World No. 21 Grigor Dimitrov stunned No. 3 seed Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open and afterward acknowledged that making a good start to the season is really important to him. Dimitrov, seeded at No. 18, handed a straight-set defeat to Thiem 6-4 6-4 6-0 to progress into the quarterfinal at Melbourne Park.
In his first tournament played of the season, former world No. 3 Dimitrov made the Murray River Open quarterfinal before losing to rising French star Corentin Moutet. "I always like to say the beginning of the year it’s always important to come out of the blocks," Dimitrov said, per the Australian Open website.
"I think it’s a great way to see where you are at physically – and mentally – and it’s also important to shift the gear every match that you play so right now I’m just focusing on what my plan was these whole weeks."
Dimitrov acknowledges Thiem might have struggled with an injury
In the third round, Thiem recovered from two sets down to beat home favorite Nick Kyrgios in five sets. "I was entirely trying to focus on what I was doing, the game plan that I had," Dimitrov said.
"I think he might have actually struggled with something, which I don’t know, but I also want to give myself credit for staying focused and composed throughout the three sets. He’s an unbelievable player."
Thiem, who said he struggled with a physical issue during the match, didn't want to find any excuses for his loss. "I don't want to find any excuses,” said the reigning US Open champion. “But the thing also is that I'm also not a machine.
I mean, sometimes I would like to be, but there are really, really bad days. As soon as you're not 100 percent there on the court on this level, then results like this come up, and that's exactly what happened today”.