2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov says everything what has happened over the last 18 months has helped him understand that tennis isn't the most important thing in life. Dimitrov appeared to be lifting his form in late-February -- when he made the semifinal in Acapulco -- but the season then got suspended due to the coronavirus.
Dimitrov returned to the court in June at the Adria Tour, where his campaign ended on a disastrous after he became the first participant to test positive for the coronavirus. "I feel like I've had to deal with a lot of adversity over the past 18 months on so many different levels and all I'm going to try and do right now is focus one week at a time, which I have not done in a really long time," Dimitrov said, as quoted on Sky Sports.
"The reason I'm saying that is the injuries - my first injury last year (shoulder) and then I dropped down pretty bad to around 84 or 85 in the world so I had to fight my way back, and then the pandemic happened.
So many things in a sequence, back-to-back, but right now I'm just trying to focus on the right things to do. "To be completely honest with you, it's not bad to take yourself out of tennis for a bit and I think that's what has been happening overall this year.
I'm still in the game, but it's good to take yourself out because I've been playing tennis since I was three and I've been pro for 11 years now, so you need to understand that. "I always knew it, but now I feel that tennis is not everything (in life) and it's good that you start understanding the complexity of the sport on a different level earlier rather than later when you're about to stop playing the game."
Dimitrov having deep talks with himself
Dimitrov was in quarantine for 14 days after contracting the coronavirus and he used the time to think about the game and life in general. "I'm using this time to take a step back and draw a line.
'What is important to you in tennis?' or 'what is important outside if the court?' I want to start bringing those things in compartments which makes things a little bit easier to understand what the next step is going to be and what goals you have.
This is where I'm at right now," Dimitrov said. "I think it's a bit far for me to think about 2021 just because there's a few things I'm working on and hoping to fix so I'm comfortable and so I can say, 'I'm back at it with absolute full force and I'm healthy. Everything is set, so let's go again'"