Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 26 JUNE
Grigor Dimitrov speaks to the media after the 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 win against Marcos Baghdatis
Q. How happy were you with this performance? I think it was 57 minutes before you made an unforced error. There was nothing you could do wrong, it looked like, from the outside.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Didn't know that (smiling). Yeah, that's a good day at the office.
It was, I think, a very comfortable match. Obviously I knew I was playing a dangerous opponent. Marcos is always very dangerous, especially on grass. He's done well here in the past.
So yeah, I felt that I was just playing good tennis; very focused, composed, and calm at the same time. I was doing everything the right way. I thought I was taking the right decisions. Serve was going in a good way, my forehand was working well, I kept the ball low, and I was using every opportunity I can to either break him or, yeah, look after my game.
Q. With the junior draw coming out today, I wonder what message you may have for the guys and girls starting...
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Today I think... Yeah, exactly.
Q. What would you say to them? How would that set you up from in the past nine years?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: What kind of advice I can give? I wouldn't be the best giving advice right now, knowing how I was back then (smiling).
So I wouldn't go there. But, yeah, I think when you step out on the grounds of Wimbledon, it's just -- you feel that respect, you feel that heritage, you feel the history, and all that. For me, winning here -- was it? Nine years ago?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Jesus. Wow. Yeah, winning nine years ago was one of my greatest memories that I have ever had. Yeah, winning that final on Court 1 was really special to me and definitely one of my, you know, my highlights of my career.
I have won different matches, different tournaments, especially now on tour level. But I think what I had to go through back then was way more emotional. It meant a lot to me, to my country.
So yeah, I think advice, I think as soon as you get out here on the court, you try to find your own grounds and try to create your own person, and this is -- because those kind of moments, I think those years in your career, like, define a little bit how you're going to be and who you want to be.
Q. You won on a diving volley. Have you ever won a match a better way?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't think so (smiling). I remember when I was a junior I played a few matches that I finished similar, but -- I didn't expect him to get that last ball, that's for sure. I mean, I knew I had to cover the line, but I was like, Come on. The ball was solo.
It's just that moment. That's how it is. This is where I feel I can count a lot on, you know, sort of my shots and you improvise. The last point was just great.
Q. You have a lot of experience here having done well, how the grass court changes as the event goes on, you get the brown in there. What's it like? Is it different bounces?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, absolutely.
Q. How do you feel about it?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I think -- I mean, I hit on the courts I think way before Wimbledon started, and I kind of felt how the courts are going to play out. It also really depends a little bit on the weather. And I think the past weeks was pretty sunny and warm. During the week of Queen's was really hot. And I think the courts, I think, are in great conditions so far.
But, yeah, you just need to adjust. That's why I think I like grass so much, because it's not only how the grass will play or if the balls are soft or hard from the previous year maybe. You need to adjust for the opponents and everything like that. So for me I find it very kind of easy to adapt and to adjust.
So, yeah, seems so far everything is going the right way. That's all I can ask for.
Q. What's the difference in the spot that is like brownish, the grass isn't there anymore?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: It gets a bit faster. And sometimes when you need to kind of push through in a quick moment, you have to be a little bit more cautious. So that means you have to stay a bit lower because it might get a bit slippery.
Q. With four guys having dominated the majors for as long as they have and you witnessing it first before you were on the tour and then since, what would you say you have learned maybe from each of those four guys or perhaps admired from each of those guys?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think all four of them have a lot of kind of similarities in terms of, you know, mental aspect and the way they play the game, the way they see the game. I have watched obviously all the finals and all the sort of big matches, as we like to call.
I cannot name one thing in particular. If you ask me to name one thing in particular, I cannot. Each one of them, you know, have their own kind of, you know, go-to play, so to speak.
Yeah, for example, Roger likes to, you know, play serve and volley in certain moments. Novak likes to hit that return. You know he's going to wait for the return there. You know he's going to make it. Andy tries to, you know, kind of stay in the point and use every opportunity that he has as soon as you're into the point.
So there is just so many different things that all of them are doing well. So, yeah, I think just watching from outside I can just really kind of pick their brain a little bit and see where they go on big points. Those are just details that I feel I can, that I think I have learned a lot from outside watching. Obviously every time that I'm against them, I will try to play, you know, the right way.
Q. Your next opponent is something of a surprise, John Isner just lost. He was a foot and an inch taller than his opponent, who is 5'9". What have you seen in the way that Dudi Sela plays and what challenge does he present for you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, he beat John on grass. Obviously he's doing something right. He's playing really well. I don't need to -- I mean, I'm not allowed to underestimate the opponent or whatever. I mean, that's a hell of an effort, for sure, like for him to beat John.
I saw a little bit of the last game of the match, and, yeah, he's just playing well. So, yeah, for sure it's going to be a tough match. There's nothing -- there's no way that I can just predict what's going to happen right now.
Q. We are past the days when people talk about you being the next Roger and all that stuff.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Thanks (smiling).
Q. Because you have a one-handed backhand, can you watch him on grass here and there are things about the way he plays here that can help you, because your games are recently similar?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I mean, yes, but in the same time no. I mean, we, I think, move a little bit different. For example, I slide and he doesn't. I can give you like so many differences in our game and all that.
But yes, I think I can see maybe some of the plays that he does more than how he's hitting the shot or something like that.
But I think, for me, it stops right there. Yeah, again, I love to watch whoever those guys are playing, you know, it's just magnificent time for me. Every time I'm in front of the TV, I'm always watching, because it's interesting, and you can see maybe on tight points where they going to go, how they serve, how they think.
Yeah, there is a lot to learn.
Q. I think you did a trick shot behind the back and you did the splits a couple of times, the diving volley. Do you think you're the biggest showman at Wimbledon?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I don't know. That's up for you guys to determine. The one behind the back, I thought the ball was out so I just kept on walking to the chair, and luckily nobody said anything (smiling).
Q. You won the point, anyway?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah. I mean, but that was pure luck that I won the point. But, you know, today on days like that, you just take everything as it is and just put it behind.
Q. How much do you enjoy the other showmen? Who are your favorite showmen among the men?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah. Well, Gaël was doing a great job with that. Of course when Nick is at his best, it's pretty amazing to watch the stuff he does on the court.
I mean, I think quite a few players are pretty crafty, and I think nowadays I feel everybody has improved so much overall so you never know who's going to make the best shot overall. I mean, it's not a competition for that, don't get me wrong, but it's pretty nice when whoever does it, I think, it's pretty amazing to watch. It just shows you how -- I mean, how nice, how cool the sport is sometimes.
Q. There were theatrical moments out there, like you did the splits and the last diving volley. Do these come naturally to you or was it because you were more relaxed because the match was going well?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, the diving volley, there is nothing else you can do. You dive and you pray. I mean, I don't think of those -- honestly, I don't think of those shots. As I said, when they come to the match, they come at the right time. That's what I like to say. They come pretty natural, whether it's for me or whoever else.
I mean, that's the beauty of it. You never know when those opportunities will present themselves.
Q. And also today is the anniversary of your junior win here in 2008. Do you often think about that moment and also does it give you confidence or does it put more pressure on you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Definitely pressure. I mean, how cool is this? I won Wimbledon nine years ago. As a junior, though. Well, my goal is to win, you know, Wimbledon now. So that's what's in front of me.
Every time I go to actually practice at Aorangi I always see the board out there and see my name. Every year I take a picture and every year my coach goes, Grigor, you take the same picture every single year. I say, I don't know. I think it's cool.
Hopefully I can come back one day here and take a picture on that side.
Q. Did you ever play on grass when you grew up and if not, when you first did this did you fall in love with it right away?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I think the first time I hit on grass was maybe the year before, I believe. But I always, like, I felt, like, comfortable on it. Like, I never thought about, you know, oh, my God, it's grass, I need to do something else or something different. No, just keep on working, you know.
And just like every surface, just keep on working, stay humble, be hungry for every point, every tournament, every match that you've got to play. Yeah, give 100% from yourself every single day, whether it's a match or a practice and how the cards will unfold wait and see.
Q. Talking to Gaël, he was saying his movement on grass, he has to think about it too much and that's why he doesn't like it. But for you it seems more instinctive, the way you move on grass seems instinctive.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, like I say, I don't think about it. When I do certain shots, I don't think about it. They come to me natural. As soon as I get on a grass court I don't think about how I'm going to move or, oh, my God, I need to make sure I put the right foot in front of the left, no, definitely not.
When things are coming natural, I think it makes things easier, and, yeah, you focus more on your game and what's the obstacle in front of you.
Q. Considering Nadal's much different style than a lot of other guys, does it make sense he's been good on this stuff?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Of course. Oh, yeah, absolutely. This guy has proven himself more than -- I mean, I feel more than anybody. He basically adapt his game to win Wimbledon. If you guys disagree with me, please. But I think he just adapt his game to win Wimbledon. And he keeps improving, you see him every day on the court, whether he works on his serve or it's distinct every time I see him out there. I see what he's working on, and it shows.