FLASHBACK: Grigor Dimitrov sits down with Tennis Channel after his first round win at Monte-Carlo


Grigor Dimitrov has found his zen, but getting there was a bit of a journey. The former world No. 3 has seen the ups and downs in the sport—but striking the right balance has seen the 31-year-old rack up eight career ATP titles on his way to world No. 33.

Before the No. 26 seed begins his Internazionali BNL d’Italia campaign against Stan Wawrinka, Dimitrov caught up with Baseline to talk about self care rituals and dream vacations, and to reveal just how early he starts planning his off-season trips.

Q: Right now we’re listening to some very relaxing harp music on the set of Tennis Channel’s Warm & Fuzzy shoot. What kind of music calms you down?

DIMITROV: You know, it's different. I think it depends a lot on what kind of mood I'm in. For me, it's just very simple. I love listening, actually, to piano music. That's one of my favorite things to do. And Hans Zimmer, for example. I like that style a lot.

But I am very versatile when it comes to music. I go from Linkin Park to this [gestures at harp in the background], and it's like, zero problem for me. So it's like, very nice to be able to mix music.

Q. Do you listen to any specific type of music before a match?

DIMITROV: I have a very special process before a match. So during the week or before I play, I have a station that I like, and if there's one song that resonates with me in that mood, in that time, in that moment, in that week, I use that one. That song becomes the playlist for the tournament. The tournament song.

Dimitrov faces Stan Wawrinka in the second round in Italy.

Dimitrov faces Stan Wawrinka in the second round in Italy.

Q. When I say ‘self care’ what does that mean for you?

DIMITROV: It means everything. I think it's important to take as many timeouts as you need. I think it's very important to look after your inner voice. Also, your body tells you and navigates you in the right way, so you need to listen to it. You know, massage, spa, saunas, cryotherapy, and different types of meditation.

If you're able to put all that together and carve that little time for yourself throughout the day, or whenever you can get a chance, you should definitely use it.

Q: Since you mentioned the spa… who is your go-to spa buddy when you need to unwind?

DIMITROV: I've got a bunch of people, to be honest, that like to go with. I've actually been going a lot with my mom. It's so nice to enjoy it with her. She can just listen when I just ramble and have my own monologue. And, you know, you're always gonna hear a good word from your mom. Right? So it's boosting your confidence and all that. But I'd bring her or probably any of my family.


Q. If you could drop everything right now and fly somewhere on vacation, where would you go?

DIMITROV: I think somewhere in the Caribbean? Yeah, I mean, I live by the water when I'm back home so it's very easy for me. I love Italy. But probably just gonna have some Caribbean vibes.

Q: How far in advance do you start planning your off-season trips?

DIMITROV: I think the summer vacation you always plan like early on, because the dates are very, very tight with the second week or post-Wimbledon rest. That is always very important.

However, for me, I also always do one holiday at the end of the year with my family. It's one where we always just go, me and them, somewhere very nice and different. So every year we've been going to different places. That one we hold off a bit before planning, in case we hear of a new place.