Grigor Dimitrov

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This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs; the patronymic is Dimitrov and the family name is Dimitrov.
Grigor Dimitrov
Григор Димитров
Grigor Dimitrov, The Boodles, Stoke Park, 2013.jpg
Country (sports)  Bulgaria
Residence Monte Carlo, Monaco
Born (1991-05-16) 16 May 1991 (age 24)
Haskovo, Bulgaria
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Turned pro 2008
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Coach(es) Peter Lundgren (2009–2010)
Peter McNamara (2010–2011)
Patrick Mouratoglou (2012)
Roger Rasheed (2013–2015)
Prize money $5,538,706
Singles
Career record 158–107 (59.62% in Grand Slam, ATP Tour and Davis Cup)
Career titles 4
Highest ranking No. 8 (4 August 2014)
Current ranking No. 17 (31 August 2015)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open QF (2014)
French Open 3R (2013)
Wimbledon SF (2014)
US Open 4R (2014)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games 2R (2012)
Doubles
Career record 31–39 (44.29% in Grand Slam, ATP Tour and Davis Cup)
Career titles 0
Highest ranking No. 66 (26 August 2013)
Current ranking No. 213 (20 July 2015)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 3R (2013)
French Open 2R (2013)
Wimbledon 2R (2011, 2013)
US Open 1R (2011)
Last updated on: July 20, 2015.

Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgarian: Григор Димитров Димитров pronounced [ˈgrigɔr ˈdimitrɔf]; born 16 May 1991) is a Bulgarian professional tennis player. His career-high ATP singles ranking is world No. 8, which he achieved in August 2014, shortly after reaching the semifinals of Wimbledon.

Dimitrov is the most successful Bulgarian male tennis player, both in terms of ranking reached—as of 2015 he was the only Bulgarian tennis player ever to be ranked inside the top 10 ATP Singles—and prize money won, being the only Bulgarian player to reach US$1m[2] and later $5m.[3]

Dimitrov is also the first (and only) Bulgarian male tennis player to win an ATP title in singles (after he won in October 2013 at Stockholm) and reach a final in doubles (in 2011) as well as the only Bulgarian male player to reach the third round or better at a Grand Slam tournament. He has won 4 ATP singles titles to date.[4] Prior to his professional career, Dimitrov enjoyed a successful junior career, in which he held the world No. 1 ranking and won the Boys' Singles titles at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships and the 2008 US Open.

Early life[edit]

Grigor was born in Haskovo, Bulgaria as the only child of father Dimitar, a tennis coach, and mother Maria, a sports teacher and former volleyball player in 1991.[5] He first held a tennis racket, given to him by his mother, at the age of three, and when he was five he began to play daily.[5] In his early years his father served as his coach, but after the young Bulgarian proved his talent in the tournaments for juniors, he made it clear that he would have to develop in other conditions. At the age of 16, Dimitrov turned professional. In 2007, Dimitrov joined the academy "Sanchez-Casal", where he was further trained under the leadership of Emilio Sánchez and Pato Álvarez. A year later, Dimitrov moved to Paris, France, where he joined Patrick Mouratoglou's Tennis Academy and spent the next four seasons there.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Dimitrov was rumored to be dating Russian Maria Sharapova throughout the second half of 2012, but the two only confirmed their relationship after the 2013 Madrid Open, where the Bulgarian managed his first win against a world No. 1, beating his friend Novak Djokovic.[6][7] Sharapova and Dimitrov separated in July 2015.

In addition to his native Bulgarian, he speaks English and says his main interests are sports, cars, computers and watches.[5] He has been given the nickname "Baby Fed" for his stylish play and on-court talent being similar to Roger Federer.[8]

Junior career[edit]

His first major junior cup was when, at age 14, he claimed the U14 European title.[citation needed] In 2006 he won the Orange Bowl U16 boys singles[9] and was later named the Eddie Herr International 2007 Rising Star.[10]

In 2007, Dimitrov was the finalist at the Orange Bowl U18 boys singles, losing to Ričardas Berankis of Lithuania. Alongside Vasek Pospisil, he reached the 2007 US Open doubles final, falling to Jonathan Eysseric and Jérôme Inzerillo.

Grigor Dimitrov as Junior Wimbledon champion for 2008

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 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 in two sets.[11] 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 No. 1 overtaking Tsung-hua Yang.[12] He closed at No. 3 of the junior ranking that year.

Dimitrov compiled a singles win/loss record of 66–25 as a junior (and 42–20 in doubles).

Junior Grand Slam tournament finals: 3 (2–1)[edit]

Singles: 2 (2 titles)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Opponent in final Score in final
Winner 1. 6 July 2008 Wimbledon Grass Finland Henri Kontinen 7–5, 6–3
Winner 2. 8 September 2008 US Open Hard United States Devin Britton 6–4, 6–3

Doubles: 1 (1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Partner Opponents in final Score in final
Runner-up 1. 9 September 2007 US Open Hard Canada Vasek Pospisil France Jonathan Eysseric
France Jérôme Inzerillo
2–6, 4–6

Professional career[edit]

2008[edit]

In 2008, Dimitrov began frequent participation in men's events. His first title came on clay at a futures tournament in Barcelona. His first ATP level match was at the Ordina Open where he lost to Igor Andreev in straight sets. After his junior US Open title he won back to back futures tournaments in Madrid on hard court and rose 300 places to career high ranking of 477. The achievement attracted enough attention to earn him a wildcard into the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open qualifying draw where he lost to then No. 64 Florent Serra of France. After being granted another wildcard to the Davidoff Swiss Indoors qualifying draw and defeated No. 122 Jiří Vaněk in three sets in the first round for his first ATP level win, before losing to Julian Reister.

2009[edit]

In 2009, he was granted a wildcard to the main draw of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament and scored an upset over then world No. 23 Tomáš Berdych, earning his first ATP main draw win. In the second round he faced world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and lost in three sets. He was granted a wildcard to the main draw of the Open 13, but lost to world No. 8 Gilles Simon in the first round, despite serving for the match at ninth game of the third set. He then completed two victories in the Davis Cup against Hungary. He lost to Danai Udomchoke in straight sets in the second round of the SAT Bangkok Open. Four first round exits in Challengers followed. He then reached the quarter finals after qualifying of two successive challengers at the Trofeo Paolo Corazzi and Aegon Trophy. He reached the 2nd round of the Aegon Championships after defeating Iván Navarro, but lost in two tiebreaks to Gilles Simon. In Wimbledon where he got a wildcard as the 2008 Juniors Champion he won the first set of his first round match against Igor Kunitsyn but then suffered a knee injury. Despite this he attempted to continue but lost the following 10 games before he retired.

He was granted a wildcard to the main draw of the Catella Swedish Open but lost in the first round to Guillermo Cañas. He reached the quarterfinals of the challenger Open Castilla y León losing out in three sets to Marcel Granollers. He then lost in the second round to Martin Fischer in straight sets at the American Express – TED Open. As the 2008 winner of the US Open Boys Tournament he was granted a wildcard for the US Open Qualification Tournament. He won his first round match against Tobias Kamke but in the second round lost to the number 1 seed of the qualification Thomaz Bellucci. Dimitrov won his first doubles challenger title at the ATP Challenger Trophy with Teymuraz Gabashvili beating Jan Minář and Lukáš Rosol. He then received a wildcard at the If Stockholm Open but lost in the first round to Jarkko Nieminen.

2010[edit]

Dimitrov started the season with a quarterfinal finish at a challenger event of Internationaux de Nouvelle-Calédonie. He then attempted to qualify for the Australian Open, but lost in the first round to Robert Kendrick in three sets.

Grigor Dimitrov in 2010

He bounced back a week later by qualifying at the Honolulu Challenger, but lost to Donald Young in the second round. Dimitrov then participated for Bulgaria in the Davis Cup, claiming all 3 wins in a 3–2 victory over Monaco. Following the Davis Cup tie, Grigor had a number of early losses in various challenger tournaments. Dimitrov won his first ATP tour match of the year on the grass courts of the Aegon Championships in London. He beat Alex Bogdanovic before losing to world No. 31 Feliciano López in the second round. He then had a great run in the Marburg Open, a challenger event, where he came through qualifying to reach the semi-finals where he lost out to Simone Vagnozzi. Dimitrov again had a number of disappointing losses in challenger events and another Davis Cup tie. Dimitrov then participated in four futures tournaments, posting impressive results, including two tournament victories in Germany, and another in Spain. Dimitrov gained enough points to enter the world's top 250 for the first time in his career.

His recent good form translated to the Challenger Tour, capturing three consecutive titles, the first coming at the IPP Trophy, defeating Pablo Andújar in three sets. And back to back titles at the hang-Sat Bangkok Open, where he beat former top 20 player Dmitry Tursunov in the quarterfinals and Konstantin Kravchuk in the final, and at the Chang-Sat Bangkok Open 2 defeating Alexander Kudryavtsev.[13][14] He made an early exit in his first challenger after a two-week break but bounced back a week later, beating top 100 player Lukáš Lacko and world number 32 Michaël Llodra on the way to the final of the Open d'Orléans. In the final Grigor lost to Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in a third set tiebreak. After two disappointing challenger tournaments in Germany, in which Dimitrov suffered first round exits, he reached the semifinals of IPP Open, his last tournament of the year. There he played Lithuanian youngster Ričardas Berankis. After the loss of a tight first set in a tiebreak, Dimitrov dominated the second set but was dominated in turn by Berankis in a third set loss. In an off-court incident after the match, Dimitrov pushed the chair umpire with both hands and swore at him because he felt he was treated unfairly after some close calls in the first set tiebreak. Dimitrov was fined €2,000, and the ATP will investigate this incident to see if further disciplinary action is warranted. By reaching the semifinals in Helsinki, Dimitrov reached his best ever ATP world ranking (106).

2011[edit]

Dimitrov's first tournament of the year was the Australian Open, where he advanced through the qualifying rounds with the loss of just one set. He defeated world number 38 Andrey Golubev in the first round to advance for the first time to the second round of a Grand Slam tournament where he lost to 19th seed Stanislas Wawrinka. Nonetheless, Dimitrov achieved his top ever ATP ranking, ending January at 85th spot. Thus, he became the top ranked Bulgarian male tennis player of all time. Dimitrov then qualified for the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, but lost to 8th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round in two sets.[15] He then lost in the first rounds of the Open 13 and Dubai Tennis Championships, to Dmitry Tursunov and Richard Gasquet, respectively. Dimitrov then won the Challenger DCNS de Cherbourg defeating the defending champion and number two seed Nicolas Mahut in the final. He then qualified for the Sony Ericsson Open losing to Sergiy Stakhovsky. Dimitrov became the first Bulgarian man ever to be seeded at an ATP World Tour tournament being seeded 8 at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships, but lost in the second round to Teymuraz Gabashvili. At the Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell, he lost in the first round to Juan Mónaco. He reached his first quarterfinals in an ATP tournamentat the BMW Open after defeating Marcos Baghdatis, but lost to Florian Mayer in three sets. Dimitrov lost in the first round of the French Open against Jérémy Chardy.

Dimitrov then advanced to his second ATP quarterfinals at the Aegon International after he defeated sixth seeded Kevin Anderson in the 2nd round, but lost in the 3rd round to 3rd seed Janko Tipsarević. He also competed in the doubles with Andreas Seppi and became the first Bulgarian man ever to reach a doubles final at an ATP tournament, they lost to Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram. At Wimbledon, he lost a memorable second round match to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in a tight four setter. He then reached the second rounds of the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships and Farmers Classic, losing to Americans Denis Kudla and Alex Bogomolov, Jr.. At the Atlanta Tennis Championships, he fell to Rajeev Ram in the first round. At the Western & Southern Open Dimitrov defeated Marsel İlhan in the first round, but lost to world No. 6 David Ferrer in the second round in three sets.[16] He also reached the third round of the Winston-Salem Open being defeated by Alexandr Dolgopolov in a third set tie-break. At the US Open Dimitrov was defeated by Gaël Monfils in the first round.[17] At the Open de Moselle, Dimitrov was beaten in 53 minutes by qualifier Igor Sijsling in the first round.[18] After that, in the Thailand Open, Dimitrov beat Ivan Dodig and Simone Bolelli, before falling to Andy Murray in the quarter-finals in two sets.

In his next tournament, at the China Open) he lost once again to No. 1 seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round. At Shanghai Rolex Masters Dimitrov beat Marsel İlhan in the first round but was defeated by Andy Roddick in the second round in two tight sets.[19] At the If Stockholm Open Dimitrov beat Ryan Sweeting and Juan Ignacio Chela before losing to Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals.[20] He ended the year ranked No. 76.

2012[edit]

Dimitrov started his 2012 season by competing at the Hopman Cup alongside Tsvetana Pironkova. Their team was defeated by the Czech Republic 1–2, after they won a match in mixed doubles but lost their singles matches. Then, their team defeated Denmark 2–1.[21] Against USA, Dimitrov trounced Mardy Fish in straight sets in his first win (although not official ATP win) against a Top 10 player. At the Australian Open Dimitrov defeated Jérémy Chardy to reach the second round but then he lost in five sets to Nicolás Almagro. Dimitrov competed in the 2012 SAP Open but lost in the first round to Kevin Anderson, despite winning the first set easily, lost the next two in tie-breaks.[22]

At the BNP Paribas Open Dimitrov defeated Ivan Dodig in the first round, but lost to David Ferrer in the second round. Dimitrov's next tournament was the Sony Ericsson Open, where he reached the fourth round after defeating Mikhail Kukushkin, Juan Ignacio Chela, and upsetting world No. 7 Tomáš Berdych, his first win over a top 10 player, before losing to Janko Tipsarević.[23][24] Dimitrov entered the challenger event Strabag Prague Open as the 5th seeded player. In the first round he defeated Jan Hájek and then lost to Aljaž Bedene in the second. At the French Open, Dimitrov was a set and a break up against 17th seed Gasquet before suffering an injury, he went on to lose the set, the momentum and eventually the match.

Grigor Dimitrov at the 2012 US Open

Dimitrov's next tournament was the Aegon Championships. He beat Bobby Reynolds, Gilles Müller and Nicolas Mahut and then reached his first ATP semifinal by beating the number 9 seed, Kevin Anderson by coming back from a set down. Dimitrov became the first ever Bulgarian male tennis player to reach an ATP semifinal.[25] In his first ATP semifinal Dimitrov lost to 10th seeded David Nalbandian in straight sets.[26] This tournament helped him become #65 in the rankings.

At the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, Dimitrov faced the #32 seed, Kevin Anderson in the first round. Dimitrov won in a very close four sets. In the second round, he faced the Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, where Dimitrov retired due to an injury. His next tournament was Swedish Open. Seeded 6th, he eliminated Rogério Dutra da Silva, Frederico Gil, and third seed Albert Ramos all in straight sets to reach a second ATP semifinal in his career. In the semifinal, he lost to the #1 seed and eventual champion David Ferrer in straight sets. Dimitrov then competed in the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad. He defeated sixth seed Julien Benneteau, Dustin Brown, and Łukasz Kubot. In his third career semifinal, he lost again – this time to the Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in two tough tiebreaks. On the grass of Wimbledon, Dimitrov represented his country for the first time in the Olympics. In the first round, he defeated Pole Łukasz Kubot again in two tight sets, two weeks after he had beaten him in the Swiss Open quarterfinal. He fell in the second round to the 12th seed, Gilles Simon – his 4th loss against Simon (whom he has never beaten).

On hard courts, Dimitrov has failed to qualify for Rogers Cup and Western & Southern Open. In both Master tournaments, he lost in the first round of the qualifying round to Swiss Marco Chiudinelli and American Rajeev Ram respectively. Dimitrov suffered a first lost at the final slam of the year, the US Open to Frenchman Benoît Paire in four sets. He ended his drought at the PTT Thailand Open, reaching the second round before losing to Richard Gasquet in three tight sets. He then qualified for the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, but fell to Argentinian Juan Mónaco in straight sets.

At the Masters event of Shanghai Rolex Masters, he defeated Pablo Andújar before losing to world No. 2 Novak Djokovic. At the Swiss Indoors Basel Dimitrov reached the quarterfinals, defeating Viktor Troicki in straight sets and Julien Benneteau in three tie-break sets, before losing to Paul-Henri Mathieu in two tie-break sets. His next tournament was the BNP Paribas Masters, after receiving an entry from the qualifying draw. He beat Jürgen Melzer before his 2012 campaign ended at the hands of Juan Mónaco.[27] Dimitrov ended 2012 ranked world No. 48 in singles.

2013: First ATP title[edit]

Dimitrov began his 2013 season by competing at the Brisbane International. He defeated Brian Baker, world No. 13 Milos Raonic, Jürgen Melzer, and Marcos Baghdatis to reach his first ATP singles final, thus becoming the first Bulgarian player to reach an ATP final.[28][29][30] He lost to world No. 3 and defending champion Andy Murray in straight sets, despite being a break up in both sets.[31] Dimitrov paired Kei Nishikori in the doubles and reached the semifinals, but withdrew due to Nishikori's injury. This performance also meant that Dimitrov surpassed $1 million earned in prize money,[32] a feat which no other male Bulgarian tennis player has accomplished. In his next event, the Apia International, Dimitrov suffered a first-round straight-set loss to Italian Fabio Fognini.[33]

At the 2013 Australian Open, Dimitrov suffered a first-round straight-set defeat by Julien Benneteau.[34] He also competed in the men's doubles event with Marcos Baghdatis. The pair defeated fourth seeds Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecău in the second round,[35] before losing to Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah Maksoud in the third round in two close tie-break sets.[36] Despite losing in the first round, Dimitrov became the first male Bulgarian player to rank inside the top 40 after the event.[37] Dimitrov then competed for Bulgaria in the Davis Cup against Finland, and won both his singles matches against Juho Paukku and Micke Kontinen, but lost in five sets in doubles (with partner Dimitar Kuzmanov) against Henri Kontinen and Harri Heliövaara. Finland ended up winning the tie 3–2.

At the PBZ Zagreb Indoors, Dimitrov lost in the first round to Ivo Karlović in two tie-breaks.[38] At the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, Dimitrov beat Bernard Tomic and Nikolai Davydenko, and Marcos Baghdatis in three sets.[39][40][41] In the semifinals Dimitrov lost against world No. 7 and eventual champion Juan Martín del Potro in straight sets.[42] At the BNP Paribas Open, Dimitrov became the first Bulgarian male tennis player to be seeded in a Masters 1000 event.[43] In singles, he beat Matthew Ebden in two sets, but lost to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round.[44] In doubles he partnered with Frederik Nielsen; they lost to Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the second round.[45] At the Sony Open Tennis, Dimitrov beat Simone Bolelli, but lost to second seed Andy Murray in straight sets in the following round.[46] In doubles with partner Frederik Nielsen, they reached semi-finals losing in straight sets against the eighth seeds, Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.[47]

Dimitrov at the 2013 Monte Carlo Rolex Masters

Dimitrov's next tournament was the clay-court Monte-Carlo Masters, where he reached the semifinals beating Xavier Malisse, eighth seed Janko Tipsarević, and Florian Mayer, all in straight sets, but lost in three sets to eight-time defending champion and third seed Rafael Nadal.[48] This good run in Monte Carlo meant Dimitrov entered the top 30 in the ATP rankings for the first time, at No. 28. His next event was Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell, seeded 14th, he received a bye, but lost in the second round, despite leading 5–2 in the first set, he lost in straight sets to in-form Tommy Robredo,[49]

At the Mutua Madrid Open, following a victory over fellow 21-year-old Javier Martí, Dimitrov recorded the biggest win of his career, defeating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a three set match, in just over three hours. The two had met twice before, with Djokovic taking both encounters. In the 3rd round, despite winning the first set, he lost in 3 sets to 15th seed Stanislas Wawrinka.[50] Dimitrov's next event was at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. In what was his 4th victory over the Cypriot out of 5 matches, he beat Marcos Baghdatis in straight sets in the 1st round, with one break of serve deciding both sets. In the 2nd round he lost in straight sets against 9th seed and world No. 9 Richard Gasquet – his 4th loss against the Frenchman out of 4 matches.[51]

At the Roland Garros Dimitrov was seeded 26th, thus becoming the first ever Bulgarian male tennis player to be seeded at a Grand Slam tournament.[52] He beat Alejandro Falla in the first round, after the Colombian retired trailing one set to love and one game down in the 2nd set, citing an elbow problem.[53] Dimitrov eliminated wildcard world No. 324 Lucas Pouille in straight sets in the second round, thus becoming the first ever Bulgarian male tennis player to reach the 3rd round of a Grand Slam.[54] He lost in straight sets against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round.[55] Dimitrov also played in the doubles with partner Frederik Nielsen losing in straight sets to 7th seeded Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in the second round.

Dimitrov at Wimbledon 2013

In the grass season, Dimitrov played the Aegon Championships, where he was seeded 10th. He faced Dudi Sela in the 1st round, he came back from a set down and won the third set in a tie-break, but lost to 4-time champion Lleyton Hewitt in the 2nd round in straight sets. He then played the Boodles Challenge, an exhibition event, he lost to Janko Tipsarević and Novak Djokovic on a match tie-break, but defeated Jerzy Janowicz in straight sets.[56] At the Wimbledon Championships Dimitrov eliminated Simone Bolelli in straight sets and then lost in the second round to world No. 55 Grega Žemlja 11–9 in the fifth set.[57]

At Swedish Open Dimitrov reached semifinals for his second consecutive year. He eliminated Elias Ymer and Filippo Volandri in three sets, and upset world No. 20 Juan Mónaco in the quarterfinals, in straight sets.[58] In the semifinals he lost to Fernando Verdasco, in an epic 3 set battle.[59] He then started his US Open Series campaign at the Citi Open, Dimitrov received a bye and defeated Xavier Malisse and Sam Querrey in straight sets.[60][61] In the quarterfinals Dimitrov lost in two tiebreak sets to the German veteran Tommy Haas.[62] At the Rogers Cup, he fell in the first round the Spaniard Marcel Granollers in straight sets, but rebounded at the Western & Southern Open, defeating world No. 15 Nicolás Almagro and Brian Baker, before losing to Rafael Nadal in three sets in the third round. The Bulgarian then suffered three consecutive first round exits at the US Open to João Sousa in five sets, the China Open to Roberto Bautista-Agut in straight set, and the Shanghai Rolex Masters to Kei Nishikori in straight sets as well.

At the If Stockholm Open Dimitrov won his first ATP title by defeating top seed David Ferrer in the final, coming back from a set down, becoming the first ever male Bulgarian player in the Open era to win such a title. This win also meant Dimitrov reached a career-best №22 in the world. He followed it up with a quarterfinal showing at the Swiss Indoors defeating Radek Štěpánek and Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets, before losing to childhood idol Roger Federer in two tight sets. He played his final event of the year at the BNP Paribas Masters, where he beat Michaël Llodra and Fabio Fognini, both in three sets, but then lost to Juan Martín del Potro in the 3rd round, despite winning the first set. Dimitrov finished the year ranked 23rd in singles and 68th in doubles.

On December 16, 2013, Dimitrov received the second most votes for the Bulgarian Sportsperson of the Year award, earning 1331 points and finishing just behind wrestler Ivo Angelov.[63]

2014: Three titles on three different surfaces and first Grand Slam semi-final[edit]

Dimitrov started the 2014 season ranked 23rd. His first event was the Brisbane International, where he took part in the last event too and reached his first final at that time. He was now seeded 5th. However, now he was unable to repeat that good performance, winning in the first round in 2 sets against Robin Haase in under one hour, but then losing against Marin Cilic in 2 sets,[64] losing both sets to five games with a break of his serve in the last game deciding both sets. He also competed in the doubles with partner Jeremy Chardy and won in the 1st round against Brits Fleming and Hutchins[65] (winning the deciding champion tiebreak), but then lost in the second round against Federer and Mahut[66] in a match which featured three tiebreaks, with a champion tiebreak again deciding the match. Dimitrov then played at the exhibition tournament in Kooyong, Australia, an event which featured top players Richard Gasquet, Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych. However he failed to take a single victory (losing in straight sets to Kei Nishikori[67] and Fernando Verdasco[68]), and ultimately pulled out prior to the seventh place playoff.

Seeded 22nd at the 2014 Australian Open, Dimitrov had his best run at a Grand Slam event, defeating Bradley Klahn,[69] Lu Yen-hsun,[70] eleventh seed Milos Raonic and Roberto Bautista Agut in succession, leading him to his first ever major quarterfinal, where he lost to top seed and world number 1 Rafael Nadal in four sets[71] after winning the first and also having three set points to win the third. As a result of this career-best run at a Grand Slam tournament, Dimitrov entered the world's top 20 for the first time (at No. 19),[72] becoming the first ever Bulgarian male tennis player to do so.

Next, in February, he played at the Rotterdam indoor event, where he was seeded 8th. Dimitrov beat world No. 28 Dmitry Tursunov in the first round 2:1 sets. However, in what was the first match between the two, Dimitrov then lost to world No. 24 Ernests Gulbis 2:0 sets.[73]

Dimitrov with the trophy at the Acapulco event

Dimitrov played in the Acapulco hard court event, where he was seeded 4th. In what was the first match between them, Dimitrov beat world No. 71 Marinko Matosevic in straight sets in the 1st round, then beat Marcos Baghdatis in the second, also in straight sets. In the third round Dimitrov beat 7th seed and world No. 18 Ernests Gulbis by two sets to one in a match lasting over two and a half hours. In the semifinals Dimitrov beat the 2nd seed and world No. 7 Andy Murray for the first time in another long match that lasted almost three hours – losing the first set then overcoming the Brit in two tiebreaks, thus reaching his third ATP final, where he defeated Kevin Anderson by two sets to one (winning the first and third sets on a tiebreak). The victory was Dimitrov's first win in an ATP 500 level tournament[74] and with it he reached his highest ever ATP rank – No. 16.

Following his win in Acapulco, Dimitrov played at Indian Wells ATP 1000 event, where he was seeded 15th and received a bye into the 2nd round. He subsequently beat Robin Haase in straight sets, but then lost in the 3rd round 2:1 sets to world No. 22 Gulbis, who went on to reach the quarterfinal.

Dimitrov then played in Miami, where he was again seeded 15th and had a bye in the 1st round. He beat Albert Montañés 2:1 sets (losing the 2nd set on a tiebreak) in round 2. In the 3rd round, in what was his 2nd loss against the Japanese out of two matches between them, he lost in a tight two sets to 20th seed Kei Nishikori, who went on to reach the semifinals. After Miami, Dimitrov reached a new career-high ranking of No. 15.

Next, in April, he played for the Bulgarian Davis Cup team in the Europe Group II playoffs between Greece and Bulgaria. In the opening match of the tie, he beat No. 690 teenager Markos Kalovelonis 3:0 sets, losing just six games. He then teamed up with No. 344 Dimitar Kutrovsky, who previously brought a 2nd win for Bulgaria, and they beat the Greek team of Alexandros Jakupovic and Markos Kalovelonis 3:0 sets, thus bringing the tie to a crucial 3:0 lead, meaning Bulgaria keeps their Europe Group II position for 2015 and Greece gets relegated to Europe Group III.

Just before Monte Carlo, Dimitrov reached a new career-high ranking of No. 14.[75] At the Monte-Carlo Masters clay court event, he was seeded 12th. Dimitrov beat in-form No. 32 Marcel Granollers 2:1 sets in the 1st round, then another Spaniard – qualifier Albert Ramos, ranked just outside the top-100, also 2:1 sets. However, in what was his 4th loss out of 5 matches between them, Dimitrov lost 2:0 sets to 6th seed David Ferrer in round 3.

He then played in the Bucharest clay court event, where he was given a wildcard and was the top seed and had a bye in the 1st round. In what was the first meeting between the two, in round 2 Dimitrov beat No. 79 Jiří Veselý 2:0 sets. He beat Sergiy Stakhovsky 2:0 sets in round 3, then beat 3rd seed No. 24 Gaël Monfils in the semifinals after leading in the 1st set when Monfils retired,[76] thus reaching his 4th ATP final. In the final Dimitrov defeated Lukáš Rosol 2:0 sets, winning the first on a tie-break, then winning the 2nd set with the loss of just one game to win his third ATP title and first one on clay.[77]

Next, in May, he played in the Madrid Open clay court event, where he was seeded 12th. Dimitrov beat local wildcard Pablo Carreño Busta 2:0 sets in the 1st round,[78] then in the 2nd round another wildcard – No. 164 Marius Copil – 2:1 sets, coming back from a set down, winning the deciding set on a tie-break. However, in what was his first loss against the Czech out of 3 matches between them, in round 3 he lost 2:1 sets to 6th seed No. 6 Tomáš Berdych, after winning the 1st set.

Dimitrov then played at the Italian Open, where he was again seeded 12th. He beat No. 47 Édouard Roger-Vasselin 2:1 sets, No. 52 Ivo Karlović 2:0 sets, then 6th seed Tomáš Berdych 2:1 for a 3rd victory against the Czech out of 4 matches between them, then 15th seed Tommy Haas in the quarterfinals after the German retired while 1:0 sets down. In what was the 5th match between them and the first match that Dimitrov was unable to win a set in, he lost 2:0 sets to 1st seed Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. This reaching of the Rome semifinal was Dimitrov's best ATP Masters performance. He also successfully played in the Rome doubles with partner Lukáš Rosol and they beat unseeded world No. 4 Colombian pair Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah Maksoud in the 1st round 2:0 sets, winning both sets on a tie-break. In the 2nd and 3rd rounds, they beat 2nd seeded Austrian-Brazilian duo of Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares then unseeded Marin Čilić and Santiago González, both 2:1 sets. They lost 2:0 sets to undeeded Robin Haase and Feliciano López in the semifinals. This performance meant Dimitrov reached a new career-best singles ranking of 12th,[79] and also moved 58 places up the doubles rankings, to No. 84.[79]

He then played at Roland Garros, where he was seeded 11th. In round 1 he lost 3:0 sets to big-serving No. 37 Ivo Karlović, whom he recently beat in Rome.

In June 2014, Dimitrov played at the Queens grass court event, where he was seeded 4th and had a bye into round 2. He beat local No. 168 James Ward in round 2, then No. 53 Édouard Roger-Vasselin in the third round, both 2–0 sets. Dimitrov was due to play 8th seed Alexandr Dolgopolov in the quarterfinals, but received a walkover when the Ukrainian retired before the match, citing a thigh injury. Dimitrov then faced 1st seed No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka in the semifinals, and won in straight sets. Dimitrov claimed his first title in a grass court against Feliciano López in three sets, being a set behind and saving a match point. It was the event's first time in which the final was decided with three tiebreakers, as well as being the longest ever Queens final. Dimitrov also playеd in the Queens doubles event, with partner world No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka (ranked outside the top 150 in the ATP doubles rankings), and in round 1 they beat local brother wildcard duo of Ken and Neal Skupski in straight sets, but then lost in a tight two-setter to third-seeded Canadian-Serbian veteran duo of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjić in the 2nd round.

Next, Dimitrov played at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, where he was seeded 11th. In rounds 1 and 2 he beat two qualifiers — No. 150 Ryan Harrison and No. 236 Luke Saville, both in 3 sets. In round 3, in what was his second victory against the Ukrainian out of three matches, he beat 21st seed Alexandr Dolgopolov in a five-set match, coming back from 2–1 sets down. Dimitrov followed that up with a straight sets victory over No. 64 Leonardo Mayer in round 4. In the quarterfinals, in what was his second victory against the Brit out of five matches, he beat defending Wimbledon champion and third seed Andy Murray 3–0 sets. This win meant Dimitrov reached his first Grand Slam semifinal, becoming the first male Bulgarian player to reach that stage. He was beaten in four sets by first seed No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who went on to win the tournament. This good performance also meant Dimitrov entered the top-10 ATP rankings for the first time – at No. 9 – becoming the first ever Bulgarian male tennis player to do so.[80]

Next, in the end of July, Dimitrov was due to play at the Washington Open hard court event, where he was seeded 3rd, but had to withdraw due to flu and sinus problems. In August, he played at the Canadian Open Masters, where he was seeded 7th and had a bye into the 2nd round. In the 2nd and 3rd rounds Dimitrov beat Donald Young and 17th seed Tommy Robredo, both 2:1 sets. Then in the 1/4-finals, in what was his 5th victory against the South-African out of 6 matches between them, he beat No.21 Kevin Anderson 2:1 sets, coming back from a set down and winning the deciding set on a tiebreak. In the 1/2-finals, he lost to 13th seed and eventual champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, whom he trails 4:0 in their head-to-head.

Next, Dimitrov played at the Cincinnati Masters. He was seeded 7th again and had a bye into the 2nd round, where he lost to Jerzy Janowicz. At the 2014 US Open, Dimitrov was seeded 7th. After Dimitrov defeated Ryan Harrison in the first round, Dudi Sela in the second, and David Goffin in the third, he lost to 20th seed Gael Monfils in the round of 16 in three close sets. Dimitrov dropped 10th in the tennis rankings after Kei Nishikori defeated Djokovic and made it to the final, which was won by Marin Cilic.

Along with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, Dimitrov competed in the annual September China Open tournament in Beijing. After defeating Fernando Verdasco and Pablo Andujar, Dimitrov lost to world No 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Dimitrov's next tournament was the Shanghai Rolex Masters, where he was seeded 10th. After defeating Denis Istomin in the first round, Dimitrov lost to the unseeded Julien Benneteau in the second round.

Dimitrov began the defence of his ATP maiden title in Stockholm, winning his second- and third-round matches with Teymuraz Gabashvili and Jack Sock.[81] He beat Bernard Tomic in the semifinals, reaching his sixth career ATP World Tour singles final. Dimitrov lost the final to Tomas Berdych in three sets.[82]

In Basel, Dimitrov beat teenager Alexander Zverev and Vasek Pospisil in first and second rounds, before losing to No 1-seeded and eventual champion Roger Federer at the quarterfinals for a second year in a row. At the Paris Masters, Dimitrov beat Pablo Cuevas in the second round, but then lost to Andy Murray in the third. This was his last tournament for the year. Dimitrov had an opportunity to qualify for the 2014 ATP World Tour Finals, but he finished 11th. On 22 December 2014, Dimitrov was chosen as the Bulgarian Sportsperson of the Year (earning 1190 points), becoming the first tennis player to win the award.[83]

2015: Struggles with form and split with coach[edit]

Dimitrov started the year ranked No.11. In the beginning of January, he began his season at the Brisbane outdoor hard court event, where he was seeded 4th and received a bye into the second round. There Dimitrov beat Jérémy Chardy, coming back from a set down and winning the deciding set on a tiebreak. In the quarterfinals, he beat Martin Kližan in straight sets, but then lost to world No. 2 and eventual champion Roger Federer at the semifinals in less than an hour. Dimitrov also played in the doubles event, paired with the Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis, with whom he reached the semifinals.

At the 2015 Australian Open, Dimitrov was seeded 10th. In the first round he overcame Dustin Brown in just 69 minutes, then in the second round he beat Lukáš Lacko in four sets and Marcos Baghdatis in five sets in the third round. Dimitrov lost to 6th seed and eventual runner-up Andy Murray in the fourth round in four sets. In February, Dimitrov participated in the Rotterdam Open indoor hard court event, where he was seeded 5th. In the 1st round he beat the qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu 2:1 sets, saving two match points in the second set, but then lost in straight sets to world No.37 Gilles Müller in the 2nd round. Dimitrov played in Acapulco next, where he was the defending champion and seeded 3rd. He lost in the second round to Ryan Harrison. On 10 March 2015, Dimitrov played at an annual exhibition tournament in Madison Square Garden against Roger Federer, defeating the Swiss star for the first time.[84]

In March Dimitrov played at the Indian Wells Masters, where he was seeded 11th and had a bye into the second round, where he beat in 3 sets the Australian teenager and world No. 37 Nick Kyrgios. Dimitrov lost to world No. 19 Tommy Robredo in the 3rd round. Dimitrov also played at the doubles event, paired with Mardy Fish, but they lost in the first round to Spaniards David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco. Dimitrov was seeded 9th at the Miami Masters and had a bye into the second round, where he beat Vasek Pospisil, but then lost to the 22nd seed John Isner in the 3rd round. Dimitrov began his clay season at the Monte-Carlo Masters. He was seeded 9th and beat Fernando Verdasco in the first round, and then defeated in straight sets Fabio Fognini in the second round. In the 3rd round, Dimitrov crushed in less than an hour the 7th seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka and then lost in straight sets to Gaël Monfils in the quarterfinals. Dimitrov also played in the doubles, paired with Max Mirnyi. They reached the second round, where they lost to the Bryan brothers.

Dimitrov decided not to defend his title in Bucharest, and instead he participated in the first edition of the Istanbul event. He was seeded 2nd and had a bye into the second round, where he defeated Andrey Golubev. In the quarterfinals Dimitrov beat Ivan Dodig, but then lost to Pablo Cuevas in the semifinals. Next, Dimitrov played at the Madrid Masters, where he was seeded 10th. His opponent in the first round Donald Young retired, after Dimitrov was leading by a set and by 3 to 0 games in the second set. Then, Dimitrov beat Fabio Fognini, coming back from a set down, and overcame 8th seed Stan Wawrinka in three sets in the third round. At the quarterfinals, Dimitrov lost in straight sets to 3rd seed and two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal, which was his sixth defeat out of six matches between them. Dimitrov also played in the doubles and reached the second round.

Dimitrov was unable to defend his semifinal at the Rome Masters in May. He was seeded 10th and beat in straight sets Jerzy Janowicz in the first round, but then lost in three sets to Fabio Fognini, in what was the 3rd match between them within a month. Next, Dimitrov lost in straight sets to Jack Sock at the 2015 French Open in the first round despite being seeded 10th. Dimitrov exited the tournament early for a second year in a row.

In June, Dimitrov failed to defend his title at the Queens grass court event, losing in the second round to Gilles Müller. Next, being seeded 11th, he played at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships and in the first two round eliminated Federico Delbonis and Steve Johnson. Dimitrov lost in straight sets to Richard Gasquet in the third round, in what was his fifth defeat out of five matches against the Frenchman. Following that defeat, Dimitrov decided to part ways with coach Roger Rasheed.[85]

In July, Dimitrov participated in the 2015 Davis Cup against Luxembourg, winning all his matches. In August, he started his US Open series campaign in Washington, reaching the third round. Then, he played at the Rogers Cup, losing to Jack Sock in the second round. At the Cincinnati Masters, Dimitrov was eliminated in the third round by the world No. 2 Andy Murray, having missed a match point in the third set. Dimitrov's weak performance continued at the 2015 US Open, where he lost in five sets to Mikhail Kukushkin in the second round.

National representation[edit]

Davis Cup[edit]

Dimitrov made his Davis Cup debut for Bulgaria in 2008 as a 16-year-old. Playing in front of a home crowd in Plovdiv, the teenage Dimitrov compiled an undefeated record in both singles and doubles to promote his country into the second division of the Europe/Africa zone. A 17-year-old Dimitrov returned to the Bulgarian Davis Cup team for the first round of the Davis Cup Europe/Africa zone in 2009. Dimitrov was victorious in both his singles rubbers which led to a narrow 3-2 victory over Hungary. He would then take a few breaks from Davis Cup which would result in Bulgaria being relegated back to the lowest division of Davis Cup.

Dimitrov would return to Davis Cup competition in 2012 as a top 100 player. The Bulgarians breezed through the round robin tournament held in their home city of Sofia and would once again be promoted to the second division of the Europe/Africa zone. Dimitrov and the Bulgarian Davis Cup team have been unable to advance past the first round since being promoted but have been victorious in their two relegation ties.

Olympics[edit]

Dimitrov represented Bulgaria at his maiden Olympics in London 2012. He competed in the singles competition and advanced past the first round with a straight sets victory over Poland's Lukasz Kubot. He was then soundly beaten by France's 12th seed Gilles Simon 6–3 6–3.

Coaching[edit]

As a child, Dimitrov was coached by his father, Dimitar, at Tennis Club Haskovo. As his talent became more apparent he started to receive coaching from abroad, most notably from Spaniard Pato Alvarez, who has also coached Britain's Andy Murray. Alvarez has reportedly said that Dimitrov is the best 17 year old he has coached. Around the time of his success at the 2009 ABN AMRO in Rotterdam, Dimitrov formally began a coaching relationship with Peter Lundgren, former coach of world No. 1s Marat Safin and Roger Federer. Lundgren has also been quick to praise Dimitrov, saying that "he is better than Federer was at his age."[86]

In June 2010, Dimitrov ended his coaching relationship with Lundgren and was subsequently coached by Australian pro Peter McNamara.[87] Dimitrov and McNamara have ended their coaching relationship at the end of the 2011 season.[88] In 2012, Dimitrov was coached by Patrick Mouratoglou in an attempt to revive his fortunes.[89] On November 26, 2012, Dimitrov left the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy and has joined the Good to Great Tennis Academy in Sweden, which is run by ex-touring pros Magnus Norman, Nicklas Kulti, and Mikael Tillström. On October 7, 2013, Grigor announced on his Facebook page that he has hired Roger Rasheed (former coach of Gaël Monfils, Jo-Wilifred Tsonga and Lleyton Hewitt) to be his new coach.[90] On July 7, 2015 Grigor announced via Twitter that he would be parting ways with coach Roger Rasheed.[91]

Playing style[edit]

Dimitrov employs an all-round style of playing, and is said to have one of the most unique playstyles on the tour. His flexibility and the fact that he's comfortable on all parts of the court is the main reason why many people have said he is one of the most talented up-and-coming players. Dimitrov is known for his hustle, athleticism, fluid style of play and exceptional shot-making. He is also known to be a very clutch player, in terms of being able to come back from losing situations in games and points.

Dimitrov employs an eastern to semi-western grip on his forehand, somewhat similar to that of Roger Federer. When hitting, unlike most players, he uses his elbow and arm to generate power instead of his body. His forehand is known to be very heavy, powerful and accurate and is his primary weapon. He uses it to generate sudden pace in baseline rallies, often catching his opponents off guard. Dimitrov employs a conventional single-handed backhand. His backhand is said to be one of the most flexible in the game, due to his ability to hit it with top-spin, flat, and his backhand slice, which John McEnroe has said is the best slice in the game. He also has a slightly unusual follow-through and finish on his backhand, often straightening out his hand and extending it all the way across his waist, which some have said is a weakness due to the time taken to recover by recoiling his arm. Dimitrov usually uses his backhand as a rally stroke to build up points rather than hit immediate winners, although he is known to be able to generate significant pace on his backhand when returning a weak shot from his opponent or when neutralising a fast-paced shot. However, like most single-handed backhand players, Dimitrov's backhand suffers when his opponent employs heavy top-spin, which forces a weak top-spin reply or slice from him.

Dimitrov has a solid and fast serve, often reaching up to 230km/h. His first serve has been known to be clutch, often producing aces on important points. Dimitrov employs more top-spin on his second serve, making it slower but more consistent.

One aspect of Dimitrov's game that has been widely praised is his variety and flexibility. He is comfortable playing on all areas of the court, having solid ground strokes and exceptional touch at the net. He also employs aggressive drop shots to catch opponents off guard and is even known to frequently use fakes, especially on the forehand side, to fake drop shots instead of fast ground strokes, wrongfooting opponents. His speed and athleticism are also exceptional, as is famous for using slide, sometimes even to the point of splitting, to reach balls. He also occasionally dives to reach balls, one of the most famous occasions being his second round match at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters against Janko Tipsarević, in which he dove to hit a drop-shot, winning him the point. His all-round play has had many commentators and past players call him "classy" and "stylish".

Dimitrov is also noted as one of the only players on the tour who can consistently produce trick shots, alongside Gaël Monfils and Roger Federer. He has been know to hit a variety of trick shots and unorthodox shots, such as the Tweener and hot dog. Sometimes, he does it for entertainment purposes, eventually losing the point. Some of his most famous trick shots include his behind the back drop-shot against Viktor Troicki in the Swiss Indoors 2012 and his successive between-the-leg shots off Jack Sock's returns in the Stockholm Open 2014. All 3 shots were considered some of the best trick shots ever, with the former considered the shot of the year in 2012.

Early in his career, Dimitrov was compared to Roger Federer due to their similarity in play style and actions, notably the forehand, backhand and serve, earning him the nickname "Baby Fed". However, over the years, he has attempted to shed this title and has had people appreciate his own style. Interestingly, Dimitrov has never beaten Federer in any of their meetings; the only time he has won Federer was in the BNP Paribas Showdown in 2015 in which he beat Federer 6-2, 1-6, 7-5. However, that match was only an exhibition.

Equipment[edit]

As of 2013, Dimitrov uses a customized Wilson mid-size 93 square inches prototype racket provided by the Wilson Pro Room Team (as disclosed by pro tour stringers such as the Priority One team members), cosmetic on it is the Pro Staff Six.One 95, it is weighted about 12.oz strung with a 16X19 string pattern. In 2014, he switched to 18X17 string pattern. He is sponsored by Nike wearing the brand apparel and the Nike Zoom Vapor Tour 9 shoes which are also Federer's shoes of choice.

Honours[edit]

Best young tennis player in Bulgaria - 2005[92]

Bulgarian Sportsperson of the Year - 2014[83]

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Slam tournament performance timeline[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF R# RR LQ (Q#) A P Z# PO SF-B F-S G NMS NH

Won tournament; or reached Final; Semifinal; Quarter-final; Round 4, 3, 2, 1; competed at a Round Robin stage; lost in Qualification Round; absent from tournament event; played in a Davis Cup - / Fed Cup Zonal Group (with its number indication) or Play-off; won a bronze, silver (F or S) or gold medal at the Olympics; a downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament (Not a Masters Series); or a tournament that was Not Held in a given year.

To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the tournament has ended.

Current through to the 2015 Wimbledon Championships.

Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A Q1 2R 2R 1R QF 4R 0 / 5 9–5 64.29
French Open A A 1R 2R 3R 1R 1R 0 / 5 3–5 37.50
Wimbledon 1R A 2R 2R 2R SF 3R 0 / 6 10–6 62.50
US Open Q2 A 1R 1R 1R 4R 0 / 4 3–4 42.86
Win–Loss 0–1 0–0 2–4 3–4 3–4 12–4 5–3 0 / 20 25–20 55.56

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69. "He is better than Roger Federer at the same age" Interview to http://www.tennisnews.gr/inside-tennis/interviews/-/2022-peter-lundgren https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRRWk8DqW9s

External links[edit]