How Far Can Grigor Dimitrov Go In Wimbledon 2018?

How Far Can Grigor Dimitrov Go In Wimbledon 2018?
28 June 2018
The 2018 Wimbledon Championships is scheduled to begin on 2 July with a number of players hoping to secure the third major of the season. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have won the other two Grand Slam tournaments during 2018 in a season of mixed form and injury amongst the best male tennis players on the planet. Grigor Dimitrov has taken advantage of this situation and leads a whole host of players eager to prove they can mix with the very best. Things didn’t end as well as they could have at Queen’s but can Dimitrov take that final leap and secure a first career Grand Slam at SW19?

The Wimbledon Championships is the pinnacle of the grass season. Tennis fans from around the world flock to SW19 to catch a glimpse of the world’s best players against the backdrop of strawberries, cream and the guaranteed British rain showers. It is the third Grand Slam in a season which has seen mixed success for the big four of men’s tennis. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have won a major each but Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have struggled with injuries.

Djokovic himself has fought back in recent weeks and very nearly returned to form at the other London grass tennis tournament. The Serbian lost the final of the Queen’s Club Championship last weekend to Marin Čilić, a tournament which has so often been the pre-cursor to Wimbledon. In fact, five men’s singles players have followed up the victory in Queen’s with a title at Wimbledon just a few weeks later.

The Queen’s Club Championships was certainly an interesting tournament this year. Top stars like Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were both returning from lengthy injuries and chasing players like Nick Kyrgios put in impressive performances. Grigor Dimitrov was the number two seed for the Championships and got off to a good start. However, the Bulgarian’s tournament came undone in the second round when he came up against a resurgent Novak Djokovic who won 6-4 6-1 on his way to the final.

“This was a great test playing against one of the top players of the world, a player that I guess prefers this surface the most,” Djokovic said after the match.

“I was very determined to play my best, especially after a great performance in the first round and managed to deliver.

“I broke the resistance in that 10th game of the first set. He made a couple of crucial double faults that obviously allowed me to get ahead, but I thought I was just making him play always in big moments and served well when I needed to.”

Dimitrov conceded too many faults and his return numbers were not up to usual standards against a player who looks to be returning to top form. But that could work to his favour moving forward. Dimitrov was unfortunate not to win that first set which certainly would’ve changed the way the match went against Djokovic. The Bulgarian can learn a lot from the match especially ahead of Wimbledon where he will be hoping to pick up the first Grand Slam title of his career.

Dimitrov will certainly face stiff competition for the crown. As previously discussed, both Djokovic and Murray can take some confidence from their performances at Queen’s while players like Nadal, Kyrgios, Marin Čilić and youngster Alexander Zverev are all in the mix too. Roger Federer is still the man to beat. According to Betway, he is the clear 13/8 favourite as of 26 June to lift the title for a record ninth time. Dimitrov, meanwhile, is in the top ten contenders at 22/1.

So far, Grigor Dimitrov’s best performance at Wimbledon was a semi-final appearance back in 2014. He lost to Novak Djokovic that year and has since failed to make it past the fourth round in the last three tournaments. But Dimitrov’s performances in Grand Slams are certainly improving. He has reached the quarters in both of his last two Australian Open appearances as well as his joint-best run in the French Open back in May. He will be hoping for steady improvement and to take advantage of what is a relatively open field in men’s singles tennis right now.

But it promises to be a tough test for the Bulgarian number one. The likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are the major frontrunners for the third Grand Slam of the season. Even chasing players like Nick Kyrgios and Marin Čilić after his Queen’s Club Championship win will have high hopes at SW19. Grigor Dimitrov’s performances in Grand Slams have steadily improved in recent years and he will be hoping that continues in the first two weeks of July. A second Wimbledon semi-final appearance would be some achievement in this highly competitive field but who knows what will happen when there are so many players capable of causing an upset?

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