Vallverdu: We Are Only In The First Phase Of Our Work
Grigor Dimitrov secured his fifth ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, defeating Kei Nishikori 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. The Bulgarian, who is in the process of returning to his top level, has demonstrated that he is well on his way after the first tournament of the 2017 season. Following his victory over Nishikori, Dimitrov's coach Dani Vallverdu assessed his pupil's preseason regimen, how he continues grow and learn and his great week in Brisbane.
"Normally, the focus is never on the first week of the year, but you intend to be prepared to compete well," Vallverdu told ATPWorldTour.com. "The priority of the preseason is to create a good plan for the year. It is a plus that he played well in Brisbane. The truth is that the preseason went well and the work was very tough. That gives you confidence because you have put in hours of work on the court.
"Mentally, it helps to have extra confidence and to not have doubts if you are prepared or not. Nowadays, all training is tough. Everyone goes through the preseason intending to improve, as much phsyically as tactically."
Dimitrov has shown he is phsyically fit in the first battles of the year, showing off his quick agility with his strong lower body and lungs, a result of hard work paying off.
"He is close to the best form that he can be in, but the important thing is to maintain it now," Vallerdu added. "At this moment he is feeling good physically, but still we can improve a little more. I am very happy with how he is playing and how he is competing in all his matches from start to finish. For me, the match against Raonic in the semi-finals has shown how much better he is playing since we have been together."
With his pupil up to No. 15 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Vallverdu believes that he still has a long road ahead and is only first starting to realize his potential.
"We are in the first phase of our work. You are not able to create habits in a player in just three or four months. To create habits is the work of eight, 10 or 12 months doing the right things. And above all, they have to be the right habits in the important matches. Dimitrov has played important matches, but I want to see it in the semi-finals and finals. That is where you can see if the habits are where they have to be."