Grigor Dimitrov’s impressed against players with something in common but can the former No.3 find his groove to get back towards the top?

At the back end of last season I spoke about how Grigor Dimitrov resurrected a difficult season. Some good wins in New York and Paris saw him finish the year back in the top 20 and has started his year as he left off.

In a previous piece I said how that Grigor’s performance against Dominic Thiem in Paris was much more significant than that of Federer in New York.

I felt the perfect performance from Dimitrov agains the Austrian. He began to find his rhythm and set out his stall immediately. He backed into that forehand finding top spin on the cross court looking for that short reply to pull off the backhand down the line.

So far in ATP Cup I have been impressed by the way he has approached his matches and against Dan Evans he picked his battles well.

Screenshot 2020-01-06 at 13.24.50

Grigor does a lot of his damage once he can begin to find rhythm in that backhand corner. Like I said the forehand crosscourt with top-spin pushes you behind the court so he can create a bigger gap down the line.

These shot depths above are just from a few rallies between Dan and Grigor. The intention is there to exploit the backhand corner of players with a one-handed backhand:

Dan Evans
Dominic Thiem
Roger Federer

You could argue his most impressive wins over the last few months are against these three all of whom play with that one handed backhand so it is easier to penetrate their defence.

Grigor is a former world number three and I believe he has top 10 in him still. I do think he does need more of a balance to his game against trickier opponents. I worry at times when he does get stretched on the run and to gain control again can be a tough ask.

The good news fro Grigor is he doesn’t have many points to defend but I’m interested to see where the 2017 tour finals champion finishes his year.

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