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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday March 30, 2024

Having played the bulk of his career on an ATP Tour that was dominated by the Big Four of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, things haven’t exactly been easy for Grigor Dimitrov. But the former World No.3 said that he absolutely wouldn’t change a thing about it.

But did he feel unlucky, having those Grand Slam gobbling talents to deal with during his prime?

“Totally the opposite, actually. Totally the opposite. Very lucky,” he said on Friday night in Miami.

“How often you say I played in an era against the best players and you have beaten them all?” Dimitrov said, adding that he is saddened by the impending absence of the Big 4 more than he ever was by their presence.

“Personally, not having these guys around, it's a little sad,” he said. “I don't want to play them, don't get me wrong, at the moment, but it's kind of sad. I love watching them play. I love competing against them, and you can always learn something.

“I think throughout the years I have had so many quarterfinal matches and third-, fourth-round matches where I had to play against them. But that also maybe shaped me to have that mental toughness and to do certain things differently at that point in my career, like them.”

Dimitrov echoes a sentiment often expressed by Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray: that playing against such formidable forces so regularly has helped them take their games to an even higher level.

“You can certainly learn a lot from each one, very different,” Dimitrov said. “I think each one had a very different way of doing things, but each one of them had amazing qualities. I think in a way they are the pioneers of tennis for us. I don't know. I think overall, to have players like that with such a diversity that all of them had, Novak is still playing and Andy, as well, but to really see that is I think going to be a little bit more rare.”