Was Grigor Dimitrov influenced by the comparisons with Roger Federer? The Chengdu Open Tournament Director Luiz Carvalho, who managed to bring the Bulgarian in the Chinese event, replied: "Obviously, the comparison was tough because they play similar, there were a lot of expectations on him but these guys are used to handle pressure so I do not think so.
Grigor is definitely having a tough season in terms of results. We know his tennis is there, he has been playing close matches in the last few weeks and he was not able to win them. The crowd enjoys players like him, he is an ATP Finals winner, he was a top ten player.
It's not that he is playing well, he almost defeated Stan Wawrinka and he only lacks confidence. I hope Chengdu can help him. He just has to find his game." Chengdu takes place in the same week as Zhuhai, which has a great field this year featuring Andy Murray, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios.
Was it tougher for Chengdu this year? "Actually not. I did not speak to Zhuhai Tournament Director so I have no idea which players I was chasing. We were happy to get the players we got." The defending Chengdu finalist Fabio Fognini will not return this year: "We tried to have him," admitted Carvalho.
"He had an amazing run last year, he lost to Bernard Tomic after not converting match points. Obviously, with his great results, there are other tournaments trying to sign him and it's totally understandable he will play the Laver Cup. He has a different calendar. We still like him."