Dimitrov: “Talent Doesn’t Win Matches”
He has been grappling with them all his tennis life. But after arriving Down Under at a career-high No. 3 in the ATP Rankings in January, 2018 hasn’t quite lived up to Dimitrov’s own expectations.
It was during a four-year stint working with Patrick Mouratoglou that Dimitrov was warned talent was dangerous as it made an athlete think they could succeed without working.
“I just think talent helps you win matches sometimes, but it’s very different,” the No. 5 seed said ahead of his Rogers Cup campaign in Toronto on Sunday. “Sometimes when you have too many things in your bag it’s always hard.
“I never look at myself through that side to be honest. Yes, maybe I’m talented but talent doesn’t necessarily win matches. It helps you, but it doesn’t win matches.
“If it does you might win two, three, four matches but that’s it. If you want to be a Grand Slam champion, if you want to be No. 1, there are so many other things you need to be doing in order to get to that point. Of course it adds up to the occasion but (talent) is not the ultimate goal.”
On top of his biggest career title at the O2 Arena in November, Dimitrov had also landed his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati last August. With big points to defend in the second half of the season it makes this US hard-court stretch crucial for the 28-year-old.
“It depends on what you’re focusing on,” Dimitrov said. “I’ve never been the type of player that likes to focus on prize money, points, things like that.
“I like to always see the positives. I know it was tough losing that first round (to Stan Wawrinka) at Wimbledon but at the same time I need to take the positives out of that negative situation. I know one of the hardest things in tennis is to stay positive after a loss.
“Every match is very important for me right now. I’m not trying to get back to No. 2, 3, 4, whatever it is. I’m really focused on the big picture and the things I want to get better at.
“Sometimes one, two, three matches it can really turn it around for you again. If you stay compact, stay smart and do the right things you just never known when the tables might turn for you.”