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January 6, 2013

Grigor Dimitrov


A. MURRAY/G. Dimitrov
7‑6, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You didn't win, but do you feel you can be satisfied with your performance in your first ATP final?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I think it was a great final, first of all.  It was an amazing feeling to go out there today and be able to play tennis like that.  Of course it's a nice feeling.
I'm not a 100% satisfied, of course, but I have to say, Well done to Andy.  He played some really, really good tennis when he had to.
So it was actually a lot of fun going out there today.  I think we both did a great game.  But, I mean, he stepped up, so I think definitely he's the winner today.

Q.  What was the difference?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I think a few points here and there.  I was up a break and I was actually not playing bad tennis at all I thought.
But, I mean, he's one of the best returner in the game by far.  He picked up couple of my serves on big points, so I think that gave him extra confidence.  Then he stepped up with his serve.
He's a top guy, so he has his rhythm, his routine on court.  When he has to play good, he plays good.  He pulled out some really, really good shots when he had to.
So I didn't feel that I was far, far from winning the set or even the match.  But still, that was a little margin that he got covered.

Q.  Being in your first finals, was there a feeling of nerves going on court?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I didn't feel nervous actually at all.  I just felt actually quite good.  I slept pretty good last night, so I was like, Wow, you're not that nervous before finals anymore, even though it was my first at ATP.
So it was a good fooling waking up and going to breakfast.  In general, I had a great day before that.  I figured just go out on court today and, well, you know, try to win the match.  (Smiling.)

Q.¬† 5‑3 and you're serving for the first set.¬† Few minutes later you didn't win a point in the tiebreaker.¬† Does that just explain the difference between a player with his ranking and yours, or lack is that of experience?¬† What do you put that down to?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  No, I think he put himself into a great state of mind that he actually didn't miss one ball after that.  My coach came after the match and he said, Well, after that game he didn't miss a ball.  I thought about it, and he actually didn't miss one ball afterwards.
He made me play a lot of shots.  He caught the line couple times when he had to.  Here you are, down two breaks in the breaker.  So there is actually not much else you can do afterwards.  He served big when he had to, of course.
Experience talks, of course.  I mean, at certain moments he got the momentum of the match, especially the first set, so that's why he closed it up so well.  Even so, I didn't feel that I was far.
But the way he composed himself in the tiebreak and the way he came out in the tiebreak was just different.  That made him win it.

Q.¬† You get up in the second set 4‑3; you got the break.¬† Did you expect him to come back the next game and just play great?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:¬† I knew that he was going to come up with some serious returns.¬† Even when I was 30‑Love up on my serve, I knew that the game wasn't over or anything like that.¬† Next thing you know, he does three returns and I'm like, Whoa.¬† I knew anyway, so...
But I have to give all the credit to him today.  I mean, he a played really, really good match.

Q.  Mentally you seem to have a great maturity and composition not to get nervous in front of such a big opponent.  What do you think it's going to take for you to reach the final of a major now?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:¬† Well, same amount of work, even more.¬† I played here five matches.¬† It's best‑of‑three sets.¬† You know, I felt quite okay going to the final and all that, but a major is completely different story.
I think I still need couple of years on the tour to get stronger and be able to hang with these guys all weeks, and especially playing best‑of‑five sets.
So, well, that's not an easy task.¬† You got to play seven matches best‑of‑five.¬† After the third round it's mind over matter.¬† I want to do this as soon as possible.¬† That's what you have the Grand Slams for.

Q.¬† Do you think you have maybe three or four five‑set matches in you for Melbourne, or do you feel that if you get involved in a couple long ones you're not quite there yet?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  No, we have day off after every match, so I think that gives a perfect time to get ready for the next match and think for your next opponent and all that.
But I think, you know, when you play a Grand Slam, it's not a sprint, it's a marathon anyway.  You have to have definitely certain game plan coming into every match and knowing the opponent, what you got to do at this particular moment.
So that makes it easier to whoever you play.  So I think everything is adjustable and you got to go day by day.

Q.  Do you have a target for how far you want to go in Melbourne?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  As far as possible, definitely.  I'm playing Sydney next week.  My body is feeling quite okay now.  Let's see how things will go in Sydney.
Definitely my main goal would be to go out in Melbourne and get ready physically and mentally for a strong run.

Q.  Where do you see your strengths and weaknesses looking forward?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  At the moment this is the first tournament.  Everyone feels fresh.  Everyone wanted to play a couple matches here and there.  There is not much you can say at the moment.
But I think definitely with every match or tournament you play, you could see that‑‑ you see where there is room for improvement and what you can do better on court against the opponent and all that.
At some point, you know that you've played with most of the players on the tour, so you got to play them week in and week out.  So I think with time you get your right rhythm, and then you understand yourself and your game better.

Q.  Twitter is in a state of excitement because an ESPN correspondent tweeted that you and Maria are a confirmed item.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  What about that?  I never talk about my private, yeah.  Sorry.

Q.  So what did this week show you about yourself and potentially going forward?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I mean, this week was definitely an exciting week for me.  I'm not going to hide that.  I felt good the whole week.  I did quite a few changes in my daily routines and the way I was practicing and all that.
That actually gave me an extra like a fresh air so I could actually step up and be like, Okay, I got to play matches and I accept to play whoever it is and go out there and do your best.

Q.  Is there such a thing as too many matches leading to a Grand Slam?  If you go to Sydney and reach another final, is that too much, or do you think you can handle that workload?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  No, that's okay.  I think everything is in your head in a way.  Okay, Melbourne is the most important thing.  Yeah, it is.
But if you play a tournament, you got to play the tournament.  So you're there to play the tournament.  I don't put any restrictions on myself and being like, Oh, I got to save some energy for that.  If I'm there, I'm going for 100%.
If it's not the time, if I feel something is going on during the match and stuff, of course I'm going to stop and say that's enough.  You're looking for the next one.  That's the good thing in tennis, you always have the next week.
But if you want to reach the top, if you want to be where the big guys are, I don't think you should have that sort of mind.

Q.  There's been a lot talk about the Top 4.  What do you think differentiates them from the rest?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Well, everything.  (Smiling.)  I mean, the guys are just stronger.  I think they're more experienced.  I think there is not like big difference between all top 10 and the 20s, but there is always a little something that when you play the match they come up with or they bring it out when they have to, whether it's going to be a break point or what you're going to do under pressure.
For example, I had a set point in the first set, and he aced me 209 wide, so I was like, Okay.
This is like a such a small, small gap between it, but makes the biggest difference actually.

Q.  Knowing that if you were to draw one of them in Melbourne, is there anything you would do differently?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  If I play against Andy or in general?

Q.  Andy or any of the big four.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Well, I think you have a little advantage playing them in the first round because they still haven't had any matches for the year.  Okay, they played a couple exhibition matches here and there.  It's not the same as a match situation.
It's not fun to play them in the first round anyway, but I think you have a little more chance then.

Q.  Out of Andy, Roger, and Novak, who do you fear the most?

Q.  Yeah.

Q.  Who would you most feel intimidated by?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Why do I have to feel intimidated?  I want to play them, so I don't know.  I want to play them all, of course.
I mean, I think it's nothing better to play against these guys and do the best you can against them, because eventually, long‑term, if you want to be good you're going to play them almost every week.

Q.  You were saying he's one of the best return of servers in the world.  When you're serving, do you feel like you can fool him, or is he reading you all the time?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  No, of course I can ace him here and there, but in general he's one of those guys that he just reads your serve.  He reads your serve and he knows his way around in the return, that's for sure.
Even though I knew that he's going to go certain ways and stuff, I knew that I got to expect the ball to come back.¬† Even when I had games on 40‑Love, I knew that the game wasn't over until I win the game.
So it always makes it tougher for the server.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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