Melbourne - Grigor Dimitrov says his ability to change gears
in his crunch win over Nick Kyrgios has given him the impetus to go even
further at this year's Australian Open.
The Bulgarian world No 3 admits he was struggling in the
early rounds but he was outstanding in a high quality four-set win over the
mercurial Australian before a roaring full house on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.
Dimitrov, yet to go beyond the semi-finals at a Grand Slam,
has a quarter-final with British 49th-ranked Kyle Edmund on Tuesday and a
potential semi-final with 16-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
He said what came out of his high-pressure win over Kyrgios
was his ability to up gears through a major tournament.
"I learned that I can switch to another gear when I
really need it," Dimitrov said. "I think this is something that I
have been obviously struggling with in this tournament.
"The first three rounds I was not striking the ball
well. I know that, but I was still clutch (able to succeed) on the important
moments, which was good."
Dimitrov, under Andy Murray's former coach Dani Vailverdu,
said he was able to raise his level against the unpredictable Kyrgios.
"I was just able to lift my game completely, having a
high percentage in the first serve, high percentage on the return, counting a
little bit more on my strongest weapons," he said. "That was a good
step forward for me."
Dimitrov lost to Nadal over five sets in last year's
semi-final and he is heading in the same direction again this year.
"You're entering into a stage of a tournament where all
these matches matter a lot more to all of us," he said.
"I think especially when you have a long tournament,
it's important after certain rounds to reassess your game a little bit.
"You reassess your behaviour and kind of find a way to
do something better, to change something in order for you to be better."
Dimitrov said he now planned to just "live in the
"You never know how many times you're going to be able
to come out on Rod Laver Arena and just play," he said. "That itself
gives me the motivation and that kind of kick, hey, man, like, you're here now.