Grigor Dimitrov said things were on the “right path” with new coach Andre Agassi in his corner after coming back from a set down to beat Janko Tipsarevic in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday.
The 27-year-old Bulgarian won 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in the 1573 Arena, a good comeback given his slide last year, where he lost in the first round of both Wimbledon and US Open.
“At some point last year, I think midway through the year, me and [former coach] Dani [Vallverdu] sat down to talk about our goals, objectives, and so on,” said Dimitrov after his first-round win.
“I have known Andre for a really long time. Since I was 14, I have spent some time with him back in the past, in Vegas. We just wanted to kind of add a person that has done a little bit of, I mean, of what we are trying to achieve,” added Dimitrov, who reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park two years ago and a career-high ranking of three the same year.
Dimitrov, who has tumbled down the rankings to 21st, called Agassi – who won eight Grand Slams, with four of them coming at the Australian Open – one person that “I could trust unconditionally”.
“So we spoke with Dani and ultimately both of us kind of reached out and just, yeah, seek for a little bit of help. Step by step, we developed our relationship and next thing you know he’s in here watching my first match,” he said.
The Bulgarian had a lot of praise for Agassi, who had briefly worked with Novak Djokovic when he was in the midst of a slump in 2017.
“On a daily basis, I have learned something new from him,” he said. “He’s super intense on the court. We are on the same page. That’s really important.
“Sometimes some of the things that he says, it has absolutely nothing to do with tennis. Today, before the match we are talking about completely different stuff. I was, like, ‘Oh, that feels nice’.
“I think he also keeps me on point, keeps me on check. He’s just trying to remind you of the good things in life.
Of course, on the court when we are together, we are really zoomed in, very focused. He’s super intense on the court.
“The biggest thing that stands out is that I’m learning something every single day. So I think things are going on the right path for me,” he added.
The former world No 3 also joked about not wanting to share stories about their time together, saying it was very personal.
The confident-looking Dimitrov next faces unseeded Uruguayan clay-court specialist Pablo Cuevas for a place in the last 32.