“It not only motivates me to play well, but to develop more” – Dimitrov on reaching the 400-win mark
After becoming the 11th active player to reach the 400-win mark, Grigor Dimitrov relishes the achievement and sets his sights on 500.
On Friday in Chengdu, Grigor Dimitrov became the 11th active player to reach the 400-win mark. The Bulgarian, who won his first ATP match nearly 15 years ago, at Rotterdam, in February of 2009, says he wants to use the milestone as a catalyst, something to drive him to more success in his tennis career and eventually, his life.
“It not only motivates me to play well, but to develop more,” said Dimitrov, according to Andy West of ATPtour.com. “I think in whatever I want next in my life as well. Tennis is not everything. The career, if you think about it, it comes and goes.”
Dimitrov, a former world No 3 and a three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist with eight ATP titles to his name, says he never really had a goal in mind in terms of match wins, but he did appreciate the milestone after he had completed his 6-3, 6-4 victory over Juan Pablos Varillas.
Dimitrov is 11th among active ATP players in wins:
Novak Djokovic, 1077
Rafael Nadal, 1068
Andy Murray, 732
Richard Gasquet, 602
Marin Cilic, 582
Stan Wawrinka, 566
Fernando Verdasco, 559
Gael Monfils, 534
Kei Nishikori, 433
Fabio Fognini, 411
Grigor Dimitrov, 400
The Bulgarian ranks 94th on the ATP’s all-time list.
“I’ve Lived for the Game”
“I’m a person that loves the game and I’ve, in a way, lived for the game,” the 32-year-old said. “I think [400 wins] has been something for me that was not the most important thing, but at the same time I try to do the right things for the sport itself. I think when you do these things and you win, it adds up.
“This is an achievement in itself. For me, I never set myself a goal to have 500 or 300 wins or whatever it is. You just never know how it is going to be, but I’ve been on Tour for 14 years now so it’s nice when you have that approval and you’ve done it yourself out there.
“You’ve gone out there 400 times and won, so I think it’s pretty cool.”
Maybe I’ll reach 500
Dimitrov, currently ranked 20th in the world, has never been one to put limits on what is possible. And at the same time he has always been an introspective, articulate person that realises a tennis career is a slice of life that won’t last forever.
The message? Appreciate while it’s here – and go for more.
“Nothing lasts forever, especially in our sport, so use that window as much as possible, enjoy as much as possible, love as much as possible, play as much as possible and how the cards fall, you never know. The only thing I can try to do is give 100 per cent of myself.”
My career is far from over, so who knows, maybe I’ll reach 500?”