20 April 2018: Grigor Dimitrov (English)

Friday, 20 April 2018

Grigor Dimitrov
Press Conference

6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You talked about this on the court, the importance of finding a way even when you’re not playing your best. Is it the biggest difference between being a top player and not succeeding, is finding the level, whatever happens, to find a solution?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It’s a very fine line, especially when you get to that kind of match. I would say not even the opponent, but that kind of matches on such a high level, the match requires high level. I think the occasion brings you already to performing well. That’s just simple as that.

For example, today I felt I did a lot of things better than the previous days. I started the match better. I served better. Like overall my stats were much better. That’s one step forward, of course.

But then in the same time, it’s clay court, anything can happen in a way. You always want to have that fight and that excitement to kind of come through it. But it’s very taxing obviously physically.

So, yeah, I mean, a lot of positives from today’s match. That’s all I can say.

Q. You have such a good record against David. He said, Maybe my game is suiting him too well.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: We’ve played on all surfaces against each other. It’s never easy. Again, doesn’t matter how many times we play against each other, I still believe he’s one of the most intelligent players out there. He’s playing good tennis. Always tries to find a way. I like that.

He also has a very positive demeanor on the court. Even when things aren’t going well for him, he’s playing well. That’s already a good plus.

But, yeah, in the same time, I mean, I was really focused on my side of the court today, of the net. That’s all I kind of wanted to do. I know I’ve done quite a few mistakes in the previous matches. That’s what I’m going to focus on today. If I need to do something else, I will definitely try to find throughout the match. But there was only couple of priorities and a very clear, I would say, plan to play.

Q. You played him everywhere but on clay. Did you expect something different?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I played him many times on clay before we even turned pro.

Q. Against him.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yes, against him.

Q. Did you expect something different because it was on clay? Who do you think is more of a specialist on this surface?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: There’s a slight possibility that he can always try something else because that’s just the way it is. With every player it’s very different. So, yeah, you just need to be aware. I think me and him know each other since such a long time, we kind of know each other’s pattern of play.

If someone does something else, it’s within a reason. Even after one, two points of doing that, I can realize, Okay, he’s trying something else, and vice versa.

Again, I like to say I think a lot of players are playing good on clay. Simple as that. I think everybody has improved a lot overall, including David. I think he’s playing unbelievable tennis, even on clay court.

So, yeah, it’s just the beginning of the clay court season. This is the first sort of week to kind of get into a good rhythm. I’m gladly through to the weekend.

Q. If he’s playing with a contact lens or not, there’s a mystery.

Q. He had problems with one eye. Did you know that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Oh, no, I don’t know anything about that. I mean, I hope he’s fine. Obviously that was a very unfortunate incident. I played him, so I know exactly what happened. But I really hope there’s no further issues.

Q. Now you have Nadal next. A very challenging round. What do you expect from this match, from this semifinals?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I always expect the best from myself. I’m not going to lie that. Yes, for sure he’s the favorite. Yes, he has a great record. Yes, he’s the best player on clay. That definitely doesn’t discourage me. That excites me to get out on Saturday and play my match, simple as that.

Again, I think one of the wrong things you can do is really focus on his side. I always said that. Whoever you play, you always got to focus on your end, the way you structure yourself to go out and play, be creative on the court. That’s just how it is.

Honestly, I’m happy to be out here, happy to compete against him on such an occasion.

Q. Were you surprised that Nadal won 6-Love, 6-2 versus Thiem? He’s used to winning easily sometimes, but 6-0, 6-2.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I wish I could answer you better on that. I don’t know. We all have our bad days and good days. Maybe today wasn’t the best day for Dominic. Maybe he was a bit tired.

Of course, Rafa was on his A game again. You always got to be aware that he’s going to try his best on that surface.

Q. Frightening?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I wouldn’t call it frightening. I would say comfortable. He just feels comfortable.

Q. I mean, from your perspective.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, I don’t like to use that word. If not, why am I competing if I’m scared from my opponents? That’s totally the opposite, no.

Obviously, I’ve watched him throughout all the years. Played him, I mean, what, eight, nine times? It’s always been a tough call on my side, of course. That doesn’t discourage me. If things are not going my way, at least I get some learning, something that might help me in the long run.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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