Posts Tagged ‘Grigor Dimitrov


Grigor Dimitrov, who is the only teenager in the Top 100, makes his debut against the oldest player in the field, 34-year-old Rainer Schuettler.

This year’s US Men’s Clay Court Championships at the River Oaks Country Club features a solid field led by top seed and World No. 11 Mardy Fish, who is the top American on the ATP World Tour, No. 2 seed and last year’s finalist Sam Querrey, No. 3 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain, No. 4 John Isner, No. 5 Benjamin Becker of Germany, No. 6 Kei Nishikori of Japan, No. 7 Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, and No. 8 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. This is the only ATP World Tour 250 clay court tournament in the United States. On Monday’s schedule, there are four qualifying, three singles main draw and two doubles matches. The first singles match on Stadium features South Americans Ricardo Mello of Brazil and Cuevas. Mello won the previous ATP World Tour meeting last year. In the second match,Grigor Dimitrov, who is the only teenager in the Top 100, plays the oldest player in the field, 34-year-old Rainer Schuettler of Germany.


Roger Federer is concerned by the lack of young talent rising to the top of the men’s game.

The field for the end-of-season Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, starting at London’s O2 Arena on Sunday, contains only one debutant – 25-year-old Tomas Berdych. At 23, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are the youngest players but neither can be called a newcomer, with Murray making his third consecutive appearance and Djokovic his fourth. The pair were both inside the world’s top 100 at the age of 18 and were swiftly followed by Juan Martin Del Potro and Marin Cilic, both of whom have since made it to the top 10. But over the last couple of years the talent stream has dried up and a glance at the top 100 reveals not one teenager – 19-year-old Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov at 114 is the highest placed.

Federer was another player to make the top 100 before his 20th birthday, and he feels the difficulties young players are experiencing reflects the strength in depth and changing nature of the game. The Swiss said: “There’s not a whole lot of promising newcomers. I was asking myself the question, why don’t we have any teenagers in the top 100? I’m not even sure we have many players under 21 or 22 in the top 100. “It’s quite surprising to me because when I was coming up with Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, Andy Roddick, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Tommy Haas, they were all excellent players and in the top 100 as teenagers. “It was a normal thing. Boris Becker won Wimbledon and Michael Chang won the French Open. On the women’s side it was even more extreme. But now they have a similar trend it seems. “Maybe the game has become more physical and more mental and that’s why players today need a bit more time to break through, which can be seen as a good thing but also a bad thing.”


The best of 2010?

Columnist Mark Staniforth dishes out the gongs to those who have impressed most over the course of a topsy-turvy 2010:


Nadal’s hat-trick of grand slam titles left him head and shoulders above the rest – and when the rest includes Roger Federer, that is quite an awesome achievement. Nadal dominated the European clay-court season heading into Roland Garros where he seized revenge over Robin Soderling in dramatic fashion. Wimbledon was a breeze, and by the time he triumphed at Flushing Meadows, Nadal seemed nigh on invincible.


Caroline Wozniacki may have ended the year at number one but her failure to reach a grand slam final spoke volumes for her inability to wrest control of a women’s game minus the injury-stricken Serena Williams. By contrast, Russian Vera Zvonareva reached two. She may have lost both times, but the immensely likeable 26-year-old showed plenty of fighting qualities the women’s game generally still sadly lacks.


Another no-brainer: tennis will never see another match quite like John Isner’s Wimbledon clash with Nicolas Mahut, which lasted 11 hours and five minutes spread over three days, and consisted of 183 games, after the last of which Isner earned victory 6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6 70-68. Straight after the match, both players were presented with crystal bowls to commemorate their achievements.


The returning Justine Henin was involved in some mini-epics at the start of the year but for sheer drama it was hard to beat Sam Stosur’s French Open quarter-final win over world number one Serena Williams. Stosur recovered from match point down at 5-4 in the deciding set and kept her nerve to serve out for an 8-6. Stosur went on to the final, where she lost to Francesca Schiavone.


In many respects it was the year that wasn’t, as none of the likes of Marin Cilic, Ernests Gulbis, John Isner or even Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych quite managed to muscle into top-level contention. Lower down the scale, former junior star Grigor Dimitrov continued to make promising progress, winning three successive summer Challengers and finishing the year ranked 114.


Petra Kvitova’s swashbuckling run to the Wimbledon semi-finals – beating the likes of Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki before pushing Serena Williams in a memorable first set – marked her out as a star of the future. Her post-Wimbledon form was not up to much, but third-round runs at Flushing Meadows and in Beijing suggest the 20-year-old has the stomach to shine on the big occasions.


Dimitrov is looking a lot like the next #1 player after Rafa retires.

Upcoming Bulgarian player, Grigor Dimitrov, is a career-high No. 136 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings this week after winning three successive titles on the ATP Challenger Tour. The 19 year old’s run began in August in Geneva, where he defeated last week’s Bucharest finalist Pablo Andujar, and in the past two weeks he has claimed back-to-back titles in Bangkok.

As a junior he began the 2008 Grand Slam season with a quarterfinal showing at Roland Garros, losing to Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz in three sets. However he went on to win Wimbledon after defeating Henri Kontinen of Finland, 7-5 6-3 in the final. He won the title without dropping a set despite playing with a shoulder injury throughout the tournament. The victory saw him join former junior champions Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg and guaranteed him a wildcard entry into the 2009 Wimbledon men’s draw. His success continued at the US Open, which he won on September 7, defeating American qualifier Devin Britton 6-3 6-4. On his way to the title he also defeated top seed Tsung-hua Yang of Taiwan in the semifinals. After the tournament Dimitrov announced that he was ending his junior career and focusing on improving his ATP ranking. On September 8 he became junior world number one overtaking Tsung-hua Yang.


These two are among the teenagers who are the future of Men’s tennis.

While the spotlight was directed on the big names at the Aegon Championsip at Queens, two first day winners quietly slipped under the radar with significant wins. Grigor Dimitrov’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win didn’t go quite unoticed because he was playing a Brit in the form of Alex Bogdanovic, but had it not been for that he would have moved on without any fanfare.

The second player to win today was the other youngster from Australia Bernard Tomic. He had a more spectacular win over a high ranked player from Italy Andreas Seppi 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

Both Dimitrov and Tomic are teenagers, 19 and 17 respectively, both have impressive junior records and both are destined to become among the next batch of world beaters after Roger and Rafa have retired.

Tomic has grabbed the headlines several times because of his Father/Coach, and because as an Australian, where Tennis used to be the National sport, his every move is reported by the news- hungry press.

Dimitrov, who won both Wimbledon and the US Open as a junior, is coached by Peter Lundgren at the Mouratoglou Academy.

Both are ranked outside of the top 200, and both have no aspirations or expectations of winning this year at Queens, but they might pull off a couple of upsets before they are eliminated.


Watch for Dimitrov to move up the rankings in 2010.

The Bulgarian Tennis Federation expectedly chose Grigor Dimitrov as No 1 Bulgarian tennis player of 2009. In a special press-conference the federation presented the winners. Tsvetana Pironkova is the best female tennis player of the year. Awards were given also the bestprogressingyoung tennis players of theyear – Dimitar Kuzmanov who reached No 1 of the European ranking of boys under 16 and Viktoriya Tomova who is the European champion – girls under 14.

Grigor Dimitrov announced in interviews for several Bulgarian newspapers and sports sites that he is still to participate in a challenger tournament until the end of the year and then will start the year in the qualifications of Australian Open.

Dimitrov was at first coached at Tennis Club Haskovo by his father, Dimitar. Thanks to his guidance the young tennis player won the Orange Bowl U16 boys singles in 2006. In 2007 Grigor Dimitrov and Vasek Pospisil have reached the double finals at US Open, but unfortunately were defeated by Jonathan Eysseric and Jérôme Inzerillo. At Wimbledon 2008 Dimitrov made his way to the final and won the tournament by defeating Henri Kontinen of Finland, 7/5, 6/3. But Wimbledon title was not enough for Grigor. His success at the Grand Slam tournaments continued when he won US Open, defeating Devin Britton 6/3, 6/4. This tournament was the end of Dimitrov’s junior career, as he announced. He also said, that he will be now focusing on improving his ATP ranking. Dimitrov was granted a wildcard to the main draw of the 2009 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam at the begining of the year. He faced Rafael Nadal and pushed the World #1 tennis player to the edge before losing 7-5 3-6 6-2. He was also granted a wildcard to the main draw of the ATP World Tour 250 event Open 13 in Marseille, but he lost in the first round to Gilles Simon of France, 4-6 6-3 7-5.


Monaco thru but Dimitrov is out.


World No. 61 Juan Monaco swiftly put behind him the disappointment of losing two Davis Cup rubbers at the weekend by booking his place in the second round of the Catella Swedish Open. The Argentine ousted his eighth-seeded countryman Maximo Gonzalez 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-1 on Tuesday at the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament in Bastad.

The 25-year-old Monaco twice trailed by a break of serve in the first set before clinching it on a tie-break and rallied from dropping the second set to break serve three times in the deciding set to seal victory after two hours and 18 minutes. The Tandil native is making his fourth appearance in Bastad and reached the quarter-finals on his debut in 2004 (l. to F. Gonzalez).

Argentine qualifier Guillermo Canas dismissed the challenge of Bulgarian wild card Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 7-6(2) to set up a second-round meeting with Swede Andreas Vinciguerra. Former World No. 8 Canas, currently at No. 151 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, is making his fourth appearance in Bastad and was a quarter-finalist in 2002 (l. to Calleri).


….the one to watch at Wimbledon..

dimitrov-001Dimitrov the Bulgarian teenager is being talked of as the next great talent to hit ­tennis. He was the Wimbledon and US Open junior ­champion last year and next week he will play in the Wimbledon main draw for the first time.

Dimitrov’s talent is abundant and obvious. The serve is loose and free flowing; the backhand a glorious shot that is reminiscent of Federer, though ­Lundgren believes that the 18-year-old is better than the Swiss was at the same age. It might seem a huge burden of expectation to carry but for the moment Dimitrov appears like any other teenager, at least off court. He plays pool and table tennis with Lundgren and gets his knuckles rapped when he leaves his wallet in the locker room. The Swede, who worked for a short time with Britain’s Davis Cup squad, is part mentor, part friend, part surrogate father.

“Grigor has got all the strokes,” he said. “He has the serve, the slice, topspin, everything. He just needs to get stronger, that’s all. Above all he has the fire, the will to win.”


The Wimbledon longshots….


Hardly an unknown quantity, but the 2008 Australian Open finalist has been forced to keep a lid on his ambitions due to a series of injuries. Fully fit, he would prove a match for almost anyone on grass, and he has the pedigree: he reached the fourth round as a wild card in 2007.


Again, the gangly Croatian is hardly coming from nowhere, having produced one of the biggest upsets in history when he beat defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the first round in 2003. When his crashing serve and volley tennis is in full flow, he can beat almost anyone.


The reigning boys singles champion could be a star in the making. He won the title last year without dropping a set and despite carrying a shoulder injury. In his first full professional year, he has beaten Czech Tomas Berdych and taken a set off Rafael Nadal in Rotterdam. One to watch.


Tall, hard-hitting US college star Isner caused a sensation when he reached the final of the Legg Mason Classic in 2007. He has established himself inside the top 100 and heads to his favourite surface in fine form, having proven his adaptability by reaching the last eight of the US clay court championships.


Radwanska won the 2005 girls’ singles title at Wimbledon and her clever play has seen her continue to excel on the surface without achieving the major breakthrough many feel she is capable of. Winner at Eastbourne last year, a favourable draw could give Radwanska a chance.


Few in the sport were surprised when the fast-rising Hungarian beat Venus Williams at Roland Garros this year. Although most of her success has come on clay, the talented Szavay reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last year and looks more than capable of a repeat performance.


Remember the then unknown Dokic’s stunning first round win over Martina Hingis in 1999? Dokic also reached the Wimbledon semi-finals before experiencing career meltdown. Now back and, back injuries permitting, capable of causing a few upsets heading towards the second week.


Pavlyuchenkova was the youngest player in the women’s singles draw last year when she reached the third round. Still only 17, she has added Jelena Jankovic and Agnieszka Radwanska to her ever-growing list of scalps this year. Another for the big names to watch out for.


Dimitrov, Nishikori get wild cards….

dimitrovThe first three wild cards into the AEGON Championships at The Queen’s Club in London have been awarded to a two-time runner-up, the current Wimbledon and US Open Boys champion, and a man who Rafael Nadal predicts will be a Top 10 player in the future.

The former finalist is Sebastien Grosjean, the reigning Wimbledon junior champion is the exciting 17-year-old Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, and the man that pushed Nadal all the way in last year’s third round at The Queen’s Club is Kei Nishikori of Japan.

Frenchman Grosjean reached the final in 2003 and 2004 where he was defeated on both occasions by Andy Roddick. In both of those years, the jet-heeled 30-year-old also showed that the tournament at Queen’s is the perfect Wimbledon preparation by reaching the semi-finals at the All England Club. He will be hoping that the AEGON Championships in 2009 is the perfect launch-pad for a successful comeback to professional tennis after undergoing shoulder surgery last December.

Dimitrov is one of the most promising talents in the world and was recently described by coach Peter Lungren, who previously worked with Roger Federer and Marat Safin, as: ‘better than Federer at the same age’. He is currently at a career-high No.372 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, and still the No.2 junior player in the world despite not having played a junior event since winning the US Open last September.

Nishikori, 19, is currently the highest ranked teenager in the world at No.118, but he has been as high as No.56 after winning his first ATP World Tour title last year in Delray Beach. After several more impressive results in 2008, including a run to the last 16 at The Queen’s Club, Nishikori was voted the ATP Newcomer of the Year, becoming the first Asian player ever to win the award. He was beaten 6-4 3-6 6-3 by Nadal in the third round last year. Afterwards, Nadal said: “He is going to be a top 10 player for sure, maybe top five. I am 100 percent sure. He’s a very talented player. He needs to improve a few little things, but he’s going to be very good.”

The three wild cards will join a field that already includes the World No.1 and defending champion Nadal, World No.3 Andy Murray and four-time champions Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick. James Blake, Marat Safin and Marin Cilic have also signed up to appear. The tournament still has two more wild cards to award. These will be announced in due course.

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