THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Two extensive matches, lengthy matches. How are you feeling? Do you feel as if you’re running on the smell of an oily rag at the moment rather than a tank of petrol?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: That was a very good one from you. I’m wondering how to answer it (smiling).
Honestly I don’t feel too, too bad. I’m glad I’m having a day off tomorrow, of course. Of course I am. But despite how my body was feeling and everything, on the mental state I was very good. I think that really helps a lot, helps the body.
I kept on staying throughout the whole match. I think that was, again, something that I’m just really proud with, proud of. Really, I’m trying not to focus on anything else. Just trying to take the positives, what I’ve done throughout the whole two matches, I would say yesterday and today.
Q. Looking ahead to Cam Norrie, he played 73 minutes today. You played in Miami this year and he won on that occasion. Do you think the conditions there compared to the conditions here might be more of a benefit to you?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I mean, obviously he’s been doing very good this year. He’s been having great results. Of course, it’s not going to be an easy match. That goes without saying.
Every day, honestly, is very different out here. Like, for example, today the ball was jumping a little bit more for some reason. Why? I cannot explain. But I think not one day is the same, especially out here in the desert.
I’m really going to focus on my side of the net and try to build up a plan that I think could be the winning one. Of course, just focus on that, not much else. I don’t want to, like, go that far back. I want to say I was a different player back then, there were things that were happening. I really wouldn’t want to go back.
Q. A bit of a milestone match today with it being your 100th Masters 1000 victory, a decade since your first one. How do you feel about that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I didn’t know until everyone started mentioning it now. Really I’m very humbled. It’s such an amazing thing. I’m so thankful to everyone, to everybody that is in the team, that has worked in the team. Last but not least my family.
It feels like I want to say surreal because I never thought turning pro that I’m going to have let’s say a hundred matches on such a level. I’m very fortunate to be able to put myself in that position over and over, especially throughout the tough years, injuries and so on.
It means clearly a lot to me. I really appreciate it. I’m very, very humbled on it. Like I’m smiling inside. I’m smiling inside. I think it’s a beautiful thing.
I’ll keep on going hopefully another decade, so…
Q. Talk about the match, the turning points of it, how challenging it was, and what brought you through?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: He served amazing. I even told him after the match at the net. I think he’s improved amazingly on the serve. At some point I had to even guess where he’s going to go. I think that’s one of the things.
I mean, he’s such a nice guy. It’s so nice to, like, have him on tour. Always very friendly, very easy to talk to. We’ve hit quite a few times against each other in Monaco. We have very friendly vibes all in all, which is great.
Yeah, today was I think more of a mental match I would say for both of us. He knew that I didn’t have that much, like, energy in me. He absolutely knew that. I knew that, as well. But I was really able to use a lot of the important points into my favor. Of course, a bit of luck as well with that net call on a set point.
What can I say? Even at 5-3 I couldn’t close the match. Yes, I was clearly not at my strongest, but I felt throughout the whole time I was able to do something with the ball even when I was tired. I think that really made a big difference.
He won quite a few battles throughout the whole match. When it really came down to the wire, I really executed it well and I did the right things.
Q. You were suffering at the end of yesterday’s match physically. When you stepped on court, how were you able to power through that today?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Stay in. It’s always very hard when the legs are not listening, you don’t have enough strength to push off. If you’re clear in your mind and you take the right decision, that’s how tennis is. You don’t know till the last point. You just don’t know what’s going to happen.
If you stay in, if you take the right decision, if you simplify everything because so much is going through your head in moments like that, I mean, it’s such a fine line. You either win or lose when it comes to that point.
Of course, I don’t want to say that I didn’t have a bit of luck. Yeah, of course, I had quite a bit of luck here and there. But I earned to be in those positions to, let’s say, go for certain shots and to really put the players in the position that it’s uncomfortable for them.
You still need to do the work till then.
Q. You talked about being pain-free. How much of a role does it play for you in terms of playing at that level in your success in San Diego and Indian Wells?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I would say huge. Also consistency. Consistency has been the key, especially here. San Diego was much faster than the surface here. Here the ball jumps, it’s more grippy. You need to grind off a little bit more. Of course, in particular here it really adds up.
But I would say the biggest thing is consistency. You try to find that balance between playing, practicing, resting, eating, sleeping. Really I’m a strong believer in all those things. I think if you do them the right way, if you really focus on the right sort of protocol of how you want to go on and about, you don’t try to get influenced by what somebody else does, what you’ve seen somebody else might have done in the past, I think it’s where you’re going to sort of build yourself up and establish yourself a little bit more on your own path, which I’m a big believer in, as well.
Yeah, I think these past weeks, not only days, I would say weeks, I’ve just been doing things for what I think is important to me and the things that are important for my game. That’s it. Nothing else. I mean, nothing more.
Q. (Question regarding match against a college student in San Diego.)
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I had a night that night, to be honest. Everything was flowing for me. I was flying all over the court. I had lots of — I don’t know, for some reason I had lots of energy, I was reading everything the right way. It was very hard to really switch from one player to the other that quick.
A couple of days ago I actually met him in the locker rooms. Hi, my name is August. How are you doing? I saw your match. Well done. He had a match point I remember the last round. Man, keep on going, this is great. I was very happy for him. Then when they told me I had to play this guy, Oh, man. We had a good laugh about it.
I must say he’s a very good player. I was at a point that I just really didn’t give him anything to do out there on the court, like was taking everything early, was moving around the ball, I was kind of closing in on every shot that I had an opportunity.
Again, I had a very nice, very good night. Everything was going sort of on my way and all that. If he keeps on going this way and puts in the right work, it was so nice to see the support behind him. I think the whole team and even was there. I really appreciated that type of atmosphere a lot.
Even after the match, it was so nice to see, despite what was happening on the court, he had that support. I told him after that match to just really appreciate that, use it, because it’s so hard when you’re out there. Sometimes it feels lonely on the court. You get out there and have a tough match, but they kept on rooting for him. It was very nice to see. I was very happy.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports