Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov made short work of his first-round opponent at the Wimbledon Championships on June 29, defeating Argentina’s Federico Delbonis in straight sets 6-3, 6-0, 6-4.
A semi-finalist here last year, Dimitrov has had a patchy year so far, with a first-round exit at the French Open and crashing out in the second round at the Queens Championship where he was defending champion over the past month.
But in his return to the grass courts of Wimbledon, the Bulgarian took just under an hour and a half to advance, with 33 winners against 19 unforced errors, while converting five of 13 break points.
Delbonis, a clay-court specialist ranked 73rd in the world, proved no match against Dimitrov, even though the Bulgarian did not serve his best, putting 53 per cent of his first serve in – although Dimitrov did win 91 per cent of points on first serve and 71 per cent on second serve, while also winning 48 per cent of all receiving points.
Dimitrov reached a career-high eighth in the ATP Tour rankings after last-year’s Wimbledon semi-final, where he lost to Novak Djokovic in four closely-fought sets. Since then, he has gravitated just outside the top 10, with no new title wins (after four in the space of nine months) and an early exit at Wimbledon would see him drop several spots in the rankings.
In the second round, he will play against American Steve Johnson, ranked 52nd, who has a 5-7 career record on grass. The two have never played each other before.
Should he progress further, Frenchman Richard Gasquet would likely await Dimitrov if seeding bears out, against whom the Bulgarian has a career 0-4 record, although the two have not played each other since 2013. A possible clash against last year’s other losing semi-finalist Milos Raonic from Canada would make for one of the most interesting matches in the fourth-round.
(Photo: JCDecaux Innovate/flickr.com)