Grigor Dimitrov 3R interview

  • def. Thomas Fabbiano 7-6(5) 6-4 6-4

Q. It was maybe a more comfortable win the first two rounds. How do you assess your game right now?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It was a great, obviously, day. I'm happy. I knew that I'm going to play at the time that I'm supposed to play. It's so nice to have the roof. That's the number one thing.

Yeah, it was overall a great, great match. Conditions were pretty good to play tennis. I was just trying to lock myself in and just play a good match. I mean, I didn't try to force anything. I just kind of let the games roll by a little bit more.

I was serving well, moving well. All those things were a plus for me. Yeah, on to the next one now.

Q. As opposed to previous years, seems there's a bit less pressure or expectation on you. Do you like flying under the radar a bit more?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I mean, it's great. Stealth.

Again, it is what it is. You just got to beat one opponent at a time. Doesn't matter on what stage you are, what round you are. For me, this is a great way obviously to start this tournament. Already have a few wins under my belt. Keep on going the same way.

So, yeah, I'm just focusing on whatever I need to do on my end, trying to do the right things.

Q. Your next opponent Frances Tiafoe is a rising talent. What can you say about him as a player?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Great guy. We have always a lot of fun with him in the locker room. Everybody loves him. I think that already adds up. For sure, he's been playing really well, especially beginning of the year, been having good results. Already a few very good wins out here in Melbourne.

So, yeah, absolutely, he's going to be dangerous to play. He's going to be excited. It's a new ground for him. So, yeah, I don't expect it to be an easy match at all.

Q. Talk about having Andre's presence here, what it means. If there's one or two things that he's talked to you about...
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I mean, just him giving his time to me. I mean, this is the most valuable thing: the time. For him to sit in my box, spend whatever, eight, ten hours a day with me, it's already a plus. I feel like I'm learning so much on and off the court.

He's traveled the road for so many years. Been there, done that. Been in similar situations. I feel I can relate to him in terms of whatever I felt, let's say after a match, during a match, we can kind of communicate easier.

So yeah, I mean, overall things have been great. Tomorrow is another day to wake up, to come practice. The whole repetition is really beautiful.

Q. He has the big picture. Talk about his ability to go from one to the other.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: His ability to do that is just sensational. I've never seen anybody that can switch so quickly from having a business conversation to, Hey, do you remember the backhand cross-court you hit today? That itself already shows you what kind of person he is, how his mind works.

I mean, he's all in. Just simple as that. He's not afraid to speak out, not afraid to say what he really feels. I think everybody on the team really appreciates that. Especially me, I've always been a pretty straight-up person. I appreciate when somebody tells me good things. At the same time I love when somebody gives me a constructive criticism.

Q. How would you compare your form right now with your semifinal run here in Melbourne against Nadal, the five-set match?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think it's tough to compare. One of the biggest I think goals, at least as a player, is always to play better every round, to build up, just overall as the tournament progresses have a strong finish, better match every single time you step out on the court.

I think so far things, I mean, I don't want to say pretty mellow, but I'm okay. I'm doing my job, just happy to be able to, let's say, for example, today was a great day to finish in straight sets, to save some energy, to feel good physically and mentally, just to check out all the compartments for the next round. I think it's great.

How everything else is going to go after, I don't know. But things seems to be very positive right now.