The Rome Masters lockdown quarantine is not the only test this week for Grigor Dimitrov, with the Bulgarian even more concerned about missing the delights of the iconic Italian table.

With players at the COVID-era event restricted to their hilltop Hilton hotel or the Foro Italico site, there is no chance of stepping out in the Indian summer weather for a trattoria meal al fresco.

Dimitrov, who fell ill with the virus in June after playing Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour in the Balkans, is through to the third round, but remains unsure of his actual competitive level.

But missing the culinary delights of the Eternal City is the most onerous condition of the clay week here.

“I really love Italian food. I’m honestly very pi**ed I cannot go to some restaurants here,: Dimitrov told tennis.com

“But you try to make the most out of it, whether it’s room service, whether you have that burrata with tomatoes. 

“I indulge myself quite a bit. I’m still pretty strict before I play, but every time I have a little opportunity to treat myself, absolutely I go for that. 

“It’s (Italian food) too good not to. It doesn’t bother my body, or rattle my stomach.”

The 2014 semi-finalist who was stopped at the US open second round, has exceeded that so far in Rome. But Dimitrov admits that regaining full fitness is a tough slog.

“New York was a very tough trip for me, I didn’t live up to my own expectations, let alone to how my body felt. 

“I was actually considering not going, but at the last second, I really decided I had to test my body to see where I was at physically and mentally.”

He is determined not to give up on his 2020 comeback goal: “I feel good. This year, with the different circumstances, I’m trying to use every opportunity I have out there. 

“The time I’ve spent off the court is helping now. It’s an interesting atmosphere here, for sure.” 

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