Playing his first qualifying draw since the 2012 Rolex Paris Masters, Grigor Dimitrov moved one win away from the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open main draw on Saturday.
The Bulgarian defeated home favourite Marc-Andrea Huesler 6-4, 6-3 in 62 minutes to set a meeting with Thomas Fabbiano. Dimitrov had to take a wild card into qualifying after the three available main draw wild cards had already been allocated to Stan Wawrinka, Feliciano Lopez and Janko Tipsarevic.
"Obviously I haven't competed for a long time, so I need to get as many matches as I can... I am just excited to get back on the court and to feel healthy. This is the number one thing for me," said Dimitrov, who had played just six matches since the Australian Open. "I think the confidence comes with playing matches... I am going to compete and try my best to prepare to the maximum that I can for the final clay-court tournaments."
Dimitrov is keen to not put any pressure on results as he continues his comeback. The Bulgarian missed events in Rotterdam, Acapulco and Indian Wells due to a right shoulder injury.
"I have zero expectations right now," said Dimitrov. "Just because I know what I have been through, what I have gone through. I think physically and mentally, [I am] just trying to get back into decent shape. I always expect more from myself but right now... I don't need to put anything on myself."
The World No. 48 is currently attempting to rebuild his ATP Ranking after dropping to No. 49, his lowest standing since 29 October 2012 (No. 55), on 29 April this year. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion took a moment to discuss his unwavering desire to climb back towards the top spots in the game with the valuable support of his team.
"I have dropped, a little bit, my ATP Ranking and things haven't really gone that well for me in the past months, but that doesn't discourage me," said Dimitrov. "All the people that are around me right now, they really look after my best interests. In the toughest moments they are next to me and, to me, that is one of the highest values in life."