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Confident And Composed: Resurgent Grigor Dimitrov Eyes Top 10 Return
3 Min Read · March 12, 2024

Grigor Dimitrov has been around tennis long enough to know incremental gains can make all the difference. That’s what the popular Bulgarian is focusing on, while also knowing he’s not very far away from a Top 10 return. 


“I think I've improved a little bit more on my serve and the return, positioning on the court,” said the 32-year-old, who meets Daniil Medvedev in the Round of 16 Wednesday. “Also my movement. I think I'm a tiny bit better in that as well. But in our sport, one, two percent makes a huge difference. I think the course of those last 12, 13 months, I've been able to work on these things constantly, and I think that's what actually helped me to explore more the game and also to play it my way, and I think that helps a lot, for sure.” 

Playing it his way, the World No. 13 added, means being more aggressive, competing with more conviction and staying focused. But his upturn in 2023 and a potential Top 10 comeback — he was last there in October 2018 — must have seemed a world away last year in Indian Wells.

Dimitrov had to retire in the third set of his opening match against Jason Kubler, having been two points from victory in set two.

A player who combines balletic movement, devastating forehand power and a knifed backhand slice, his re-emergence truly began last May in Geneva by making the final. By season’s end, Dimitrov appeared in two finals — including his first one at a regular season Masters event since 2017 — and collected career win No. 400.

Novak Djokovic beat Dimitrov in that Masters final indoors in Paris, memorably consoling his friend when the match ended. Still, his six Top 10 wins in one season marked a career best, with Dimitrov getting the better of Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas in third set tiebreaks as part of his stay in the French capital.

Would a hangover be on the cards for Dimitrov to start 2024? Nope.

He landed his first ATP title in seven years in Brisbane in January with his parents looking on. Well, mostly. They had to go to the airport before the conclusion of his win against Holger Rune.

“I think it's a dream start for any player,” he said. “I'm just trying to get into a good groove again. That swing has always been very difficult for everybody, trying to make the most out of it every single day. I have done my best to prepare every single day and try to keep the consistency going. That's all I can do.”

Dimitrov put an upset loss to Mississippi State alum Nuno Borges in the third round of the Australian Open behind him, subsequently making another final in Marseille and semifinal in Rotterdam. He’ll have to overcome Medvedev to reach a third career quarterfinal in Tennis Paradise. Even with the win in Paris, last year’s finalist in Indian Wells still leads their head-to-head 6-3. No matter the result, Dimitrov vows to keep a level head — and keep on chugging.

“I think in the end of the day, nothing is ever that good and nothing is ever that bad,” he said. “You win or lose the match, tomorrow is another day. I think that's lessons. When you get out there, use every opportunity you have, and go after it. Have no regrets on your choices.”

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