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April 19, 2013

Grigor Dimitrov


R. NADAL/G. Dimitrov
6‑2, 2‑6, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How does it feel when you were so close to beating the best clay court player?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  First of all, it's a tough loss.  Of course, I think I gave everything I had today.  I must say, all the credit to him.  He's an extraordinary player, extraordinary fighter.  Today he obviously showed why he's the best not only on that surface, I believe, but he's one of the best out there.
It was definitely a pleasure for me today, I must say.  I mean, I don't think there's much to say.  Of course, it was a tough loss.  I just want to say congrats to him also because the way he came back also after the second set.  I mean, it was impressive.

Q.  Were you surprised to be fighting like this against him on clay?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I mean, no.  I've seen him many times playing on many surfaces, so I knew what to expect.
As I said, again, it was a tough match.  Obviously I tried to maintain my game.  You know, it's not easy.  He's spinning the ball quite high up, I must say.  But I was trying to hang actually.  I thought I was playing good for a while.
And, yeah...

Q.  Are you encouraged to believe that you can do well in Roland Garros now?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:¬† Of course.¬† Of course.¬† Of course.¬† I must say I'm playing well on clay.¬† I'm going to Barcelona next week.¬† Have a day or two to recover, get back on my feet.¬† Hopefully I'm going to have a good run.¬† It's a tougher draw out there, a smaller draw.¬† You can play first, second round only clay‑courters.¬† You know what to expect anyway.
I think also you got to see how you're going to do for your practice for Roland Garros, see how many matches you're going to play before, eventually get ready for the slam.

Q.  Most people when they play Nadal on clay are intimidated.  You didn't seem to be at all.  How come you can play with so much freedom?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Yeah, I mean, I was feeling nice.  I mean, I felt quite good going into the match.  I felt like I know it's Rafa, but in the end of the day it's a tennis match between us two in a way.
I was very focused on my game.  Of course, he had some unbelievable shots.  He does his own things on court.  But I think in general you have to really sort of think what you are doing on the court, not what he's doing.
I felt comfortable today.

Q.  This is not the first time you have had cramping issuing during a match.  Is it physical or did the tension get to you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I think it's everything, I must say.  I felt better actually.  I was cramping at the end of the match.  Last time I was cramping in the middle of the second.  That's progress (laughter).

Q.  I know you went for the huge forehand.  What were you thinking at that time?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I don't think it was a gamble shot.  That's the only thing I could play.  It was the only thing that was empty in front of me.  I might as well go for that one.  It actually came out pretty good.

Q.  Do you think at some point was it going through your mind, I can do it, I could win today?  You were very strong.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Yeah, I did.  I mean, even though I lost the first set, I didn't lose my composure on court, and that helped me win the second.  Eventually when the third started, I felt quite comfortable playing.  I actually started rallying with him much more from the baseline, which I think I shouldn't have done that too much.
Yeah, it's a good lesson to learn.

Q.  There are people who compare your style to Federer.  What would you have to say to that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  What can I say to that?

Q.  Is that a good thing, bad thing, or you don't think it's true?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I don't think it's true.  What do you think (smiling)?

Q.  I'm not as much of an expert as you are.  How would you describe your style?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  How can I describe my style?  Well, that's tough question.  How can I answer that?
I mean, I'm developing.  I'm really happy to go on court and play my game and eventually start to establish myself as me, so...

Q.¬† My assumption is that you're leaving Monte‑Carlo as a very happy person despite the loss today.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Absolutely.  Absolutely, yeah.

Q.  Did you feel something was off in Rafa's game today, maybe the backhand or something?
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  I mean, I think in the second set I felt he was trying to do better shots for some reason and I was just hanging in the game and I was trying to make him play as many balls as possible.  Obviously that seemed to work.  Of course, that cost me a lot of energy and a lot of movement on court.
But Rafa is Rafa.  He can change everything from one shot to the other.  All the credit to him today.

Q.  You managed to unsettle him.  He looked very shaky.  Must give you a lot of confidence that you can provoke this kind of reaction from him.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  What can I answer to that?  What can I say about that?

Q.  That you managed to unsettle him.
GRIGOR DIMITROV:  Yeah.  I think my game kind of unsettled him.  I felt I was also moving well and I think he was surprised that I was moving well.  I actually wanted to play long rallies with him.  He made a few mistakes here and there, and I guess that provoked all that.

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