Dimitrov Praises Edmund, Searches For Silver Lining
“Kyle deserves all the respect. He deserved to win, simple as that,” said Dimitrov. “He's been working so hard the past months. I've seen that. There's no point for me to say what I did wrong… it's all about him right now. He's the winner.”
The Brit, who moves into the first Grand Slam semi-final of his career, will face Croatia's Marin Cilic in the semi-finals. Having seen most of Edmund’s matches at the tournament, Dimitrov was philosophical about the 23-year-old’s chances of going all the way in Melbourne.
“Once you reach that stage of a Grand Slam, anything can happen really. It's really how much you want it. These kinds of opportunities don't always come… so once you have them, try to make the most out of them."
Taking just a week of rest after winning the Nitto ATP Finals in November 2017, Dimitrov produced semi-final and quarter-final results at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp and the Australian Open, respectively. Now, with a tiring first month of the 2018 ATP World Tour season behind him, the Bulgarian star took a moment to address his immediate emotions after a tough loss.
“It's hard to hide a disappointment. I am disappointed. It's how I feel. It hurts, and so it should. Right now I won't think too rationally, simple as that. I need to give myself a couple of days just to relax a little bit and do things I don't get a chance to do during the tournament, and reassess the whole Australian trip.
“I think overall it wasn't a bad one, but [it] certainly wasn't where I wanted to be. That's at least the positive thing, that there's a little bit of a room that I feel I can improve quite a few weeks ahead of me. I need to be smart the way I'm practising now, not to overdo it again, but at the same time make sure I find my rhythm again, my game itself a little bit, the elements when I play. That requires quite a bit of work, but I'm certain I'm going to be able to do it and hopefully produce better tennis as the year progresses.”
The Bulgarian, with experience in turning losses into learning experiences, looked back in his post-match press conference to 12 months ago when he lost a monumental battle with Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. The season he had after that loss gives Dimitrov positivity that he can rise after disappointment in Melbourne once again this year.
“It's hard for me to admit that [positivity], but I have to,” said Dimitrov. I'm very critical with myself. I always want a lot from myself. When I don't reach a certain goal that I've planned, it really drops me down. It makes me sad.
“But those are the moments that I think I've learned [from] throughout the years, like last year after [the Australian Open] was tough after I lost the semi-final. But, again, I still had to lift myself up and go on, pick myself up, dust myself off.”
Looking forward to the rest of the season, Dimitrov is focused on moving forward and taking confidence from many hard-fought wins on tough days in both Brisbane and Melbourne.
“The good thing in tennis is there's always the next week," said Dimitrov. "You can play every week that you want. But as I said, it's just the way I've been playing throughout all the matches that was really something that I'm happy with, not on my best days being able to win and fight.
“[I am] sad that it came into an end. But there's always that silver lining out there. I'm just going to try to make sure I see it a little bit more clearly right now."