Two moments mark the career of Grigor Dimitrov in international tennis. The first, when he was 12 years old, started on the road to the elite. He left Bulgaria (he was born in Haskovo 27 years ago) to continue his way to California, Barcelona and France under the guidance of several coaches. And the second, in August 2016, when in the middle of a crisis of results and ranking number 40, he changed his technical team in a courageous decision that soon began to bear fruit.
Along with Venezuelan Dani Vallverdú, helped by physio Azdine Bousnana and physical trainer Sebastián Durán, Dimitro started his comeback in the last part of that 2016 season. In January 2017, in Brisbane, he already surprised when winning the tournament on Australian soil eliminating consecutively three top-10 8 (Dominic Thiem, Milos Raoniuc and Kei Nishikori) and to play Rafa Nadal in one of the semifinals of the first big of the year, in Mebourne. Twelve months later he climbed to number 3 in the ranking.
Looking ahead to 2018, he came up with very high expectations, but Dimitrov had little luck, especially in the second half of the year. He started the season playing the semifinals in Brisbane and losing the Australian Open quarterfinals against Kyle Edmund. He was a finalist in Rotterdam after playing against Federer in his only final of the year and fell in the semifinals of the Masters 1000 of Monte Carlo against Rafa Nadal.
Dimitrov arrived in Barcelona as second seed, but fell to Pablo Carreño in the quarterfinals. In Cincinnati he saw Novak Djokovic overtake him in the round of 16 and from there he began his descent in the ranking. He suffered a couple of hard defeats in Beijing and Vienna which, added to the poor results of recent months, left him in 19th place. Grigor did not leave the top-10 since July 16, 2017. In addition, he could not defend either his title in the Nitto ATP finals.
At the end of 2018 the Bulgarian incorporated André Agassi to his team after a season of many ups and downs that, according to Grigor, made him "lose confidence in himself" and wanted to "try new methods to be stronger mentally". This decision could end up becoming another of the key moments of his career.
Born into a very sporty family, with his father being a tennis a coach and his mother who had played volleyball internationally, Dimitrov first picked up a racquet at 3 years of age. His idol was Pete Sampras, hence he always points out that his favourite surfaces are hard court and grass.
Dimitrov is still searching for success at the courts of the Real Club Tennis Barcelona. He fell to Andrey Golubev in the qualifying in 2008, to Juan Mónaco in 2011, to Tommy Robredo in 2013 and to Pablo Carreño in 2018. In the years of his best results, 2014 and 2017, he Bulgarian did not compete in Barcelona.