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Grigor Dimitrov: “Young Players Should Never be Compared to Anybody”

Published 09/13/2019, 8:57 AM EDT


Former world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov stunned five-time champion Roger Federer 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the US Open 2019 last week. This came out to be his first victory against the Swiss maestro after losing to him for seven consecutive times.

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The Bulgarian was once considered as one of the most promising players on the tour as his playing style also resembled that of Roger Federer. However, the 28-year-old believes that young players should not be compared to anyone as he has experienced it as well.

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Dimitrov, who is also known as ‘Baby Federer’ recalled that he used to have a hard time to find himself as he was continuously compared with the 20-time Grand Slam champion and so he explained that the next-generation players should have more air to breathe.

“Younger players coming up, I think they should never be compared to anybody,” Dimitrov said. “I think they should have more air to breathe and a lot more time to find themselves first before anything else. I found that out the hard way.”

After a series of disappointing first-round results during the hardcourt summer at the United States, Grigor Dimitrov finally found a reset button as he became the most surprising semifinalist at the Flushing Meadows.

“I didn’t expect things to unfold for me like this. Since the past five, six weeks, it was definitely hard to believe,” the Bulgarian said after reaching his first quarterfinals at the US Open.

Before coming to New York, Grigor Dimitrov had lost 7 out of his last 8 matches on the ATP Tour. The Bulgarian revealed that at one point he was thinking of ending his season early as he continued to struggle. While his best performance at the US Open was reaching the fourth round, there were no signs that 28-year-old could make his record better at the US Open 2019.

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“There were so many doubts that are coming into my head, thoughts of maybe potentially stopping the season and resting up a little bit and building up again,” he said.

He concluded: “I could control only what I could, and so I kept on believing, believing, believing. In our sport, you can’t just let go. Once you do that, it becomes even harder. Even if I was dropping to 200 in the world, no ranking at all, if the will was still there, I’d know what I had to do. I’d know the way.”

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Varun Khanna

1320 articles

Starting off as a tennis author in 2018, Varun Khanna has gone on to contribute to EssentiallySports in various capacities. After setting up interviews with the likes of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Alizé Cornet, and Noah Rubin, Varun is now part of all major ATP and WTA press conferences and has gone on to pen more than 1300 articles for EssentiallySports. He now heads the tennis and NBA division of the organization.

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