Elina Svitolina in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2023, UK
Elina Svitolina in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2023, UK | (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Tennis | Wimbledon 2023 | Day Seven Talking Points: Grigor Dimitrov speaks about confidence, Jessica Pegula completes quarter-final set, Svitolina advances amid controversy

By Tony Fairbairn At Wimbledon

  • Grigor Dimitrov spoke about his recent confidence after reaching the second week of Wimbledon
  • Jessica Pegula was satisfied after completing the Grand Slam quarter-final set
  • Elina Svitolina and Victoria Azarenka react to epic fourth round clash
LONDON, ENGLAND – Grigor Dimitrov spoke about confidence after reaching the Wimbledon fourth round while Jessica Pegula completed the Grand Slam set of quarter-finals, and Elina Svitolina advances amid controversy on day seven.


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Dimitrov talks gaining confidence ahead of fourth round clash

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Our day seven talking points start with Grigor Dimitrov who thrashed Frances Tiafoe to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon. The straight sets win for the Bulgarian means he is into the second week of Wimbledon for the first time for six years.

Speaking after the match Dimitrov said he’s not thinking about his performance at Wimbledon this year in comparison with previous years but admits he is gaining confidence with each match.

“To be honest, I don’t really think about that in particular,” Dimitrov responded when asked about his form this year in comparison with previous Grand Slam performances.

“I think all I’m trying to do is really, like, put in the work, because I think this is more important to me. I think once I’m able to do certain amount of work, certain amount of days on court, in the gym, this gives me I think the right state of mind and a very good chance to win any match.

“I think also my confidence is increasing every time I’m able to do that. Also, again on the grass, that surface is a little bit more specific to any other, and I just felt like I have done the good preparation, the good hours. I mean, therefore, I’m here. I think it’s just I think more of like what I’ve been able to do prior to tournament than anything else more so than the wins and everything else.”

It’s clear that Dimitrov is in a good place right now as he looks forward to a meeting with Holger Rune in the last 16. Speaking ahead of the meeting Dimitrov was asked what’s the difference between his generation and the generation that is breaking through right now.

“I think a lot of things overall. I mean, I’ve gone through, I don’t know, three, now four generations of different players. Each one of them had brought very different, in a way, game style,” Dimitrov explained.

“I think also the physicality of the generation has changed us, as well. If you think about it, all this sort of the younger generation, they are already at 20, I mean, extremely hit, they’re hitting the ball so big, you know, strong with their feet, great serves. Overall they are moving well. They already come in very completed.

“More so I think than maybe my generation and even the one after me. I think I could see that they kind of improved over the years, like a lot. But when I see now the young generation I feel like, what else can they improve? Certain decision-making and all that, yes, but that comes also with experience.”

Dimitrov will look to prove that the young generation still have some more learning to do when he clashes with Rune on No.1 Court on Monday.


Pegula reacts after completing Grand Slam quarter-final set

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Now onto another experienced player in the form of Jessica Pegula who reached the Quarter-Finals of Wimbledon for the first time with victory over Lesia TsurenkoIt means the American has now reached the last eight of all four Grand Slams and it’s a record Pegula is very proud of.

“Yeah, it’s definitely really cool. To say that I’ve done that at all four is something I’ve wanted to say,” Pegula admitted.

“Obviously I hope I can do more than that. But at the same time, it’s pretty cool to say that I’ve done that at every slam. Just the last couple years to be able to accomplish all of that is pretty crazy. Especially here, I feel like Wimbledon is really special to make the final eight as well. Yeah, it was definitely a goal. Yeah, I’m really happy I get to kind of mark that off.”

Pegula is known for being one of the most consistent players on tour and the American keeps backing that reputation up with each tournament. Speaking after the match the American said experience is one of the keys to her success and admitted it would be nice to go further than the last eight stage.

“Yeah, I definitely think I’ve been healthy, so I’ve been able to play a lot,” Pegula stated.

“I feel like that’s important nowadays. I feel like when you get hurt, everyone else kind of keeps going, and you kind of are playing catch-up a lot. It can be tough to catch up when you’re not playing for months and months. I think that’s really important. And being able to play a lot of matches, gain a lot of confidence, just keep putting myself in these opportunities where I’m able to gain a lot of experience.

“It’s tough to be able to carry that momentum. But I think I just kind of rolled with it, took a lot of confidence from that. I don’t know. I think things just started clicking. Definitely experience. I think you get a lot more comfortable playing certain people, being in certain rounds.

“You get more comfortable when the tournament is drawn out over a week or two weeks, you kind of know how to handle it, your emotions, your energy levels, stuff like that. I don’t know. It’s a lot of little things.

“Yeah, definitely. I think, I mean, everyone knows I’ve been very consistent. To go a little bit further is obviously the goal. Yeah, I would definitely love to crash the big three party, if possible. That would be definitely a goal. I mean, those girls have been playing really well. At the same time it’s good. It’s pushing everyone to be better and to improve every week.”

Pegula will look to go further than what’s expected of her at Wimbledon when she takes on Marketa Vondrousova in the last eight.



Azarenka and Svitolina react to epic Wimbledon match

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Now onto one of the most dramatic matches of the week as Elina Svitolina is into her second consecutive Grand Slam Quarter-Final after edging past Victoria Azarenka in a last set tiebreak. It was a match that had everything possible in it as the Ukrainian triumphed in an epic match where she will now face world number one Iga Swiatek.

Speaking after the match Svitolina said that she feels physically fine after some brutal matches this week and is looking forward to facing Swiatek.

“So far I feel fine. For me, as soon as I had opportunity to practice, as soon as I had the green light from doctors, at the beginning of my comeback I was really working hard on my fitness, I was working out a lot,” Svitolina revealed.

“This was really priority for me. Now I feel like this was the right way. It was the right thing to do. Then it took little bit of time for me to transfer it on the court. But, yeah, I’m very happy with my fitness so far. Have my physio here right now. We are working hard to prepare me for each match. So far it’s been injury-free. This is the priority right now.

“Firstly, she’s a great champion, also a great person. I’m really thankful for her support of Ukrainians, Ukraine, doing everything what is in her power, being vocal about that. She had also a big battle today, as well.”

However the main headline from today’s contest was to do with the crowd as Azarenka was booed off court as the duo didn’t shake hands like has been the case since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. After the match Azarenka voiced her frustration at being booed off court.

“Yeah, I feel like it’s been pretty consistent for the last 18, 19 months. I haven’t done anything wrong, but keep getting different treatment sometimes,” Azarenka said.

“But what can I say about the crowd? There is nothing to say. She doesn’t want to shake hands with Russian, Belarusian people. I respected her decision. What should I have done? Stayed and waited? Like, I mean, there’s no thing that I could do that would have been right, so I just did what I thought was respectful towards her decision.

“But this conversation about shaking hands is not a life-changing conversation. So if you guys want to keep talking about it, bring it up, make it a big deal, headlines, whatever it is, keep going.

“I think that you guys are picking on every single move and make such a big story out of that that there is really no point to do that. I know Elina for a very long time. I’ve always had a good relationship with her. And the circumstances, it is what it is, and that’s it.

“I don’t think that talking about every little gesture makes any difference or is a big story. I’m not saying you particularly, but a lot of people keep talking about it like it’s, I don’t know, changing somebody’s lives, which it’s not.”


Andreeva reveals pep talk to herself after reaching second week

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Finally it’s the story of the tournament so far as 16 year-old qualifier Mirra Andreeva is into the second week of Wimbledon. Andreeva has gone one round better than Roland Garros as she defeated Anastasia Potapova to set up a last 16 clash with Eastbourne champion Madison Keys.

After the match Andreeva revealed the pep talk that she gave to herself in Paris and although she was inspired by Emma Raducanu’s US Open run in 2021, Andreeva isn’t thinking about comparing her run to the Brit’s run in New York.

“Honestly, after Paris I just had quite a long talk with myself, just me and myself, and that’s it,” Andreeva said.

“I talked to myself. I just talked. I don’t know, just in my head I realized some things. I took some decisions that I think are now important for me. I think I did a good job because now everything is working so far. Yes, I just talked with myself, and I decided everything what I have to do next. So far it’s working.

“Of course, in 2021 she did amazing job. Everyone was impressed. I think she was impressed also to pass the quallies and to win the slam at 18. It’s amazing. But me, I just try to not think about it. I think it will disturb me, all these thoughts. I just try to play every match and don’t think how far I have gone already or which round I’m playing, against who I’m playing. I just try to play every point. Doesn’t matter against who. Doesn’t matter which round. I just play my game. I don’t change anything mental-wise, tennis-wise. So, yeah, I’m just playing.”



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