Grigor Dimitrov would be the first to admit 2018 hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.
With a win at the year-end ATP Finals in London to add to his first Masters 1000 title at Cincinnati in August big things were expected of the world number three this year.
Unfortunately, things haven’t gone to plan for the hugely talented 28-year old Bulgarian, who has been tipped for stardom from early on in his career.
Speaking ahead of this week’s Rogers Cup, Dimitrov reflected on what has been a disappointing year on court so far.
“I just think talent helps you win matches sometimes, but it’s very different,” the No. 5 seed told reporters in Toronto. “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.”
Grigor Dimitrov traded a tennis racquet for a hockey stick this afternoon at the Sportsnet Ball Hockey Challenge presented by Knapper 🎾➡️🏒
— Rogers Cup (@rogerscup) August 5, 2018
With lots of ranking points at stake in the hardcourt season, Dimitrov said he is aware that he needs to turn things around.
“It depends on what you’re focusing on,” Dimitrov added. “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.”