Dimitrov gets 400th win and proves he wasn’t all hype

(Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images) /

Grigor Dimitrov was seen as the newest Roger Federer prototype. Silky smooth backhand. The ability to attack from anywhere on the court and do it with a smooth elegance that few players are capable of.

He was supposed to win multiple Grand Slams. He was the penciled-in future World No. 1.

Unfortunately, things have not turned out the way all of us brilliant tennis prognosticators would have thought. Dimitrov peaked at World No. 3 which is no slouch in of itself. He is just a victim of his own circumstances.

However, he has still had a plethora of tremendous moments during his career and as he secured his 400th career win at the ATP 250 event in Chengdu he continues to prove he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Grigor Dimitrov proves the hype was real

He is a 3-time Grand Slam semifinalist in his career in addition to three other Quarterfinal appearances.

A look at his Grand Slam record though does make one think about what could have been. He was typically reaching between the 2nd-4th rounds of the Slams.

His problem? Federer. Nadal. Djokovic. Murray. Del Potro.

He is 1-11 against Novak. 1-14 versus Nadal. 1-7 facing Federer. 4-8 against Murray. 2-6 facing Del Po.

His all-court game and ability to do everything well was not enough to overcome those giants as he lacked something they all have, a singular overpowering weapon. He could never trouble those players and in return, they gave him nightmares.

With all of that being said, he still has been able to bag 8 career ATP titles including the 2017 ATP Finals. He played in another 8 Finals.

It’s not the glittering career that many would have predicted for the Bulgarian. He would be the first to admit this. Yet, today at 32, he is still a Top 20 player and playing some of his best tennis of the last few years.

His style allows him to play a lot of tournaments and I predict a handful of years still in the mix at the fringe Top 10 level.

400 wins is a nice accomplishment for any aspiring tennis pro. It pales in comparison to what he was “supposed” to do. His story is another example of not demanding the world of a young player.

We are eager to dub the newest phenom as the next *insert tennis GOAT name here*. Tennis media, myself included, must get better at slowing down and letting players carve their own paths.

If he had risen without the biggest of pressure, a look at how his career has panned out would be a tale of success. Now, some will see it as an abject failure. That is a mistake. He has always been one of the most enjoyable players to watch.

Grigor Dimitrov didn’t take over the tennis world, but he will leave his own impact. In his own way. The way it should be.

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