MONTE-CARLO ROLEX MASTERS 2019
Saturday, 21 April 2018
R. NADAL/G. Dimitrov
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How did you feel during this match? The first set you seemed to play good tactically.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Great, great. I mean, I’m just going to take only the positives out of the match. It’s great to be able to play three, four matches back-to-back.
Yeah, it was great to start again on a good note. I mean, today was also maybe the match that I moved the best out of everything. I see, like, a lot of positives for the upcoming weeks.
Again, despite the result, I think physically also I’m on a good level, meaning in terms of moving well and all that. But still, I mean, definitely not satisfied to that extent, but pleased to where I am right now, at the stage that I’m at.
Q. Rafa has lost only 16 games in four matches. Is he of another planet, in your opinion?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: He’s playing very good on clay. Simple as that. Tactically and everything else. It hurts a lot of us, a lot of the players that are maybe not as physically strong, they’re not such good movers or something like that. Obviously it hurts a lot. When you have that left hook, always goes to your weakest spot. Simple as that.
For one-handers, it doesn’t help at all. Doesn’t matter how strong you are, how physical you are, over the course of a match it’s going to hurt your shoulder. Simple as that. There’s nothing crazy to go behind that logistics, but that’s just the way it is.
But yeah, I mean, again I felt I played not a bad match against him in terms of the way I was moving and the way I was placing the ball. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep on doing that for the extent that I had to.
Q. There were rumors going on yesterday you had some issue with your shoulder.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, a bit of a sore shoulder again. But it is what it is. I don’t want to talk about it. It is what it is. I have zero excuses.
Again, as I said, I’ve played back-to-back matches. It’s the first tournament back on clay. It’s been a while I’ve played back-to-back matches. If there’s one match my shoulder is going to hurt, it’s going to be against that guy. Simple as that.
Back to my point: there’s zero excuse. I think I’m perfectly fine. I think legs are feeling good, all that. I can deal with this. Over the course of the next two, three days, I will just get back to my rehabs, the things I need to be doing.
Yeah, I’m ready for Barcelona. This is my goal: to get back on that rhythm of playing a lot of matches, practicing a lot. Again, the clay court season is just began. It’s a good step forward now. Hopefully there’s still a lot of matches to be played.
Yeah, more of the sore shoulder (smiling).
Q. You were competing very well with him, then it got away after seven games. How do you put your finger on what changed?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I mean, I think I played smart against him. I kind of know his pattern a little bit better. Obviously played 11 times, whatever, against each other. In a way I know what to do and how to do it.
But it was my fault when I got broken. Simple as that. Two double-faults, it’s just definitely not acceptable, especially when you play against him on that surface. He receives also quite far back. You know the ball is going to come regardless. Doesn’t matter if you serve with 200 or 130, the ball is still going to come back. You need to find those ways.
I think it’s just details if we think about it. I had also quite a few chances, even in that first game. A few mis-hits from him, the ball got in, on the line. Kind of things favored him at that particular moment.
But again, he’s playing absolutely amazing tennis on clay.
Q. We could see you were being patient, building your points, pushing him away from the baseline. Is that a key?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I’m not afraid to rally with him. I feel like physically I’m able to do it. So, yeah, I mean, be patient when you have to be, and aggressive when you can. It’s simple as that. I mean, tennis is that simple to that extent.
I mean, there’s nothing else behind it. It’s just who’s going to manage to do it better at some point. When you get to that level of the match, that’s what happens.
Q. There was a time in cycling when somebody was so strong, they decided to take him out of the competition, just play all the others. Do you think when you see Nadal in one part of the draw, you would always like to be on the other side so you have a better chance to go in a final on clay?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: You know, in an ideal world I would say yes. But I value sometimes more the lessons. I hate losing, don’t get me wrong. I freaking hate losing. You see me with a smile. I’m a positive person. Deep down, I’m hurt. I hate losing. Simple as that.
But it’s life. I don’t know, it’s life. I guess that’s what it is at that point. I mean, hopefully in the future I will be able to turn that around. There’s still going to come a day that I feel I can do that or beat him on that surface, whatever.
This is the current situation. I can’t change the now, right?
Q. You’re making more success than anybody else against Nadal.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I appreciate that (laughter).
Overall, that’s what I’m saying. I’m a very thick-headed person. My mom keeps telling me that. I would love to keep playing against him, and hopefully one day I can turn that around.
Q. Which is the thing that makes you feel better when you lose?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: The thing? Life. I mean, there’s a lot more important things.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: You mean that way? I could sit here and talk to you about that the whole day, trust me.
I don’t know. Obviously I wish it was easy as it looks right now. But, no, I mean, I’m sure when I come back home, I’ll be just as mad. I’ll think about it. I will probably write down things I could have done better. I’ll write things that I’m grateful for. I will write some goals down in the next three, four days that I have to do, and move on. That’s all you can do: control what you can, let the rest happen.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports