The unseeded ATP player at US Open 2019, Grigor Dimitrov knocked out the five-time US Open champion, Roger Federer 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows. Before the American Slam this year, Dimitrov had a quivering run on the ATP Tour and was failing to win consecutive matches.
However, in New York, he made a steep climb by producing the biggest upset of the tournament and sailed into the semifinals of a Grand Slam event for the first time in his career. Grigor Dimitrov credits his friends and family for supporting him during his injury hiatus from tennis. Consequently, they contributed to his triumphant comeback on the ATP Tour.
“The past six, seven months have been pretty rough for me. But I had somebody to lean on, my friends, my family. I kept on believing again in the work, the rehab I had to put behind my shoulder, the exercise, the practice, fixing up the racquet a little bit,” Dimitrov said.
“Despite the fact that I was losing very tough matches, close matches against players that I shouldn’t lose, I kept on believing in the process, kept on working, kept on trying to improve whatever else I had to improve on my end,” he said. “I really controlled the things that I could. I think that’s as simple as that. Sometimes the most simple things are hardest.”
He treated his quarterfinal encounter as just another match in his career and, throughout the match, Dimitrov focused on his game rather than on his opponent, Roger Federer.“I don’t want to sound too humble, but it was just another match for me really,” he said. “I don’t want to say I had nothing to lose, because I felt I did.”
“I just came out prepared the best that I could, especially coming out from the past two weeks of preparation, fitness, good matches. I’m trying to build off that. Little by little things are starting to fall into their place. Today was just another step,” the Bulgarian added.
Before coming to New York, former World Number three, Dimitrov lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round at Queen’s this year, thereafter he could just win a match in Los Cabos. Post that, he lost in the opening round matches of the North American Masters to Stan Wawrinka.
“It was not a pretty time. I’m not going to lie,” Dimitrov said. “It was that low that I don’t even want to go there anymore. It was just obviously injury, losing points, ranking. That’s the lowest point of any player. There were so many things I had to adjust in such a small but big period of time. Next thing you know, you’re almost end of the year, you have a result like that. It’s pretty special to me.”
Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek are part of Dimitrov’s team, but neither of them is present in New York at the moment. “I was able to play. It’s okay. It’s how it goes. I tried my best. By far not too bad to give up or anything. Grigor was able to put me away. I fought with what I had. That’s it. So it’s okay,” he mentioned.