Grigor Dimitrov finishes 2017 few feet beneath the top

Photo: BTA

“Grigor Dimitrov has always been a top-class tennis player, but tennis is not only good results scored in the tournaments. One must have enough dedication, practice hard and have the impetus to continue improving his skills and Grigor has all of that”, Dimitrov’s coach Daniel Vallverdu who developed the potential of the Bulgarian athlete and took him to the most successful season of his sports career said.

In fact, nobody doubted Grigor Dimitrov’s huge talent. Bulgaria’s tennis player is popular worldwide with his attractive moves and skills on the tennis court. Grigor Dimitrov had to choose between a number of options before he stared working with Vallverdu in 2016 and Grigor himself admitted that he was not sure what exactly to choose. Dani Vallverdu believes that athletes should be always balanced- on and outside the tennis court, when they take the lead and in the crucial moments of the game. The coach tries to reduce the number of factors leading to loss of concentration to the minimum. Moreover, he also takes care of the friendly relations in the team. The Venezuelan coach managed to make the game of the Bulgarian athlete simpler and helped him make his best tennis season so far. Dimitrov finished 2017 as No 3 in the ATP tennis rankings after Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and won four titles- in Brisbane, Sofia, the Cincinnati Masters and the ATP Final Tour in London. Dimitrov earned 1,500 points in London after winning five victories in five matches. He is the first debutant winning this tournament since 1998. At the final in London Grisho defeated David Goffin (Belgium) in 3 sets (7:5; 4:6 and 6:3). Thus, Grigor collected a total of 5,150 points at the end of this year’s tennis season and placed third in the rankings. Many young and promising tennis players such as Alexander Zverev (4,610 points), Dominic Thiem (4015 points) and Marin Cilic (3,805 points) finished 2017 behind Dimitrov.

Grigor Dimitrov’s tennis season will be also remembered with his participation at the Australian Open. The semifinal between Dimitrov and Nadal was among the five best Grand Slam matches in 2017. The epic match in Melbourne was ranked 3rd in the annual ranking of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Nadal won 6:3; 5:7(5); 6:7(4); 6:4 in a match that lasted for nearly five hours. In the fifth set Dimitrov had two unsuccessful breakpoints and in the next game the World No 1 Nadal managed to make a breakpoint and later won the match. “Grigor was fantastic. The quality of the game today was extremely high. I think that both of us deserved to play in the final. It was an incredible battle”, Rafael Nadal said after the match. According to Dani Vallverdu, however, such defeats such as the one against Nadal in Australia may influence negatively on

Dimitrov’s performance. “Grigor still feels the pain from this defeat, because he was so close to his first Grand Slam final. Although Grigor played his best tennis at that time, he was defeated at the Australian Open semifinals. However, we managed to turn his loss into something positive. It helped him in other big matched during the season, including his performance in London”.

The 2017 season in now over and competition in 2018 will be severe. Many of the top tennis players are expected to make their return on the court after injuries. Grigor Dimitrov will face the serious challenge to keep his current position. This would be a difficult task, but it is all up to Dimitrov and of course his team to repeat this success. We wish Grigor good luck!

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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