GRIGOR DIMITROV

Bulgarian Tennis Player

Last Single Match
China Open, $3401860
Beijing, China,
R16: [Q] Dusan Lajovic (SRB )
loss: 4-6 6-2 4-6


Next Single Match
Erste Bank Open 500, €2198250
Vienna, Austria,
R32: T.B.A.

Current Ranking
9
Doubles: 394
15 Oct 2018

Grigor Dimitrov v Malek Jaziri: What Went Wrong

14 Jun 2018
The Dubai Duty Free Championships were going incredibly well for Grigor Dimitrov this year, but it all came crumbling down after his shock defeat by Malek Jaziri. While Dimitrov might be doing much better for himself lately with his recent five-set win against Jared Donaldson at Roland Garros, the painful loss in Dubai is still a bitter memory in fan’s minds and many are finding themselves asking what went wrong?That’s what we’re here to explore in more detail. Below, we’re taking a look at that fateful match and just what had Dimitrov practically giving away points.

The Build Up: What Were We Expecting?

The Dubai Championships were about to get underway and fans were waiting eagerly for the match announcements – and the nit happened. The first round match pairings became public knowledge, and Grigor Dimitrov was a seed 1 player destined to face off against the No. 117ATP-ranked Malek Jaziri. There seemed to be no chance of Dimitrov losing, with fans and bookies alike having him down as a sure win with talk of his second round opponents already surfacing.

This season would be the second time that Dimitrov graced the Dubai stage, though the first time he lose to Richard Guasquet, so speculation was rife as to whether he could break the chain before it even happened. Expectations were high, the bets were rolling in and fans were eagerly awaiting those first matches. Now, we have to remember that Dimitrov was sitting pretty at No. 4, mingling with top players in the men’s game like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, so the outlook was pretty good for the Bulgarian player – until the game started.

The Match

The first set of the match went how most had expected it would – Dimitrov claimed victory in this opening set and things were looking up already. As you might expect, however, this didn’t last.
In fact, what followed was a match filled with back and forth and no clear winner, but through hard work and determination, it was Jaziri that eventually won out with 4-6 7-5 6-4. As heartbreaking as it was to see Dimitrov walk away so early on in the competition, the game was one worth a watch. The nail-biting experience had fans on the edges of their seats,with no advantages on either side that provided easy wins. It was frustrating,it was exciting, it was thrilling and all in all, it was an incredible game to watch.

However, Dimitrov failed to win and given his world ranking, the question had to be asked as to why the 34-year-old managed to win against the experienced Bulgarian.

So,What Went Wrong?

These questions have gone mostly unanswered until now, not least because there simply wasn’t any single, straight answer that could be given. Talks of Dimitrov’s previous illness and Jaziri’s previous success in Dubai had all been considered as reasons, and could very well the cause of Dimitrov’s loss.
In early 2018, Grigor Dimitrov found himself having fallen ill with an unknown virus that had been affecting his ability to play. After a loss against Roger Federer, which hadn’t been the first time, even he acknowledged Dimitrov’s illness, claiming that “[he] was expecting it to be tough. [He] expected to be in trouble to be quite honest.” While he seemed to be recovering by the time the Dubai Championships came around, he was seen coughing after the match against Jaziri, which could’ve very well explained a less-than-perfect performance. Further than that, Dimitrov still doesn’t appear to be at his best with his health, which could point to an underlying issue that could be affecting his overall play.

Then, of course, we have Jaziri’s success on the Dubai court. Jaziri has made no secret of the fact that feels comfortable playing in Dubai, and with his history of playing top-ranking players on those very same courts, he’d been building up experience with some of the world’s greatest. What’s more, his quarter-final best in the Dubai Duty Free Championships in 2014 is plenty proof that the Tunisian player certainly has some tricks up his sleeve when it comes to playing against top-seeders.

Tennis can be a highly competitive sport at the best of times, but when those looking to fight their way up the rankings are put alongside leading players, fans are practically guaranteed an enthusiastic match. Dimitrov’s loss to Jaziri was a devastating one for his fans considering he’s certainly got a much better track record, but the Tunisian player certainly deserves congratulations. With time to rest and recover in the way of health and time to get back out on the courts and regain his momentum, Dimitrov could be back on his feet in no time.
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