No reason to panic for Grigor Dimitrov despite ‘tough pill to swallow’

GrigorDimitrov looks on

Grigor Dimitrov’s slump continued at Wimbledon, but the Bulgarian remains philosophical.

The world No 6 has struggled since the start of May as he suffered a string of early exits during the clay-court season, including a third-round loss at Roland Garros.

He hasn’t fared much better on grass as he was beaten in the second round at Queen’s Club and in the first round at Wimbledon, going down 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-7 (5-7), 4-6 against Stan Wawrinka at SW19 on Monday.

“There’s no reason to panic or anything,” he said. “I’m not that type of a person anyway. I’ll try to remain positive because I know that’s one of the toughest things, especially when you exit early in the tournament.

“You have to stay positive, simple as that. You can’t just go down on yourself.”

He has reached the semi-finals only once in nine appearances at the All England Club with his next best showing round four in 2017.

“It’s hard for me to just accept losing, period,” the 27-year-old said. “Especially at an event like this that I’ve done so well at in the past.

“I’ve beaten big names on that Centre Court, played tough matches against big players. It’s kind of at the same time a tough pill to swallow. Again, in order to get to the trophy, you need to win seven matches.”

He reached a career-high of three in the world on the back of winning the ATP World Tour Finals last year, but he has not been able to build on that.

Dimitrov, though, feels he still has time to return to the top.

“I always want more for myself. Maybe this is what the body can take right now,” he said.

“I think it’s very tough when you reach a certain level and you want to go forward, but there’s the last, like, two, three per cent that are the toughest ones. Each year you’re growing, growing. You’re [World No.] 3. What is the next step? Wow, I can be No. 1. For me, those are the steps that are going to make the biggest difference.

“There’s an accumulation of a lot of matches, beating up on the body, especially on the mental side. I mean, considering how many matches I had to fight through and come back from a set down on many occasions. Yeah, I mean, part of it could be, to be honest. But in order to be the best, that’s what you need to be doing every single year.”