Interview: ATP Top 10 tennis pro Grigor Dimitrov

As the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters kicks off this weekend, Monaco Life talks to Grigor Dimitrov to discover the man behind the tennis player. From his favourite pastimes in Monaco to his dedication to family and fitness, Dimitrov shares his perspectives on life, career milestones, and the advice that continues to guide him.

After a stellar performance to reach the finals in the recent Miami Open, Grigor Dimitrov has returned to the ATP top 10 in great form, ready to battle it out at this year’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters from 6th to 14th April.

It is an exciting time for Grigor Dimitrov, a Monaco Resident. Born in Haskovo, Bulgaria, in 1991, Dimitrov was introduced to tennis when he was just three years of age. He was barely able to hold the racquet given by his mother, Maria, a sports teacher and volleyball player. Still, the young Dimitrov started to play tennis every day, coached by his father Dimitar.

As Grigor Dimitrov tells Monaco Life, his family has been a constant support throughout his career – emotionally and financially. After becoming a professional at age 16, Dimitrov achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No. 3 in 2017 at 27 years of age.

Dimitrov’s style and skill on the court make him a captivating player to watch, earning him widespread acclaim as one of the most entertaining athletes in the Top 20. Despite media attention often focusing on his personal life, Dimitrov, characterised by his wisdom, candor, respect, and resilience, says he is able to block out the noise and focus on his game, and life.

Grigor Dimitrov with the runner-up trophy at the Miami Open 2024. Photo credit: Elsa / Getty Images

Monaco Life: Let’s get personal. What do you like to do when you are in Monaco?

Grigor Dimitrov: To be honest, I like spending time with my family at home. We have a natural connection, and we all take pleasure in reliving moments of simple sharing by cooking together, for example. We can also meet up with family and friends in some of the many restaurants in Monaco.

How do you spend your free time off the tennis court?

I am trying to live my life to the fullest. I spend as much time with my family and friends and try to get home to Bulgaria as often as possible. Being with my family is incredibly precious because, in the end, I only see them a few times a year. We are constantly in touch by telephone or message, but there is nothing like the real moments spent together.

Fitness and staying in shape are constants, so even in my downtime, you can still find me in the gym or even taking yoga classes.

You are a jet setter. What is your advice for people who are constantly on the go?

Always have your basics prepared. There’s a core set of things you need, no matter the season, the weather, or the type of place you’re going. Always pack those first and then focus on the location-specific items.

What kind of traveler are you?

I love to explore when I have the opportunity. Whether in museums, visiting historical sites, or natural wonders; I love discovering and enjoying what the world has to offer.

What is your favourite cuisine in the world? Do you like to cook?

I am indeed lucky to have discovered a considerable number of types of cuisine during my travels. Last year’s Asian season was very interesting, and I admit to having made the most of the culinary discoveries possible. I rarely have time to cook, but when I have the chance, I really enjoy it!

What other interests do you have apart from tennis?

I love art and take great pride in my art collection. I also like design and am currently renovating my home. I’m also a big runner; even in the winter, you can find me trekking in the snow.

Grigor Dimitrov wearing Lacoste in Bulgaria. Photo credit: Laclef Production

You are the face of Lacoste. What appeals to you about modeling?

I love fashion and the ability to be involved in living art. It has many opinions and viewpoints, and it is an exciting contrast between sports and my daily life. Fashion has always inspired me creatively, and I am blessed to be able to live out that passion in colour!

Let’s talk about tennis. You are back at the top of your game; what drives you, and what are your goals going forward?

The motivation remains intact and changes over the years. I now have more experience, and physically working with my team allows me to always be very efficient. Thanks to all this, I can say that my best career years have arrived.

My main goal is to keep the momentum going and continue down the path of success I have worked so hard to pave for myself.

They say the 30s are the new 20s. What is your outlook on the game now that you are 32?

The game has evolved enormously over the last 10 years. The players who arrive on the circuit are already physically fit, and everybody is faster and stronger. You must move forward simultaneously and adapt quickly.

What inspires you to keep going and get better?

The desire to win!

Grigor Dimitrov, the Face of Lacoste, in Bulgaria. Photo credit: Laclef Production

Which significant advice did you get that still guides you to this day?

One of the most important pieces of advice I received from my mum is to be a good person, authentic, compassionate, and without making hasty judgments.

You made a new addition to your coaching staff ahead of the 2023 season: Jamie Delgado, former coach of Andy Murray, who now collaborates with your longtime coach Daniel Vallverdu. How is that collaboration going?

Jamie and Daniel have different approaches but a common goal. It’s a great collaboration with many complementarities. Everyone’s objective is to work with me on essential and specific points to meet my overall objectives.

What is your competitive edge when playing against younger players?

The experience gained over the years is undeniable, as is my ability to adapt to the modern game. I believe that I can always hinder these young players in their desire to impose their rhythm on the court.

What kind of counsel would you give a player just turning professional?

Keep your eyes open for all avenues of opportunity and take advantage of the time you have as a professional to push yourself to your full potential. Stay confident, and there’s always the next match.



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Main photo: Grigor Dimitrov at Miami Open 2024: Credit: Peter Staples / Getty Images