, because of course there is expectations, everyone compares you, whatever, and these kind of things.  But in the end it's the good part in tennis because everything is in your hands.  You got to do it.  If you want to be out there, you got to go get it from the bottom.
If there is a place to do it, well, find it.

Q.  Was it hard having those comparisons to other players?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I mean, not hard, but what for?

Q.  People said at one point Roger Federer like.  Did you think that was a lot to live up to, and was that weighing you down at all do you think?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Weighing me down?  What for?  No, not at all.  Total opposite.  People can judge anyway, right?  Again, Roger is Roger; I'm me.
I haven't won a title yet even though I'm in the final.  Yeah.

Q.  All the work you put in in Sweden, you get here to Brisbane you see the sun and find yourself in the final.  Are you saying, I'm really glad I put in all that work, because now things are going well for me; this is where my game should be?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Well, honestly, I didn't expect much from myself at the beginning because I really, really had big hours in Sweden in the off‑season.
My whole intention was to come here, play a couple matches, and just kind of feel the heat and get ready for 2013.
Deep down I knew that if I was working the way I was working out there for that amount of time and continuously, I knew that eventually this thing would pay off.
Well, I been working for the past five weeks mainly like from Monday to Saturday ‑ even sometimes on Sunday.  At some point you make everything like a habit to you, and you come every day to the courts and you have that guard that, All right, I'm on court today; I'm going to do the same thing I did yesterday.  It's fun, you enjoy it, and go through all the warmups.
Everything gest into your head a little bit and then you actually don't think.  I think this helps a lot.

Q.  When you set your goals for 2013, where did reaching a final come on the list?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  First week.  (Smiling.)

Q.  What about winning a final?  Where is that on the list?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  First week.  (Laughter.)  Well, definitely, I mean, even before that we were joking with our team.  We said, Okay, first week we go to the final, and then, yeah, then we see how we going to do it.
We were actually pretty serious about it, and now that it happened, I was in the locker room and my coach was like, Well, I told you so.  I was like, Yeah, right, easy for you to say.
I mean, definitely every tournament I play of course I want to be in the final.  But, I mean, every day you don't wake up good and say, Okay, I feel 100% and let's go on court.
If you're able to manage to go through these days, I think eventually you get that flair that, Okay, I'm on a roll.  So that's fun.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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