New York: Grigor Dimitrov sought to focus on the positives of an encouraging fortnight in New York after his US Open run ended Friday in a semi-final loss to red-hot Russian Daniil Medvedev.
The world number 78 from Bulgaria fell short in his effort to become the lowest-ranked player to reach a Grand Slam final since Marat Safin at the 2004 Australian Open, losing 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-3 to fifth seed Medvedev.
But Dimitrov, who is projected to climb to 25th next week, refused to feel too downbeat after struggling through most of the past two seasons and battling a shoulder injury earlier this year.
"It was a good match overall. I think it was just a few points here and there. Yeah, three sets to love, but, I mean, the score for me doesn't justify the match itself. I think it was a good level," Dimitrov said.
"Overall he played really well, fought hard, a lot of the key points he played well. I don't want to be too down on myself. Great weeks. First time in semi-final out here. Just going to take a lot of the positives, for sure."
Twelve months ago, Dimitrov stood inside the top 10, but a slump in form and shoulder pain precipitated a steep drop that saw the 28-year-old shocked by 405th-ranked Kevin Kim in Atlanta in July.
It was no third time in lucky in Grand Slam semi-finals for Dimitrov, having previously made it to the last four at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, as he ran into a player in the form of his life in Medvedev.
"I just didn't play good enough on those key points, especially I think the set point in the first set. I knew what he's going to do. He came up with the goods," Dimitrov said.
"Second set, again, I was not able to get free points on my serve, or on his for that matter. He used the court pretty well. But for sure I'm critical of myself. I think absolutely I could have done better on certain occasions. Again, I don't want to go too deep right now on myself."
Medvedev improved his North American hardcourt record this summer to 20-2, reaching a fourth final in a row. He won a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati following runner-up finishes in Montreal and Washington.
No player born in the 1990s has won a Grand Slam in the era of "Big Three" dominance but Dimitrov believes the 23-year-old Medvedev has every chance of ending the drought.
"Anything's possible. You get the chance to be in the final, so you got to leave everything out there. If he keeps going the same way, plays the same, I think absolutely he's got a major shot."
Updated Date: Sep 07, 2019 10:34:17 IST