After a slump last spring, Grigor Dimitrov is back playing top tennis again. The talented Bulgarian is into the quarterfinals for a second time at the Australian Open and on the brink of a second Grand Slam semifinal.
Dimitrov has been on the tour for a while now, and he’ll be 26 in May. But he still loves the game and turns to tennis when things off the court aren’t going so well, like maybe breaking up with girlfriends.
“I fell in love with tennis many years ago,” Dimitrov said. “It was just a time that I wasn’t in I think a really good mental place. I was, I don’t want say grumpy, but there were things going on around. I just needed to find that inspiration again. I needed to find that way of playing and enjoying again, loving again.
“So my best friend was tennis, of course,” he said. “It gives me the excitement. It gives me all those butterflies every day coming out to a match. I count those moments, and I appreciate them way more than actually some of the wins or anything like that. Like the moment makes you feel, like, that special feeling.”
Of course Dimitrov once dated Maria Sharapova and is now with 38-year-old Nicole Scherzinger.
“I think when I was younger, I was struggling to kind of differentiating love from a personal love or a tennis love or whatever else, for sure,” Dimitrov said.
“There was time, a period, that I wasn’t, like, kind of sure how to deal with both things in the same time. But you learn. I guess we grow. I mean, I don’t want to say I’ve learned from my mistakes, but I’ve learned myself a little bit better. I think that helps me. Hopefully it’s going to help me for the future through any kind of falling-in-love stuff.”
Dimitrov will be back on the court tomorrow to take on David Goffin. Dimitrov won their only meeting back at the 2014 US Open in four sets.
“He’s very dangerous all over the court,” Dimitrov said of the Belgian. “He can hit quite a few shots, moves well on the court, reads the game well.
“It’s going to be a tough match, there’s no doubt about that. So as I said, I just need to focus on my game and just do my thing out there. This is what I’m going to be focusing on.”
Dimitrov is undefeated on the year at 9-0 having just won the Brisbane title.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Dimitrov said of being back in a Slam quarterfinal. “I’m not lying. I’m happy to be on that stage of a tournament. Quarterfinals of a slam, it’s great. I’m happy that I’m capable to do that. Just looking forward to the next one.”
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