Dimitrov: "Fear Is Out Of The Picture"
Wimbledon, Great Britain
by ATP Staff|
After taking out defending champion Andy Murray in the Wimbledon quarter-finals Wednesday, Grigor Dimitrov has got his sights set firmly on backing that up with victory over top seed Novak Djokovic in Friday’s semi-finals.
The 23-year-old Bulgarian will break the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday after reaching his first Grand Slam championship semi-final, but has no intention of stopping yet. He is on a nine-match winning streak, including victory on grass at The Queen’s Club prior to Wimbledon, and is confident he has the game to derail 2011 Wimbledon champion Djokovic.
Djokovic leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-1, but it will be the pair’s first meeting in more than a year. A lot has changed in the past 12 months for Dimitrov.
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“Fear is out of the picture,” declared Dimitrov. “I'm of course not expecting an easy match. But I'm out there to go through a match, to win it. I think we are both going to really want that match. Of course, he has the experience behind him. But at the same time, I've been playing great tennis. I believe in my skills at the moment.”
Dimitrov coolly disposed of Murray in straight sets on Centre Court, never blinking in the face of the partisan crowd, the occasion, nor the accomplishment. Indeed, it was even put to the Haskovo native that he appeared a little subdued after his landmark win.
"I am [incredibly excited]," insisted Dimitrov. "Maybe I'm not showing it, but the tournament continues for me. I just need to be as composed as possible, as humble as possible. It's just a good stage for me to be in. I'm happy to be in the semi-finals. Hopefully there's two more to go for me.
"I felt that I've raised my level a little bit on and off the court. Off the court is my focus. My ability to switch when I really have to go another gear. And today I knew I was ready to play. So to me, in my mind, I was really calm and I knew what I had to do. I think I was composed and as calm as possible on the court.”
With one of Milos Raonic or Nick Kyrgios set to join Dimitrov in the semi-finals, the All England Club is setting the stage for one of the ATP World Tour’s young guns to potentially break through and win a Grand Slam championship. Dimitrov, though, believes there is still much work to be done before the likes of himself, Raonic and Kei Nishikori will be satisfied.
"I think the younger guys, we want to come on that stage," said Dimitrov. "We strive for this. I think we're thirsty for that. We want to prove ourselves. We also want to prove to the big guys that we're around the corner.
“But it's just a different stage for us at this point. We need to establish ourselves I think even better, [more than] just what we're doing right now. It's a good effort, but you got to do that almost every single tournament you play in. That's where it shows.”