The best Bulgarian tennis player – Grigor Dimitrov, gave a press conference before the start of the Sofia Open tournament. The Haskovlia, who is the champion of the competition in his only appearance in 2017, said that he is ready to give his all and is very excited about the opportunity to play again in front of his home crowd.
Dimitrov starts directly from the second round, where his opponent will be one of Ilya Ivashka from Belarus and Sweden’s Mikael Imer.
“I always behaved when I was on Bulgarian soil. I’m ready to hear a powerful “Machkai, Grisho”. I expect a very good audience, everyone would like a dose of heart rate increase to be charged with positive emotions. I try to use the positive energy from the fans. Wherever I play in the world, there is Bulgarian support and I always feel very good and I try to use it. There is nothing better than playing on home soil. And of course I wish I could spend another Sunday here.”
“As I said, I understand that it is very important for the tournament that I participate. This is how things happen in recent years, that the tournaments are on a strange schedule. There have been many changes in the last two or three years, everything has been very delicate. Everything was very different in terms of planning.”
“For now I’m fine, after the US Open I had time to rest and take stock. I had general tests to see if I was fit. I wanted to train every day and feel good, but after the US Open I wasn’t in shape for more than just training. I had to be as good as possible, and that’s why I also turned down Metz, the goal was to be 100 percent ready for Sofia.”
“I’m still thinking about becoming a coach, the decision has been made and I’m moving forward without rushing. The year is generally good, but I expected a little more from myself at certain times. There were little injuries and problems that got in the way, but that’s tennis. In this sport, there are tournaments every week and sometimes when you miss a week without training, you fall behind and lose form.”
“I hope I can answer now whether I will play for the Davis Cup, but now my first task is to find the right coach and make the right program for next year.” I cannot now confirm participation”.
“Before I posted the photo with Roger Federer, I wanted to write something, but I didn’t know what to say about him. I had made a draft in the morning, but it didn’t work, and then the second-third-fourth… He had written me a long message after my match against Australia with Rafa. I still keep it. I started reading it and found the words from there. I have always admired Roger for his attitude of thinking only about the next point. Obviously his skills are incredible, but his mental set-up before the game, after the game and during the game is great.”
“There are many valuable tips, I can’t name one. There have been times when I don’t listen to advice. Over time, it seems that family is the most valuable to me, and that’s where everything starts.”
“I look at it match by match, I don’t consider anyone a bigger competitor than another. I want to watch from my side of the web and enjoy. I want to apply the things I have practiced. I’ve played and beaten all the tennis players in the tournament and I’m not afraid of anyone.”
“Every athlete goes through hard times or times when they don’t train and rest more. Balance is important, and with experience things are easier to adjust. You have to be more focused and sometimes after a loss you have to give yourself time off the court,” Grigor told the media.
“I often train with Rafa when we participate in the tournaments. He has always reached out to me and it is quite possible that I will spend a few weeks at his academy again.”
“Why don’t the matches in Sofia once again charge me for a strong series in the future?” I want to enjoy the audience again, the court, the game… That’s the most important thing, and if these things happen, everything will fall into place.”
“Each new generation is different. I was talking to a friend recently that when I started playing, it was a big achievement to reach the quarterfinals of the Slam. The first match was difficult, and in the second you had to play someone like Berdych, like Andy… It was very difficult. At the moment it is too early to talk about young tennis players whether they can change tennis.”
“Alcaraz hits the ball hard, that’s right, he has all the shots. However, there are things he still lacks. You can find a gap, but the fact is that the players are stronger at the moment. The first years in the tour are the easiest, because the emotions are only positive, media attention and sponsors come. But it depends on how you preserve yourself over the years. Tennis is not a sprint, but a marathon. He doesn’t think the sport will become just a big push. I just don’t see how it will last at this rate for so long. There will be some other change, I’m sure”, said Dimitrov, who was adamant that he wanted to enjoy not only the game, but also the audience, talking about the change of generations in men’s tennis.
“I want to enjoy not only the game, but also the audience, the court itself, to play in Bulgaria again. Every generation is different – when I started playing, reaching the quarter-finals of the Masters was a great thing because of the difficulty of the draw. It is too early to talk about whether tennis players like Alcaraz and Rublev will change the game. The first years on the Tour are the easiest, but after that it’s important how you continue. I don’t think tennis will become hard and crushing. Yes, this type of player predominates at the moment, but there will be more changes in the coming years. There was so much debate about it, you can’t mix politics with sport,” he concluded, referring to the ban on tennis players from Russia and Belarus at Wimbledon and the lack of ranking points from the London tournament.