Melbourne - Grigor Dimitrov says he's relieved he won
"ugly" after surviving a huge second round fright at the Australian
Open, a match he admits may been lost in years gone by.
The Bulgarian world No 3 had to pull out all stops to beat
off world No 186 MacKenzie McDonald in five sets on Rod Laver Arena late
Wednesday and stay in the tournament.
Dimitrov, who has never been beyond the semi-finals of a
Grand Slam, looked headed for an early exit before he fought off the American
qualifier 8-6 in the fifth set.
"It was just a hard day. I'm admitting it. I couldn't
even hide it. Sometimes you get those days. I landed on the good side of
things," he told reporters.
But in a sign of his growing maturity, he added: "I
think in the past years, maybe I would have lost that match."
Looking ahead to the rest of the tournament, Dimitrov said
he needed to be "a little bit more positive, even if everything was going
"I'm glad that day is behind me and I landed on the
good side. Overall the body feels well, so that's a good sign."
The third seed said he will spend the time before his third-round
match with rising Russian star Andrey Rublev analysing what went wrong and what
he can do better.
"I'll have a good day of rest, reassess the match, see
maybe the reason why I didn't perform that well or why I couldn't raise up my
game when I had to," he said.
"I'm sure I'm going to find out for my next match. I
think that's the beauty of tennis, you always get another day, you survive to
another day. Every day is different.
"Grand Slam is a long way. It's a two-week tournament.
Anything can happen. Right now I'm just positive, happy with the situation. You
know, win ugly."