Category Archives: Grigor Dimitrov

It’s Junior Watch, Y’all: Dimitrov, Watson, Gavrilova, Stephens and RoGOATska Make Progress

Grigor Dimitrov just keeps on improving. After his title in Geneva last month, he flew to Bangkok and knocked off another title. Subsequently, he has risen into the top 150 for the first time ever and is now the youngest player in the top 150. This week he continues his Bangkok adventures at another $35k event, and he has reached the semi-finals thus far. He seems to be intent on taking his time to slowly rise up the ranks, but it would be good to see him playing in the Bangkok 250 event next week. He will be tired, but it will show him where his game is really at and what he still needs to improve over the coming months.

I doubt many of you have heard of him, but another standout young star this week has been Belgium’s David Goffin. He actually reached the top ten in the Junior rankings around the same time as Grigor himself, but he has struggled to really made a dent on the ATP tour. Before this week, that is. Having defeated 5th-seeded Eric Prodon in the first round of the Ljublijana $35k event, he has since navigated his way through a tricky set of players to reach his first semi-final berth. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

Over on the Women’s Circuit, the young stars in action this week are aplenty. Heather Watson defeated Sabine Lisicki in Shrewsbury to reach her first $75k quarterfinal. Though she lost in the next round, she will be inside the top 200 for the first time in her career, and the new British #4. Pretty good for someone who was unranked 14 months ago, no?

Over in the Albuquerque $75k, both Sloane Stephens and Daria Gavrilova brushed aside older and higher-ranked youngsters. Sloane demolished 6th-seeded Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-0 while Youth Olympics, Junior #1 and US Open Champion Dasha took out Michelle Larcher De Brito to record the biggest win of her career. Both girls seem to be making headway now and are catching up with their peers. The tour better watch out.

Finally, Olivia Rogowska seems to be finally coming round. She fell into a deep slump following her close loss to the then-world number one Safina at last year’s US Open, but after winning a $25k last week, you have to hope and believe that the confidence is slowly coming back.

Posted in Dasha Gavrilova, Grigor Dimitrov, Heather Watson, Juniors, Olivia RoGOATska, Sloane Stephens | Leave a comment

Grigor Dimitrov: Comeback Kid

Grigor Dimitrov today defeated Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-2 4-6 6-4 to clinch his first ever Challenger title in Geneva, Switzerland. The beginning of 2010 was a tough learning curve for Grigor. After winning the Junior Wimbledon and US Open titles in 2008 and then pushing a number of top players, including Nadal and Simon in 09, expectations began to rise as people began to see him as the ‘next big thing’. He was constantly compared to Roger Federer and many assumed he would shoot up the rankings in no time at all. That didn’t happen, and after a suffering a couple of injury setbacks, he began to really struggle. He seemed to collapse under all the pressure and whilst his game and athletic ability was still undeniable, he clearly lacked confidence and self-belief to make the most of it.

During the grasscourt season he decided to part ways with his coach Peter Lundgren (Federer, Safin) and enlisted the services of Peter McNamara. They decided to start from scratch and after falling as low as #365, he dropped back down to Futures tournaments to build up his ranking, and even more importantly, his confidence. It seems to have worked and he has now won four events since July.

This victory will lift Grigor into the top 200 for the first time in his career. It’s so good to see him finally making progress after looking so lost earlier in the year. I reckon the coaching change was the best thing he could have done. Lundgren of course has great credentials and the two had a very good relationship, but Lundgren was only adding more pressure by constantly comparing him to Federer. Now everything is much more calm, there’s no unnecessary pressure or ridiculous expectations, and Bulgaria’s finest can focus on moving up the ranks and nothing else. Haide!

Posted in Grigor Dimitrov | 3 Comments