STARNBERG, December 17, 2019
In his youth, Grigor Dimitrov was compared to Roger Federer and has since become the most successful Bulgarian tennis player in history. He has won millions of dollars in prize money and generated a huge, global following.
Online sports betting sites and sports fans have been following this player closely in 2019, and huge sums of money have been staked on his games and tournament appearances. But how have these bets fared for those eager punters and what sort of year has Grigor Dimitrov had?
A Slow Start
Grigor Dimitrov began 2019 with a bang, making it to the Last 16 of the Australian Open, where he lost to Frances Tiafoe of the United States. Tiafoe had beaten Kevin Anderson to make it that far and was eventually dismissed by Rafael Nadal.
The Bulgarian had been expected to perform well, with many predicting a comfortable win over the relatively unknown American, but his slip-up was just the first blip of many in his 2019 campaign.
The next few months were spent on the side-lines following a shoulder injury, and when he returned, he struggled to find his feet, with third-round finishes in both the Miami Open and the Barcelona Open.
These mediocre performances saw Grigor Dimitrov’s ranking slip down to 49, the lowest it had been since 2012, when he began to announce himself on the world stage. His misery was compounded during the French Open and then at Wimbledon. Grigor Dimitrov fans had no doubt been holding out hope that these tournaments would see him claw back some respect and regain his strong world ranking, but the opposite was true.
He lost in the second round at the French Open and then fell to a first-round defeat in the UK’s prestigious tennis competition.
As the hard-court season began, Grigor Dimitrov saw his rank slip further. He suffered several more first-round defeats and dropped to number 78 in the world—a far cry from the 20 ranking he had been given prior to his Australian Open Last 16 match against Tiafoe.
Turning it Around
Grigor Dimitrov was unseeded for the US Open draw and sitting on his worst world ranking in years. His career seemed to be in freefall and it was clear that he needed to do something miraculous if he was going to turn it around. But that’s exactly what he did.
The resilient star fought hard to reach the quarter-final, winning two games in straight-sets and reasserting his authority on the world stage. He faced Roger Feder in the quarter-final—
the legendary Swiss player he had been compared to many times in his youth. Few expected him to win as he had yet to beat Federer in his long career but win he did.
Grigor Dimitrov got the better of the Swiss during a gruelling 5-set match and while he was beaten by Medvedev in the semi-finals, this US Open performance saw him climb 53 places in the rankings and regain his status as one of the best players in Europe.
Following another semi-final place at the Paris Masters, Grigor Dimitrov proved that his US Open performance wasn’t just a one-off and as we head towards 2020 and another year of Grand Slam tournaments, he will be confident he can repeat those big performances.
If he does, and if he is a little more consistent with other tournaments, then we could see Grigor Dimitrov climb the rankings even further and earn his place amongst the true elite of this game, including the stylish Swiss player that so many compared him to all those years ago