Grigor Dimitrov has seen good times in his career. He has won eight ATP titles and has reached a high ranking of number three in 2017. After winning the consecutive Grand Slam boys singles title at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships and the 2008 US Open, he hasn’t been able to live up to expectations.
He had reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2014, and the Australian Open in 2017 but hasn’t been able to reach the maiden Grand Slam final. He blames it on back to back push from injuries to the pandemic and all of that.
“Yes, we’re excited we’re traveling and this and that, but one day, all of that is going to be completely gone, tennis is just a period of our lives, so I like to take that approach”- Dimitrov.
“I feel like I have had to deal with a lot of adversity over the last 18 months on many different levels and all I am going to try and do right now is be focused one week at a time, which I have not done in a long time,” he said.
“The reason I am saying that is the injuries – my very first injury last year (shoulder) and then I went down pretty bad to around 85 in the world, so I had to fight my way back, then the pandemic happened. Many things in a sequence, back-to-back, but right now, I am just trying hard to focus on the right things.
“To be completely honest with you, it’s not bad to take yourself out of tennis for a bit, and I think that’s what has been happening overall this year. I’m still in the game, but it’s good to take yourself out because I’ve been playing tennis since I was three and I’ve been pro for 11 years now, so you need to understand that”
Dimitrov also believes that it is imperative to understand tennis’s complexity on a different level early, rather than later when you might have to stop playing the game. The Bulgarian is healthy and ready to play again after contracting the coronavirus. Still, he has a few questions to ask himself to understand what he wants to pursue or do, especially after he stops playing tennis.
Is there more to life than playing tennis?
“I’m using this time to take a step back and draw a line, ‘what is important to you in tennis?’ or ‘what is important outside the court?’ I want to start bringing those things in compartments, which will make things a little easier to understand what the next steps are going to be and what goal you have. This is where I am at right now,” Dimitrov wants people to see that there’s more to life than playing tennis.
A week ago, he spoke about getting infected with the virus and expressed his concern over the long term effects. He was worried that his body completely shut down when he got infected, which is his worst nightmare.
But being in lockdown has brought his attention to a lot of things and has taught him to cherish the little moments he has to himself and his family.
“Now it’s just an uncertain and a weird time because you wake up and say, ‘what am I going to do today?’ I might go and practice, but then what? It’s an extraordinary feeling, like funny anxiety. I have been trying to get back up, be healthy, and not rush anything, go for a coffee, spend time with my family and friends. The important thing because you realize everything is so fast.
“We need to cherish those little moments. I’ve missed them for so many years, but now, that’s my priority. Get my life that I’m going to have because tennis is not forever, and it’s not everything. Tennis is just a period of my life, so it’s good to understand the outside of tennis a little bit more than what we are usually used to”
According to Dimitrov, everything that is happening is serving him with some positive experience. Since he wishes to bounce back at full force, he wants to take the lessons he learned during this pandemic seriously and convey the positive energy to others.