Bulgaria’s Dimitrov breaks into ATP Tour top 20 after Melbourne run

Grigor Dimitrov’s quarterfinal appearance in the first tennis Grand Slam tournament of the year, the Australian Open, pushed him into the ATP Tour top 20 when the new rankings were announced on January 27. Dimitrov vaulted three spots and is now ranked a career-high 19th in the world.

Despite losing to Rafael Nadal, Dimitrov drew glowing reviews after he gave the world number one his sternest test in Melbourne (until the final, that is, which Nadal lost in four sets to Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka, who rose to third in the ATP Tour rankings as a result).

He now gets a week off to prepare for his next tournament – Dimitrov is not part of the Bulgarian team that will play Finland in the Davis Cup Group II match later this week.

Dimitrov is next scheduled to play in the PBZ Zagreb Indoors hard-court tournament in Croatia, according to the ATP website, which begins on February 3.

The draw for the tournament will be announced later this week, but given the current rankings of the participating top players, Dimitrov stands to be seeded no lower than fourth – behind Canada’s Milos Raonic (whom Dimitrov beat in Melbourne and against whom the Bulgarian has a 2-1 career edge), Germany’s Tommy Haas (tied 1-1 in their previous meetings) and Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny (no previous matches between the two).

Dimitrov will also receive a first-round bye if he is among the top four seeds, which will automatically be a net improvement over last year, when the Bulgarian lost in the first round to Ivo Karlovic in straight sets.

Bulgaria’s top female player, Tsvetana Pironkova, who lost in the second round of the Australian Open, rose four spots in the WTA Tour rankings to 53rd in the world, but it is unclear which tournament she will play in next.

(Grigor Dimitrov at the 2013 Monte-Carlo Masters. Photo: mirsasha/flickr.com)



The Sofia Globe staff

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