Grigor Dimitrov is a professional tennis player from Bulgaria. He was the number ranked junior in the world in 2008 and many experts see him as a future star in the game. So far he has not quite lived up to the high expectations as a professional player.
One interesting thing about him is that his technique and game very much resemble Roger Federer. He has been called “Baby-Federer” by many tennis fans and experts.
Dimitrov Hitting In Practice
He Hits A Lot Like Federer Doesn’t He ?
Dimitrov was born in 1991 in Bulgaria. He comes from a family with a sports background like so many other professional tennis players. His dad is a tennis coach and his mother competed in sports as well.
As a junior he had a phenomenal career. In 2008 he won two junior Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon and the US Open. The same year he also became the number ranked junior in the world!
As a professional he has not been as successful as many experts expected him to be just yet. So far his career high ranking came in 2011 at number 52 in the world. At age 20, as of March 2012, he is ranked just outside the Top100 at position 102 and has not gotten past the second round of a Grand Slam event yet.
Grigor’s game looks like a very close copy of Roger Federer’s game. His technique and movement very much resemble the world’s greatest player of all time.
Grigor Dimitrov has excellent technique, which is one of the main reasons tennis experts believe he will be one of the world’s best players in the future.
He has a very good forehand with a nice inside-out swing path and he also makes great use of the stretch-shortening cycle with his forehand. Overall it is amazing how much his forehand looks like Roger’s forehand!
The Dimitrov Forehand
There is one little difference between the Federer forehand and the Dimitrov forehand though. Federer hits most balls with a completely straight hitting arm, whereas Grigor Dimitrov usually has a slight bend at the elbow, similar to most other professional players.
Even though his forehand is very good from a technical standpoint, I believe that he does not hit it aggressive enough on a regular basis and he should flatten it out a bit more often!
Dimitrov also hits a technically flawless one-handed backhand that again looks very much like Roger’s.
He hits with a straight-hitting arm, swings on an inside-out swing path and also manages to stay sideways throughout the hit. All of the characteristics of a great one-handed backhand are in place!
Have A Look At Dimitrov’s Backhand In Slow Motion
Simply A Great One-Handed Backhand!
Grigor hits a good slice backhand and also likes to use it quite often. Actually in my opinion he uses it a bit too often because he should be looking to hit his great aggressive topspin backhand as often as possible!
Not surprisingly Dimitrov’s serve looks quite similar to Federer’s serve as well.
The Dimitrov Serve In Slow Motion
As you can see he certainly has a fluid motion. He does appear to be bending the knees more than Roger though and he does not seem to turn his upper body away from the target as much as Roger. This is probably one part of the explanation why he does not serve as well as Roger.
Other things to consider would be the racket drop position and the question of how fast his muscles twitch in general compared to someone like Roger.
Dimitrov is a solid net player. He is not afraid to come to the net and his volleys are technically very sound on both sides!
He appears to hit the difficult volleys very well but he sometimes does not stick the standard and easy volleys enough; letting opponents back into the rally when it is not necessary. This makes sense from my overall viewpoint that he lacks a little bit of aggression and decisiveness in his game.
He also has great touch around the net which you can see in this video!
Dimitrov Hitting A Great Half-Volley
Now the tactical area is where Grigor needs to improve the most in my opinion!
He does a good job at mixing up the pace and using slices and drop shots to offset opponents.
Overall he relies too much on slices, drop shots and that sort of stuff. He does not play aggressive enough yet on average to really compete with the absolute best players in the world on a daily basis!
I don’t believe it is possible to beat the world’s best players if you spend too much time on defense these days, no matter how good your defense is. Even someone like link: Rafael Nadal spends the majority of the time on offense during his matches!
Have A Look At This Long Rally
Between Dimitrov and Gilles Simon
Grigor tends to be happy just rallying with his opponents way too often. Instead he should be looking to take control of the rallies whenever possible!
Another tactical weakness is that he does not really follow up his strong shots with decisiveness. Oftentimes he manages to get on offense and then lets opponents back into the point.
Overall what Grigor Dimitrov needs is more aggression in his game!
Dimitrov is a very fit athlete and has good movement skills. Like the rest of his game, his movement looks very similar to Roger’s movement. Nevertheless, it is tough to say whether or not he is as athletic and quick in and out of the corners as the world’s absolute best.
At this level if you are only a slight step slower than the other guys that is already a huge disadvantage. Looking at the videos it appears to me that this might be the case but it is really tough to say without objectively measuring it obviously
Grigor appears to be quite confident in his Tennis and this does not really surprise me since he was a successful junior player. He has said in many interviews that he believes he can be number 1 in the world someday.
Whether or not that is realistic is still not clear but I don’t think that a lack of confidence or mental strength will be a big problem for him.
Grigor Dimitrov’s biggest strength is his technically flawless game. He certainly has the most room for improvement on the tactical side.
Dimitrov is a great talent but he has to work too hard for every single point the way he plays at the moment. It usually starts with serves and return of serves. He does not seem to get enough free points off of his first serve and his returns are quite defensive on average.
His overall mindset on the court does not seem to be aggressive enough!
He has a great backhand down the line that he should use more often and he also need to hit his forehand bigger whenever he gets a chance.
If he gets more aggressive I believe he will certainly be a Top20 player in the future. How much further he can go is difficult to say at the moment