Grigor Dimitrov’ stint in Dubai is over. The man who won the world tour finals in November put on a simply bizarre and poorly planned performance as he lost to 34 year Malek Jaziri who recorded the biggest win in his career.
Early on in the match I was tweeting and I said this is bad, it was a bit of a mess and it continued to spiral and only took the first set after a few double faults from Jaziri.
The stats were not good from Dimitrov and they read like this;
46% of second serves won (theme throughout the season)
6/12 Net points won
41 unforced errors (16 FH, 13 BH, 12 DF)
This performance looked like to me a man who has put a lot of pressure on himself.
I said when he played Roger in Rotterdam he saw this match as a chance to take a big step but has taken a backwards one. His second serve is getting pummelled and he isn’t helping himself at all!
I’ve put a little diagram together, Dimitrov on the AD side was serving down the T into the forehand of Jaziri (his strength) instead of the backhand of the Tunisian and you wonder why he didn’t plan around this, Jaziri hit 9 service return winners in this match.
The performance lacked any planning which is so odd for Dimitrov, he wasn’t effective at the net or off the backhand and it all starts with the serve. The second one inparticular I mentioned in Rotterdam not long ago is ranked outside the top 90 in the world on the tour this year and it showed again.
This needs to change for Grigor quickly and he does have time to work on ahead of the sunshine double but judging from what I have seen these last few weeks and today the serve out-wide on the AD side should help reduce service return winners against his serve but is he holding back too much? I think so.