After being clobbered in June by a case of COVID-19, Grigor Dimitrov is not rushing his slow return to tennis.
The Bulgarian who reached third in the world in 2017, came down with the virus after competing in Novak Djokovic’s safety-free Adria Tour of the Balkans, which also infected the Serb’s his own coach, his wife and several other players.
“I’m not counting on miracles right now,” Dimitrov told TennisMajors.com while competing at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in the south of France.
“There were only a few days that I didn’t feel good, in the sense that I had little energy. I had to calm down my training a little bit – it’s a process.”
The Bulgarian added: “Nothing happens overnight. I just want to get it right and step by step.
“It was a pleasure to be on the court, to play. To enjoy what I love to do. And that’s the competition.”
Dimitrov said his biggest lingering fear was to have accidentally infected someone he might have come in contact with – a possibility which sent him into immediate quarantine at his Monte Carlo base.
“I imagine those people who have been in contact with me. A child, a family that can’t afford it (medical care) – what do you do?
“I can’t have that kind of responsibility above my head for the rest of my life. my days. It (quarantine) had to be done so that people could take the right precautions right away.
“Honestly, if I had known that I had transmitted the virus to someone, I would have offered to help.”
The ATP 19 dispelled the hopes that elite sportsmen are somehow less likely to contract the disease,
“Yes, we are top athletes, but we are like everyone else. The virus has been tough on me. I stayed at home for about a month.
“I was not breathing well. I didn’t feel well, I felt tired, I had all the symptoms, I had no taste, no smell, whatever you can think of. It wasn’t funny.”
He said that self-isolating might have been slightly liberating at the time:
“Being alone has been beneficial. I’m actually quite grateful that I had this time alone. It was not easy, no one likes spending three weeks alone.
“I’ve always been a very grateful person – lately even more – for any day that I can go out. I have never led such a simple, peaceful life.
“As a high level athlete, I have always done everything to be in good physical shape. In the last few days, I feel like I have made great progress.”
Main photo:- Grigor Dimitrov looking unwell alongside Novak Djokovic on the ill-advised Adria Tour