Player to Watch: Grigor Dimitrov

Photo by  si.robi, flickr

Photo by si.robi, flickr

Currently residing in Haskovo, the 23-year-old Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov began playing tennis at the age of five. The right-handed tennis player turned pro in 2008—the same year as winning titles at junior Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Dimitrov’s preferred shot is a backhand down the line while grass and hard court are his favorite surfaces. His coach is Roger Rasheed.

Dimitrov is currently ranked No. 12 in the world for singles and 83rd for doubles. His 2014 prize earning thus far exceeds $1 million and is more than $3.11 million for his entire pro career. Dimitrov set records back in 2010 when at the age of 19 he became the youngest player to reach the Top 125 by year-end best, claiming the No. 106 spot.

His career continued to rise in 2011, reaching three ATP World Tour quarterfinals on clay (Munich), grass (Eastbourne) and hard court (Bangkok). His career-high earnings for the year topped $385,000. But it was not until 2012 that Dimitrov broke into the Top 50 rankings. That same year he reached his personal best of winning 24 matches (10 – 11 on hard courts, 6 – 3 on grass, and 8 – 5 on clay).

Taking the title at Stockholm in 2013 earned Dimitrov the distinction of being the first Bulgarian to win an ATP World Tour title in Open Era (starting in 1968 pros could compete in Grand Slams rather than only amateurs). Last year he also beat his personal best by winning 37 matches and taking home more than $1 million in prize money.

So far in 2014, Dimitrov has won two ATP World Titles—defeated Rosol at Bucharest and beat Anderson in Acapulco—and made it to his 14th Grand Slam at the Australia Open. This makes him only the second player to have been born in the 1990s to have won multiple titles. But Dimitrov fell in the first round of the French Open to Ivo Karlovic. However, fans should keep an eye on Dimitrov in 2014 to see whether he can nab that illusive first Grand Slam title.

 

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