'I Lost My Way to Success' Last Year, Bulgaria's Dimitrov AdmitsSports | February 6, 2017, Monday // 15:26| views
File photo, EPA/BGNES
When one is a strong player all the time, 20% of their victory comes before the game begins, Bulgaria's highest-ranking tennis player, Grigor Dimitrov, has said.
Dimtrov has given a interview to private broadcaster NOVA ahead of his first game at Sofia Open, scheduled for Thursday. He will face either Jerzy Janowicz (Poland) or Dudi Sela (Israel).
"There were moments in which I could not pull myself together, I couldn't focus, I couldn't do my training in a way that would have been beneficial to me," he has said.
"I didn't have a coach for a certain period of time. Halfway through last year, it was harder for me psychologically than physically. I just lost my way to success," he has confessed, but has added he feels "very well" at the moment.
Dimitrov has praised his relationship with coach Daniel Vallverdu: "When you don't have a stable team, it is very hard to have persistence. I didn't want just to have a coach, but to find something valueble, to find the right person. We get along [with Vallverdu], we can be on the same page."
"I played the game in my head 20-30 times,' Dimitrov has said when asked about his dramatic encounter with Spain's Rafael Nadal late in January.
The nickname "Baby Federer" is obsolete as one cannot compare a player with 19 Grand Slam titles to someone reaching a semifinal for the second time in his life, in his words.
On his relationship with Nicole Scherzinger, he has said she gets along with his mother. "She is having a rest and is probably looking at the churches [in Sofia] at the moment."
"It is not easy. We both have busy schedules. When there is understandin on both sides, it works and there is harmony."