Grigor Dimitrov believes that trying to follow in the footsteps of Roger Federer would never work for a young payer, and that it’s important to find one’s own path. The Bulgarian burst onto the scene in 2014, reaching the top-eight after reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon, but saw his ranking dip to world No. 40 after a couple of disappointing years in 2016.
When growing up in the sport, the Bulgarian had been likened to Federer for his playing style and received the tag ‘Baby Fed’, but as he exclusively told Metro.co.uk at Queen’s, he believes that is is a thing of the past. Dimitrov has since found his way back into the top-10 after a fine 2017, and he was in splendid form as he dispatched David Goffin 6-0 6-2 on Wednesday afternoon.
And he highlighted his belief that trying to imitate another player’s journey would only see him fall flat, and that he’s entirely focused on himself. When asked about previous comparisons made between himself and the 36-year-old Swiss, he replied: ‘Well, I think the comparisons and all this, they don’t really matter any more. ‘As I said before, I’m saying it now, I’m really looking after my game and what I’m doing right. ‘I think one of the wrong things you can do is to try to follow somebody else or try to, as I said, follow in the footsteps, the things that they have done.‘But, yeah, I think clearly I played a great match today. I’m happy with it. I mean, now you’re into the tournament, two matches under your belt. You slowly start to get out there. I’m looking forward.’
The only thing that went wrong for the 26-year-old on Wednesday was his receiving of a coaching violation. While he was confused by the incident in the second set, he didn’t criticise the decision. ‘Yeah, that was very weird, to be honest,’ he said. ‘I have no idea why. But it’s fine. It’s okay, yeah. I accepted it.
‘I mean, when you’re so zoomed into the match, I don’t even pay attention to all that. I think the side umpire went to say that. Okay, I get it. ‘But, yeah, I had a warning from the umpire before that anyway because he says, “Next time you get a time violation”. Especially when I was on the other side, I guess that rattled him, too.’