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Dimitrov: Inspiration in Imperfection

LONDON—Grigor Dimitrov has a simple explanation for his break-out performance at this week’s Nitto ATP Finals.

The 26-year-old Bulgarian has found inspiration in imperfection.

Watch: Dimitrov Remains Unbeaten at Nitto ATP Finals

In the aftermath of his 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory over Jack Sock that sent Dimitrov into the season-ending final against David Goffin, the world No. 6 suggested it was his most satisfying match because he found a way to win when his best tennis eluded him.

“Those are the most important matches, simple as that,” Dimitrov said after defeating Sock. “Those are the matches that I felt like my level has been higher than in the previous years. I think it's great to be able not to strike the ball well, not to feel maybe well or something, but you have to find a way. That's the most important thing for me, is to find a way to win a match even not on your best days.”

In her memoir, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Maria Sharapova, Dimitrov’s ex-girlfriend wrote the Bulgarian's biggest challenge was his perfectionism and his struggle to “win ugly.”


Serving up a treat. 📸: @thomaslovelock . #NittoATPFinals #ATP #Dimitrov #Sock #tennis #London

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Dimitrov, who will rise to a career-high rank of No. 3 regardless of the outcome of the final, said he’s learned to make the best of his bad days at the office.

“That's exactly what the top, top guys are doing. Simple as that,” Dimitrov said. “On a bad day, they're finding a way to win and get away with that. I think today, I mean, I didn't think I played bad, but I just felt that I could have done things better…

“That’s what makes the game so special. Sometimes, not only that you have to fight yourself mentally, but you need to also fight the demons from previous matches or your opponent.”

Photo credit: Western & Southern Open Facebook