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Grigor Dimitrov reached the semi-finals at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters for the first time, but lost against World No. 1 Rafael Nadal.

Dimitrov Seeks Lessons From Nadal Loss

Bulgarian happy with week overall, second seed in Barcelona next week

Grigor Dimitrov has a lot going for him. He is the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion and sits inside the Top 5 of the ATP Rankings. The Bulgarian also made the semi-finals this week at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

But that doesn’t make an 11th FedEx ATP Head2Head loss against World No. 1 Rafael Nadal (1-11) any easier.

“I value sometimes more the lessons. I hate losing,” Dimitrov said. “You see me with a smile. I'm a positive person. Deep down, I'm hurt. I hate losing. Simple as that. But it's life… hopefully in the future I will be able to turn that around. There's still going to come a day that I feel I can do that or beat him on that surface.”

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Interestingly, the World No. 5 has won a set in eight of his 11 losses against the Spaniard. But on Saturday, Dimitrov was broken four times and lost eight of the match’s final nine games to lose 6-4, 6-1.

“I'm sure when I come back home, I'll be just as mad. I'll think about it. I will probably write down things I could have done better. I'll write things that I'm grateful for. I will write some goals down in the next three, four days that I have to do, and move on,” Dimitrov said. “That's all you can do: control what you can, let the rest happen.”

After all, it was not a bad week for the 26-year-old. It was actually quite good, as Dimitrov reached the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo for the first time, surviving two tough three-setters to open the tournament before ousting World No. 10 and doubles partner David Goffin in an impressive straight-sets performance Friday in the quarter-finals.

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“It was great to start [the clay-court season] again on a good note. I mean, today was also maybe the match that I moved the best out of everything,” Dimitrov said. “I see a lot of positives for the upcoming weeks.”

It just so happened that he came across Nadal, who has now won 34 consecutive sets on clay as he pursues a record 11th Monte-Carlo title.

“He's playing very good on clay. Simple as that. Tactically and everything else. It hurts a lot of us,” Dimitrov said. “I felt I played not a bad match against him in terms of the way I was moving and the way I was placing the ball. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to keep on doing that for the extent that I had to.”

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Now, Dimitrov will move on to the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, where he is the second seed next week.

“I'm ready for Barcelona,” Dimitrov said. “This is my goal: to get back on that rhythm of playing a lot of matches, practising a lot. Again, the clay-court season has just begun. It's a good step forward now. Hopefully there's still a lot of matches to be played.”