Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov climbed up one spot in the ATP Tour rankings published on March 31, reaching a new career-best at 15th in the list.
Coming off his second ATP title in Acapulco, which he won in February, Dimitrov may have not set the tennis world alight in the month of March, but neither did he stumble in the first two ATP Masters tournaments of the year.
He lost in the third round both at Indian Wells (to Ernests Gulbis) and Miami (to Kei Nishikori), but both matches were closely-contested against two other players with hopes of breaking into the top 10.
His next challenge will be more difficult, namely defending his quarterfinal points in Monte Carlo in two weeks’ time – to date, that is Dimitrov’s best result at a Masters tournament. Last year, Dimitrov was unseeded and once again gave Rafael Nadal a tough match, taking a set off the Spaniard.
This time, he will have one match fewer to play (all seeded players get a first-round bye in the Masters tournaments) and vowed to do even better when the European clay-court season starts in Monte Carlo, tweeting after his Miami exit: “Never easy leaving the battlefield but I will be back stronger on the clay.”
Before Monte Carlo though, Dimitrov has returned to Bulgaria’s Davis Cup squad for the match against Greece, to be played on April 4-6. Without Dimitrov, Bulgaria lost its first-round match in Europe/Africa group II against Finland and needs to win in Athens to avoid relegation. For Dimitrov, it is also useful preparation ahead of the Monte-Carlo Masters, since the matches will be played on clay.
Bulgaria’s top female player, Tsvetana Pironkova, who made it to the third round in Miami, continued her march up the WTA ladder after a disastrous 2013 season, climbing five spots to 42nd in the latest rankings.