Grigor Dimitrov: Federer Doesn’t Give Me Any Advice, We’re Just “Cool With Each Other” For Now
by Tom Gainey | March 11th, 2014, 10:22 am

Grigor Dimitrov has been one of the new sensations this season. The 22-year-old from Bulgaria just won the Acapulco title where he beat Andy Murray in the semifinals. He also reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open, pushing Rafael Nadal to the limit.

And under new coach Roger Rasheed and with girlfriend Maria Sharapova at his side, things have been going in one direction: Up!

Dimitrov, though, because of his playing style will be forever compared to Roger Federer. And the two are now linked by Federer’s Team 8 agency.

On Sunday, Dimitrov spoke about what it’s like practicing with the Swiss legend.

“I think we haven’t reached that level with the advice thing,” Dimitrov said. “Just been cool with each other, and obviously it’s a lot of fun playing with him, and then practicing. I must say, we had fun on court, and in the same time, we were great. I mean, we played a bit of tennis and just laughing, a bit of the racquets. Plus I have, you know, coaches, two coaches in the face of Stefan Edberg and Roger Rasheed that, you don’t want to muck around when they are around. It’s a pretty respectful field when they are on court.”

Dimitrov also talked about his recent rise and what he needs to do.

“There is a lot of work to be done, and now that I have a few good weeks coming ahead to play, I’m just excited to get on court and play my tennis,” Dimitrov said.

“I think obviously physically I was not on a good level before, and I knew that. I had problems with sometimes closing out the matches or I was always dropping when I shouldn’t. It was just there was a lot of little details that definitely has changed. I believe and I feel in my game, but I think I can sort of look at the big picture when I get time off and actually can sit down with Roger and go through everything and see what we have so far.”

Later today, Dimitrov and Ernests Gulbis renew their rivalry after splitting two matches in the last month.

“Gulbis, we all know how he plays,” Dimitrov said. “We all know how I play. We are not going to have any hidden ways when we come on court. So it’s going to be us two out there, great battle, and hopefully we can produce some great tennis.”

After his third round, in a funny moment Novak Djokovic crashed Grigor’s presser.

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15 Comments for Grigor Dimitrov: Federer Doesn’t Give Me Any Advice, We’re Just “Cool With Each Other” For Now

MMT Says:

“…and with girlfriend Maria Sharapova at his side, things have been going in one direction: Up!”

Sophmoric, yes. But I must admit…I rather enjoyed that.

skeezer Says:

Got that too, lol.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great that Novak and Roger are welcoming and friendly to the new challengers on tour.
Grigor seems to have had no fall off since his big Oz battle, looks like he’ll be a top 16 at least soon.

MMT Says:

Yeah, Federer is welcoming the hell out of him by signing him to the management agency that HE owns. I predict that when Dimitrov hits the big time, if Federer is still playing, that relationship will dissolve, because that’s got conflict of interest written all over it. As a matter of fact, I’m surprised the ATP hasn’t had something to say about that. I mean, it’s one thing to have the same agent, but quite another for that agent to be a fellow player! Not the day to day, but he does own the agency.

I don’t know, I don’t want to stir the pot, but that doesn’t look right to me.

Translated Age Says:

Um, yeaahh, tennis doesn’t do conflict of interest very well. Quite incestuous in reality.

Jack Lewis Says:

I guess you might have a point if Federer was an active partner.

MMT Says:

I don’t know what your definition of “active” is, but he is an investor, he is represented by them, and according to this NY Times article, successfully prevailed on the agency to sign another rival, Juan Martin del Potro. The article also makes note of Godsick’s insistence that Federer is not an “active” partner, but seems to have pre-emptively contradicted itself on the del Potro piece of it.

I just don’t like it.

Hippy Chic Says:

Ha ha loved the video,Novak lets talk about your looks,whats your favorite Sugapova Candy?priceless lol.

Hippy Chic Says:

It would seem that while Grigors career is on the up,girlfriend Marias seems to be going in the opposite direction.

Giles Says:

@MMT. Tennis X wrote an article last December on Fed’s new agency. I commented as follows:
“So, Fed will be managing players that are in fact his rivals. How does this work out?”
I was in fact suggesting a conflict of interest. Is it a conflict of interest? Would like to know.

steve-o Says:

Is Federer an investor in Team 8? That NYT article doesn’t say so. It only said Federer is “joining with” Godsick to form the new agency. That can mean a lot of things.

If Federer’s going to act as an informal, unpaid advisor/scout for the firm while still an active player, I don’t see how it’s a conflict of interest. If he has enough faith in Godsick that he’s willing to do this with merely the verbal understanding that he will be able to benefit from it later when he can buy into the firm, that’s pretty ballsy of him.

It would be in keeping with how Federer operates: he chooses carefully whom he works with, puts considerable trust in them, and likes to keep red tape and bureaucracy to a minimum. He hired Tony Roche on a handshake basis. Remember he played Basel last year without a contract!

Also, Del Potro is an established, experienced elite athlete–a Grand Slam champion and top 5 player. He has the money to hire the best agents and lawyers. He’s been around the block. I doubt it’s possible for Federer to put one over on him. If he feels he’s not getting good service, he can just leave and tons of agencies will be happy to sign him.

Godsick said this would be a smaller, boutique firm seeking to lure top athletic talent. The danger of exploitation is much lower with that sort of business model. A giant “farm” agency that seeks to sign as many young athletes as possible would not be hurt by exploiting its clients. If one guy complains and leaves there’s always plenty of desperate young players wanting to sign their lives away for a shot at fame and fortune. They never have any problems finding fresh meat for the grinder.

Whereas with a smaller firm, reputation is everything. If they mess up with one or two high-profile clients, then word gets around and it’s much harder for them to attract new talent to sign on.

It’s very difficult for a small firm to compete with a giant like IMG, and so there’s very little room for error, even with a big name like Federer to add value.

And Federer adds a lot more value than just his name. He understands sport (particularly tennis), undoubtedly has a good scouting eye, is an energetic administrator, and has many contacts in the ATP and media and business worlds. He has extensive experience with business, design (he gives extensive input into the design of his clothing and rackets), and marketing and advertising. Take the 17 Grand Slams (and counting) off the CV and HR people would still be salivating to hire him with that kind of resume.

I’m sure that when the time comes for Federer to formally buy into the agency, he and Godsick will be able to come to an agreement on how much his informal service to the firm was worth and settle on a figure that both men find reasonable.

Until then Godsick will be the one managing everybody’s career, not Federer, so there won’t be a conflict of interest. Federer might informally advise his co-clients, but he won’t have the power to make anyone follow his advice nor will he be making decisions about the money or his co-clients’ careers.

The best thing Federer can do for himself is make sure that Del Potro and Dimitrov are happy with the firm, so that it will grow and prosper.

Humble Rafa Says:

Let me tell you, if the Arrogant One has twins again, I quit. The world is rigged against me.

Hippy Chic Says:

Twins twice what are the chances lol,wish them all the best,4 kids thats quite alot for Mirka to take with her to watch dad,they look so cute now,although Mirka looks slightly harassed,imagine dragging 4 kids all over the world,thank god they can afford nannies,still rather her than me.

Purcell Says:

Steve-o: thank you for clarifying the situation. Your post more or less matches what I’ve read in the more reputable media. I’ll add that the ’boutique’ idea is another great idea from Godsick who apparently is a bit of a marketing genius.

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