Grigor Dimotrov had one of the best years in recent times in 2023. Image Credit: WTL

Abu Dhabi: Grigor Dimotrov expects the competition to be harder in men’s tennis next season but the Bulgarian star is up for it as he gets into preparation at the Meteora World Tennis League at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

The world No 14 had one of the best years in recent times in 2023 and is happy with his performance over the past 12 months. He continued that form into his team’s cause, taking the SG Mavericks Kites into the final with some impressive show.

Ended on a good note

“I think this was my best year this year and I did a lot of good things and played well throughout the year. Obviously, I was lacking a few moments here and there, where I could have done a little bit better. But I ended up on a good note, that was important. Making the Paris Open final was a good step forward,” the 32-year-old Bulgarian told Gulf News, summing up the events that transpired in this year.

“It’s all in the past now. At the moment, everyone is displaying a good tennis and a lot of the players are picking up. So we are going to see some new faces and I think the competition will be harder.”

Dimitrov feels the World Tennis League has given him and the rest an opportunity to get back on court before hitting the road in what promises a tougher year ahead with the addition of Paris Olympic Games to a packed calendar.

“This is the second year in a row I am playing in the WTL and it’s nice to play in a new venue in Abu Dhabi. I want to explore Abu Dhabi more, but for now we are stuck to the court as we are winning. First things first,” the Bulgarian said. “This event is important for everyone who want to get on to the court to see their level of fitness for the new season.”

No additional pressure

The former world No 3 is still not in his best form but he’s not willing to put any additional pressure on himself in the new season and aims to focus on staying fit.

“There are no real goals for the new season as I don’t want to put any additional pressure on myself. The amount of work I’m putting on my fitness and on the court has been a lot. So the most important thing is to be good mentally and last but not least, I think it’s also the fitness. If you’re feeling good, you have a good physical condition and do the right things, then the results will come through. So you always have to be ready and aware of what’s next,” he added.

Unfortunately for Dimitrov, he either ran into world No 1 Novak Djokovic or world No 2 Carlos Alcaraz on a few occasions and lost all of them. Talking about the two champions, the current and the future of men’s tennis, Dimitrov’s impressions are that they are completely different in many aspects of the game.

“Nothing to compare, they are completely different players, different generations. They have been playing differently and have done different things, but they’ve been the two best players in the world, alongside a few others. This is where we are at now and next year it is going to get more exciting,” he concluded.