Grigor Dimitrov: “I love Queen’s”
Originally published on: 15/06/12 00:00
No wonder Grigor Dimitrov loves the Aegon Championships. The grass-court tournament at Queen’s Club in West London gave the Bulgarian a wild card in 2009 and 2010, having identified him as an emerging talent, and this week he has been living up to his promise as an exceptional grass-court player.
“I love this tournament,” Dimitrov said. “I played as a junior here, so I feel absolutely great every time I'm here. I like the whole atmosphere, the crowd, the club. You can feel the history. I think many players in the locker room are also very pleased to be here. I think it's great preparation for all the upcoming tournaments. I'm extremely happy because I know the place now much better, and the people are very nice with me – and also because I'm winning as well.”
Dimitrov, who reached the second round in his first two appearances at Queen’s, fell at the first hurdle last year when he was beaten by Thomaz Bellucci. This year has been his best effort so far. He has reached the quarter-finals with victories over Bobby Reynolds, Gilles Muller and Nicolas Mahut.
The world No 72 said he enjoyed playing on grass. “You cannot predict what's going to happen,” he said. “Everything happens so fast. You cannot practise a certain situation there. I think you also have to have a bit of imagination and just improvise when you go out there. Grass is one of the surfaces on which you can do absolutely different things.”
Having recorded his first victory over a top 10 opponent when he beat Tomas Berdych in Miami in March, 21-year-old Dimitrov is starting to realise his much-vaunted potential. “There are so many things that you’ve got to improve on the tour,” he said. “You have a couple of [younger players] who are up there already, but if you look at the average age of the guys who are in the top 20 they’re 27 years old.”