During the second half of 2017 no one played better tennis than Grigor Dimitrov. First Masters title in Cincinnati, winner in London which was followed up by good runs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Rotterdam but since then it’s not happened for the Bulgarian.
Dimitrov for me has become easier to play against. His tennis in 2017 was unplayable he made the court so big and now he isn’t. Let’s have a look at an example I’ve pulled from the archives;
This was Dimitrov’s forehand placement against Goffin in London;
Image Credit – ATP / Infosys
Look how beautiful that ball placement is.
Now, I don’t have a graphic showing what he is doing this year or majority of last year but I can tell you it is nowhere near this at all, it’s more reserved and played with less risk.
What does it all come down to?
I’ve spoken about this time and time again over the last 12 months and he are a couple of links to previous pieces.
The first piece I spoke about his change in serve direction, he stopped going to the AD side as much but that’s what made him a tough player to beat on the baseline as he would force his opponent wide.
The forehand strike as well as the placement has become tamer and it isn’t helping. I wrote at the end of last season that he needs to hit with less top-spin and flatten it out because who is he hurting with it?
I watched him against Jordan Thompson and at the end I wrote that I couldn’t get my head around the performance. I felt like we were watching someone go through the motions. He got a break back in the second set and completely through it away but I never felt like it was a committed performance.
This next chapter of the season is very important for him. He has points to defend in Monte-Carlo making the semi’s there last year but apart from that he has nothing to defend in Rome and Madrid.