Grigor Dimitrov believes he rediscovered his ability to move through the gears during his four-set victory over Nick Kyrgios as the world No 3 prepares for his quarter-final meeting with Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
The ATP Finals champion needed five sets to defeat American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round but underlined his credentials as a pre-tournament favourite with an impressive performance against Australian home favourite Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round.
Dimitrov, last year’s semi-finalist Melbourne Park, will meet world No 49 Edmund on Tuesday aiming to reach the last four and a potential meeting with Rafael Nadal – who ended the Bulgarian’s hopes last year in a thrilling five-set encounter.
When asked what Dimitrov took the most out of his win over Kyrgios, he said: “I learned that I can switch to another gear when I really need it.
“I think this is something that I have been obviously struggling with in this tournament. The first three rounds I was not striking the ball well. I know that, but I was still clutch (able to succeed) on the important moments, which was good.
“I was just able to lift my game completely, having a high percentage in the first serve, high percentage on the return, counting a little bit more on my strongest weapons.
“That was a good step forward for me.”
The 26-year-old, yet to progress past the semi-finals at a Grand Slam, admits the tournament is reaching a pivotal point and he continues to “reassess” his performances.
“You’re entering into a stage of a tournament where all these matches matter a lot more to all of us,” he said.
“I think especially when you have a long tournament, it’s important after certain rounds to reassess your game a little bit.
“You reassess your behaviour and kind of find a way to do something better, to change something in order for you to be better.”
Dimitrov, who has won both of his previous meetings against Edmund, expects a tough challenge across the net despite his greater experience but is fully focused on his game plan for the meeting.
“You never know how many times you’re going to be able to come out on Rod Laver Arena and just play,” Dimitrov, who beat the British player in three sets in Brisbane earlier this month, said.
“That itself gives me the motivation and that kind of kick, hey, man, like, you’re here now. Just play.”
“[Edmund] has gone this far. So for sure I need to be ready. There is no place to underestimate him or anything like that.
“I am finding that extra gear in every match and the main thing for me is to really focus on myself.”