“It's still early in the year, so still trying to find my game,” Dimitrov said of his start to 2015. “I think it just takes a bit of time to really find that rhythm.
“Coming to the tournament, to any tournament now, I feel much more comfortable, much more confident. I have been out there on those kinds of courts. I think it's definitely an advantage for me… But I think the game still needs to improve a little bit more. [It] needs a bit of a polish up.”
The above comments are from Bulgarian Professional tennis player Grigor Dimitrov after just sneaking past Australian Nick Kyrgios in a third set tie breaker. The match at Indian Wells was a second round match that in fact had Kyrgios serving for the match at 5-4 in the third before rolling his ankle.
The injury obviously affected his movement but he clawed his way to the tie breaker before eventually losing it 4-7. Now the comments by Dimitrov are most interesting in the way that he talks about his game needing a 'polish up'. What about conceding that his opponent perhaps should have won the match as he did in fact serve for it but while doing so sustained a fair dinkum injury ?
I believe the above comments by Dimitrov are implying that he simply didn't play well but you can only play as well as your opponent allows you. Dimitrov should simply concede that he was lucky to win this particular match as an uninjured Kyrgios should have been able to serve it out.
Tennis players are constantly looking for excuses as to why they lost or why their game was not free flowing yet it all comes back to the same answer. You are allowed to play only as well as a style suits your own game and many styles are contrasting.
Some allow a player to constantly receive the ball in their hitting zone and some players simply have to improvise. After a match of improvisation it will always seem as though things just didn't work particularly well but after a win, well it should be said :
'If I struggled through with a victory over a player who gave me nothing then I am most happy with my performance. If however I lost then my opponent found a way to win that I was not smart enough to find. Their thought process was a lot clearer than mine'.
Professional tennis players should always accept that in practice everything usually goes their way, the ball is placed where they require it, this builds technique, this builds confidence. In the heat of battle however if an opponent keeps placing the ball where his opponent requires it to build confidence then perhaps they should be looking at a new coach or a different game plan.
In the instance of the Dimitrov victory well I would suggest that this time he was a little fortunate and he should accept the win in a humble manner. Finding rhythm is not going to happen against the top players because that's why they are the best in the World at it. They will hand you nothing so accept that it's going to be a mind game more than anything else.
The smarter player will usually find an avenue to victory, not necessarily the best ball striker.
If a player gains 'rhythm' during a match then I believe they are playing against someone who isn't a very smart tennis player......