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Dreamer Dimitrov looking to stay focused in Slam quest

Jan 15. 2018
Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov serves against Austria's Dennis Novak during their men's singles first round match on day one of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 15, 2018. / AFP PHOTO
Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov serves against Austria's Dennis Novak during their men's singles first round match on day one of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 15, 2018. / AFP PHOTO
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By AFP

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Melbourne  - Bulgaria's world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov says he is determined to remain focused and composed as he chases his dream of winning a maiden Grand Slam.

He got his Australian Open campaign off to an impressive start, proving too clinical for Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak, winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 in 98 minutes on Rod Laver Arena Monday.

Questions about Dimitrov invariably revolve around him taking the next big step after being ranked behind only the two modern day greats Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer following a strong 2017 season.

The stylish Bulgarian claimed the biggest title of his career when he beat Belgium's David Goffin in the ATP Finals in London among his four titles for the year.

But he has never been beyond the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, reaching the last four at Wimbledon in 2014 and in Melbourne last year.

"For me, it's going to be all about my game and how I'm going to deal with it. That's all I'm really focusing on," Dimitrov told reporters.

"The rest, it's not in my control. I just really need to stay focused, need to stay composed. Again, really looking forward after my game."

Dimitrov, in Nadal's top half of the draw, broke Novak's service six times and only had two break points on his own serve.

"I love playing on this court, it was tricky weather with a lot of wind in the warm-up and I tried to be compact and focused," Dimitrov said.

"It's always a dream of mine to win a Slam, this is the next step, and the only thing I can do is to give 100 percent in each match," he added.

Dimitrov faces another qualifier in the next round -- either American Mackenzie McDonald or Swede Elias Ymer.

 

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