Here’s the Grigor Dimitrov Wimbledon 2014 Semifinal Interview Transcript following his 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 loss to Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
Q. You and Novak are both so athletic and so agile. Can you explain what made the court such a challenge today to keep your footing? What was so difficult about it?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think, I mean, obviously we were both sliding quite a bit on the court, changing shoes.
I think it’s just, you know, when you’re into that deep second week of a tournament, of course the grass is wearing off a little bit. So you can’t really expect much else.
But, you know, it’s the same for me, it’s the same for him, so we both try to overcome those kind of obstacles.
Q. You had some good chances in that match, didn’t you? In the tiebreak, three set points. Are you frustrated?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I am. Yeah, of course.
Q. Is that your overriding emotion, frustration?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, I mean, of course I’m frustrated. I mean, I came out on the court to win. Okay, I think I had a pretty slow start, but at some point I think I got my act together and I was really playing a good tennis.
You never know what would have happened if I had taken that fourth set. I think at the same time I had my momentum. It’s just he came on top today, so all the credit to him.
Q. What have you learned about yourself and perhaps what glimpse do you have into your future by getting this far and by being in this match?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think this is the first time for me to be in semifinal of a slam, so obviously to me that’s just positive. I’m not going to overanalyze much what’s been happening the past weeks to me because there’s no need for that.
I think I’m in a good spot at the moment. I’m practicing well. I’m doing a good work on and off the court. I’m focusing really on every match that I’m playing, regardless. Doesn’t matter what kind of tournament I’m playing.
It’s a good learning curve for me to put myself in such a position and play against those kind of players and attack the top in a different way.
Of course, I’m going to have to play even better when it comes to matches like that, but it’s a good lesson for me. I can take a lot of positives out of all the matches I played out here in England. It’s been, you know, solid weeks for me.
You know, there’s no look back.
Q. How often do you get back to Bulgaria? Do you think you’re going to be perceived differently there now?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: When I get a chance I’m going back. As soon as I get a chance, it’s nice to get home, see a bit of relatives.
I mean, I don’t know how it’s going to be now. I’m the same guy that I was before. So it just happened for me, you know, to be good at that sport.
Q. At the level you were playing, which is pretty high, do you think there are more than a handful of players out there who could have maintained like he did and ended up beating you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I would say at the moment I’m really playing a good and steady tennis. Of course, there are a few ups and downs some of the matches, but I’m focused on raising my level every time.
As soon as it comes to a clutch matches like those ones against Andy, Novak, whoever else I have to play, this is where I want to get into that next gear and bring all my goods.
But I think the rest is just a matter of time.
Q. At the moment it looks like it’s going to be, again, two guys from the big four competing for the championship. We’ve discussed all the fortnight about that notion of being around the corner from breaking into that group. What are your thoughts as you exit Wimbledon about what it will take to break into what the big four has?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: We already in that space, if you think about it. Quarters, semis. We already in that space. It’s just a matter of jumping over that next hurdle.
I think to me it’s just really clear how I look on those things. One more slam to go. You know, I’m going to have a high expectations.
Q. You didn’t play that good in the first set, as you said. Is that because of nerves? When did you find your rhythm and get confidence back?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think through the whole match was just a little bit up and down. Occasionally it was just a few dips here and there a few games.
I think early on I think I was just a little anxious to play my big game. I wasn’t in a good rhythm, so I had to fight back basically after losing that first set, down a break in the second.
I knew I need to change a few things. I think the game slowly started to turn into my favor, and next thing you know I got that second set and things were looking bright.
Even after that tiebreak, it was just the way things were, I guess, supposed to happen.
Q. Those set points that you had in the fourth set, are you at a point now where you’re able to not have them haunt you for a while and just get past it?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I had only one on my serve. It’s never easy when you have set points. You know, to go into that fifth set it’s obviously a goal for you, but today was just not meant to happen.
I’m going to lie if I say I don’t think about it now. I’m sure tonight I probably won’t get an hour of sleep because of that or something else during the match that would affect me.
But it’s in the game.
Q. What are your plans now? Are you going to take some time off?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: We haven’t decided with my coach yet. We’re still working a bit on the schedule, see how we want to do the next step. We are all for attacking the top, so I don’t think I’m going to take a step back or any of that.
I think it’s going to be the opposite: hard work and try to get all those good moments that I had in England and just try to have them in my mind while I’m practicing and come stronger.
Q. How do you think you’ll remember Wimbledon 2014 when we get more distant from just the end of this match?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, what can I remember? I had a good tournament. To me, it’s very simple at the moment. Again, I don’t want to overanalyze or make such a big, big deal out of what just happened.
Again, I worked for that. I think I deserve to be here. So to me, it’s just a good step ahead.
Q. What was your feeling? You played six matches on Centre Court or No. 1 court? Are you now used to playing on the big courts now?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: That’s a special treatment, I guess, so I’m really thankful and I appreciate for the opportunity that I had to play on those. They’re one of the most magnificent courts I ever played on. Always good memories. Now I have some fresh new ones.
I’m sure that gives you an extra, you know, an extra top next time you’re out there on those courts, and that eventually can help you here and there.
Q. You did get quite a lot of impressive support from the crowd. How did that affect you during the game?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Only positive. It’s always nice when you have the support behind you. We all know how the English crowd is very respectful and I think is very fair at the same time. They appreciate good tennis. That makes it even more special.
Q. Who do you think will win on Sunday?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Who is going to be in the final? Yeah, I don’t know.
Q. If it ends up with Federer and Djokovic?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Honestly, I can’t think about it right now because I wanted to be in that spot and put myself as the favorite out there.
Whoever wins, you know, I think either of them deserves it.
Q. How many times did you change shoes during the match?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Oh, I lost count. I had four pairs with me, five, six. Oh, good God. I don’t know. I think throughout the whole tournament I changed maybe ten pairs, yeah. I mean, through the whole tournament. I think today was maybe four, so…
Yeah, quite a bit.