Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 2-6 4-6 Fernando Verdasco – Passive performance sums up year to date for Bulgarian

6 months ago we watched Grigor Dimitrov lift the ATP World Tour Finals trophy in London and the conversation of Slam success began with his relentless tennis in 2017 however from relentless to passive the Bulgarian has struggled and with Wimbledon around the corner and being such a strong grass court player he needs some form.

Grigor came into Roland Garros with a win/loss of 16/10 and without a title to his name.

I heavily praised Grigor for his ruthlessness in matches especially against Thiem in London I was so impressed now it’s the complete opposite. The performance against Jared Donaldson was equally stunning at times and then awful.

I did a piece earlier on in the year about Grigor’s second serve. It took an absolute beating by Federer. Right now his second serve win % is down 4% which may not sound much but can be a difference between winning and losing a match. His ranking for second serve points won is 55 on the tour with just over 50% won a 3% decrease on last year however he is returning better so it’s his serve which lets him down.

Grigor’s second serve points won v Fernando? 12/30 = 40%.

I often talk about slicing and variety and its there to give time and variety but also if you use it ineffectively then it will give time to your opponent.

There was a point in set three where I thought to myself, this is a man who isn’t playing very well and lacking confidence.

dimi 1

Image Credit – Roland Garros / ITV

Fernando finds the backhand of Grigor and bizarrely even though it had no pace on it Grigor went for the slice down the line instead of that pure backhand strike, confidence? Playing it safe?

dimi 2

Image Credit – Roland Garros / ITV

Fernando then backed up to play that inside out forehand and once that movement begins there is only one winner and that is a flat forehand winner cross court. Look at Dimitrov, stood wondering where to go.

It’s interesting to see where he goes from here. I expect him to head to London and begin training for Queens and Wimbledon where he should be challenging but I don’t see it yet.

His coach Dani Vallverdu who is a former coach of Andy Murray tweeted #ThinkProgressNotPerfection which is difficult for the man who played perfect tennis last year.

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