'Windows Were Broken, It Was Freezing': Dimitrov Reflects On Tennis Beginnings

'Windows Were Broken, It Was Freezing': Dimitrov Reflects On Tennis Beginnings

by Zachary Wimer

Similar to many others, Grigor Dimitrov had very humble beginnings, as the Bulgarian recently revealed.

Bulgaria is not a tennis powerhouse, and it doesn't have the best tennis infrastructure. However, it's far better today than many years ago when Dimitrov was starting to play the sport that would eventually become his profession.

Many tennis players have humble beginnings, though the stories from his early life really speak volumes about how humble some beginnings can be. He spoke to Craig Shapiro about it, admitting that he used to train in freezing weather on a makeshift court assembled by himself and his father every morning.

"Not easy. I grew up in a very small tennis stop south of a province in Bulgaria. And winters, we had to play in school halls, me and my dad every morning had to put up scotch tapes for lines. Windows were broken, it was -10 degrees, it was freezing."

"It was in a school hall where they played handball. I had to get up every morning, and we used to pull up nets and two metal poles. And, yeah, this is how my day was beginning."

Despite the difficult start, Dimitrov wouldn't change it for anything. Going through that really showed him what it would take to become a great tennis player, and he embraced it.

Coming from an athletic family where sports are a shared interest helped him understand what it would take. His parents taught him that there are no shortcuts, and he's really grateful for that experience.

"You know, it's everything. It's tenacity. Honestly, it's a lot of things altogether. Where there's a will, there's a way. For me, it was never anything else. My mom was a former volleyball player. My dad was a tennis coach, so I come from naturally a very athletic family."

"For us, sport is life. I owe everything to those experiences to be completely honest. Even with my dad and my mom have taught me so much. Hard work, that's it. There's no shortcuts, there's zero shortcuts."


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