Major Talk #11 – Grigor Dimitrov : The Best is Yet to Come

In Major Talk, three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov talks to Alize Lim about his childhood, his goals and his doubts as a tennis player.

December 13, 2021
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The figures

Grigor Dimitrov burst on to the scene in 2008 – winning two of the junior Grand Slams, at Wimbledon and the US Open, and then stepping up to the main tour.

He reached his career high ranking of world No 3 in November 2017 after winning the Nitto ATP Finals, and has eight other titles to his credit. He has also reached three Grand Slam semi-finals – Wimbledon in 2014, Australian Open in 2017, and US Open in 2019.

Now aged 30, he is currently ranked 28th in the world, and reached two semi-finals in 2021, losing to eventual champion Cameron Norrie in Indian Wells, and eventual champion Casper Ruud in San Diego.

He talks to Alizé Lim in the latest episode of Major Talk.

Grigor Dimitrov, Rolex Paris Masters – © JB Autissier / Panoramic

KEY MOMENTS

0.37 – Dimitrov talks about his childhood and how he began playing tennis, encouraged by both his parents, and particularly his dad, who was his first coach.
2.22 – How Grigor got the idea of turning fully professional – and how he knew this would be what he would do for the rest of his life.
3.16 – How to get into tennis despite a lack of cash – and how Dimitrov benefited from his family’s support.
4.42 – The decision to go to academies to train – Sanchez Casal in Spain, and Mouratoglou in Paris.
6.19 – The moment Grigor realised there were similarities between his game and Roger Federer’s.
8.57 – The differences between Dimitrov and Roger Federer – despite people insisting on drawing parallels, and giving him the “Baby Fed” nickname.

Roger Federer (Sui) vs Grigor Dimitrov, US Open 2019 – © Panoramic


10.00 – The message Federer once sent Grigor – ahead of a match against Rafael Nadal.
10.18 – The players Dimitrov admired as a child – including Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.
12.37 – Grigor talks about the first sport he tried, the first tennis match he played, the first Grand Slam he entered – and the first racquet he broke!

“It was by accident!” he insists.

14.08 – The version of Dimitrov he sees as his best self – and his experiences playing the Big Four.
19.30 – Why Dimitrov sees the Nitto ATP Finals triumph in 2017 as one of the pinnacles of his career – so far.
21.12 – Why the quarter-final defeat to Kyle Edmund at the 2018 Australian Open wasn’t a turning point.

“It was just a match that I lost and there were things that I clearly had to deal with and I was dealing with it,” he says.

22.46 – How Dimitrov bounced back in 2019 to beat Roger Federer at the US Open – and how Andre Agassi gave him extra motivation.

“He of course helped me as a person, but he made me look a bit more in depth, in my core values and what I believed in,” he recalls.

27.16 – Whether Grigor is back at his best already – or whether there is more to come.
29.03 – Dimitrov’s career goals – and why Grand Slam titles still matter.
30.06 – Turning 30, staying fit and healthy, and whether Grigor could still peak.
30.47 – Dimitrov admits he can sometimes find it tough to stay emotionally balanced – and reveals some of his other challenges.
33.16 – How Dimitrov would like to be remembered – and how tennis players can leave a legacy.

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