The 2008 Wimbledon and US Open Boys champion, considered by some to be the future of one handed tennis in the men’s game, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (above), lost his second round match at the AEGON Championships at Queen’s Club in London, to another one hander, Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, the world # 31, 6-2, 6-4.

Dimitrov, who was granted wildcard entry at Queens Club last year and this year, was able to win his first round match both years, defeating Britain’s Alex Bogdanovich 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Monday, successfully defending his ATP points from last year’s Queen’s Club, when he defeated Ivan Navarro in the first round, and then lost in the 2nd round in a tight 2 sets to Giles Simon.

In professional tennis, one must defend the points they earned at events they played the previous year, or their ranking will drop.  An easy example to look at would be Roger Federer, last year’s French Open champion, who slipped in the rankings after losing to Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals, meaning he did not successfully defend his French Open rankings points from last year.  Federer is sure to come up in any discussion of Dimitrov, because Dimitrov has modelled his game after Federer’s, and they were both coached by Peter Lundgren in their formative years.  Lundgren caused a stir when he said two years ago that Dimitrov was better than Federer as a 17 year old.  The linchpin of Dimitrov’s game is his beautiful one handed backhand, which he calls his favorite shot.  In the first clip below, Dimitrov (wearing yellow in both) unloads on a beautiful backhand winner versus Giles Simon.  In the second, Dimitrov rallies with Rafael Nadal.

Despite what Lundgren said about the Federer/Dimitrov comparison, Dimitrov, who is # 360 in the world, has dropped 105 places since his career best ranking of 255 in September 09.  Federer, at Dimitrov’s current age (he turned 19 in May), had already cracked the top 30. 

But as they say in tennis, some shot makers develop later on.  That’s what we are hoping for Dimitrov, who we have had our eyes on now for some time because of his talent and exciting playing style–making us part of the “G Force”–the nickname for Dimitrov’s fan base.  Dimitrov began the AEGON Championships, with a new coach, former world # 7 and excellent doubles player, Peter McNamara.  He continues to train at the Mouratoglu Academy in Paris.


Play With One Hand,

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