Dimitrov’s gallop continues with Sofia Open Title

Grigor Dimitrov triumphs at Sofia to win his sixth title.

Grigor Dimitrov triumphs at Sofia to win his sixth title.

Image courtesy: By Tatiana from Moscow, Russia (Grigor Dimitrov) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons / File size and image quality reduced from original

Dimitrov’s triumphant run at Sofia

After a good start to the year, Grigor Dimitrov was all ready to exhibit his tennis to his home crowd at Sofia. Playing in his nation, he could get maximum support and in return could amuse them with his good-looking game. It was a good place to get some confidence and Dimitrov did not let go any of that opportunity. 

Dimitrov reached the final having lost only a set to Jerzy Janowicz in the round of 16, the man from Poland who made the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2013.

In the final Dimitrov faced David Goffin who is a pretty solid and consistent player always on the lookout for an opportunity of causing an upset. It was not Dimitrov’s finest performance even though he won 7-5, 6-4. He made 9 double faults and had a 30% conversion rate on second-serve points. But, he did make that up by saving 67% (6/9) of the break points he faced and converting 71% (5/7) of the break points he created. That’s very clutch on break points. And, that is a vital ability to have for any top player.

Grigor won the Sofia title to win title no. six of his career. He had won his first ATP title in 2013 at ATP If Stockholm Open 250. Grigor has not still won anything more valuable than an ATP 500 title.

Grigor emphasised the significance of his title run at Sofia.

“This is my most prestigious title for sure, winning it at home is a tremendous success for me,”

“I will treasure this title for the rest of my life, it’s something amazing for me.”

This year, Dimitrov made a flamboyant start to the season. He won Brisbane International where he got consecutive wins against top 10 players. He made the semifinals at the Oz Open.  And with his triumph at Sofia, he has amassed a serious amount of YTD ranking points.  He is now at no. 3 in the YTD rankings being only 15 points behind Nadal. He is no. 12 in the Emirates ATP Ranking. Although we are still really in the initial stages of the season, Dimitrov’s position has significance considering his pace of winning points.

Dimitrov’s rapid pace in 2017

Grigor’s best season before 2017 was in 2014 when he finished no. 11 in the Emirates ATP rankings. We can get an idea of how good his season has been so far in 2017 by comparing it to his 2014 season. Taking the YTD ranking points accumulated so far in 2017 (1220) we can arrive at some comparative statistics for this purpose.

This year he needed 3 tournaments to accumulate 1220 YTD ranking points which were worth 2500 points in aggregate. In 2014, he needed 8 tournaments to cross this mark on the YTD ranking points that were worth 6500 points totally.

Clearly, Grigor has been winning points at a much quicker rate this year. A reasonable measure of success for a player playing a good variety of tournaments would be the ratio of the tournament points won to the tournaments points competed for.

Dimitrov's Comparative Chart (2014 vs 2017)

Dimitrov’s Comparative Chart (2014 vs 2017) for rate of winning tournaments points till 1220 YTD points.

That shows how much faster Dimitrov has been sprinting this year compared to his previous best season in 2014. His efficiency in winning tournament points in 2017 has been 27.96% better compared to 2014.

All of this indicates good things that could be on the cards for Dimitrov. He is certainly playing better than ever. Although this rate of success at tournaments is expected to dip during the clay season it would be reasonable to expect to see it rise back up again in the second half of the season. If everything goes well for him, he could be finishing in the top 6 in the year-end rankings. If not, a top 8 finish is certainly in sight.

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