With some big names out of the Men’s singles at the US Open, there will perhaps be some opportunities for several men to take advantage and go deep into the tournament; one of those men could be Grigor Dimitrov.
The Bulgarian has never made the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows, though has had a fairly strong season to date and will be the seventh seed when the action begins on Monday. With a good draw, Dimitrov may have the capability to be a contender for the title.
Early 2017 results
Dimitrov got off to a flying start to 2017. Ranked 17th, he beat Kei Nishikori to take his first title since 2014 at the Brisbane International, before backing that up with a run to the last four at the Australian Open, falling to Rafael Nadal in a thrilling five-set contest. The Bulgarian continued his superb form in his home country, taking his second title of the year at the Sofia Open by beating David Goffin in the final. He then went through a poor patch of form, with a last eight loss in Rotterdam followed by early losses in Indian Wells and Miami.
The Bulgarian struggled over the clay court season, falling early in all the five tournaments he played including the French Open, where he fell in the third round to Pablo Carreno Busta. Dimitrov managed to rebounded a little on the grass court season, falling early in Stuttgart but then reaching the last four at Queen's and the second week at Wimbledon, where he fell to Roger Federer.
Hard Court summer
For his US Open prep, Dimitrov decided to play at the Citi Open in Washington, and then at the Masters 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati. Though things started fairly slowly for him, he had an incredibly strong finish to his preparation.
Dimitrov struggled in Washington, battling past Kyle Edmund in three sets (after receiving a bye in the first round) before falling in straight sets in the third round to Daniil Medvedev. He had a similar result at the Rogers Cup, edging past Mischa Zverev in his opening match before losing to Robin Haase in three sets.
However, the Bulgarian rebounded extremely well at the Western and Southern Open. He overcame Feliciano Lopez in his second round match in two tight sets, before seeing off Juan Martin del Potro in similar fashion in the third round. In the last eight, he cruised past Yuichi Sugita for the loss of just three games, before overcoming 14th seed John Isner in two tight sets to reach the final. There, he beat Nick Kyrgios in straight sets to win his first Masters 1000 title without dropping a single set.
Best US Open result
The US Open has not been Dimitrov’s strongest major in the past, though he made the second week in both 2014 and 2016.
In 2014, Dimitrov was the seventh seed (just as he will be this year) and started very well with comfortable wins over both Ryan Harrison and Dudi Sela in his opening two matches. He then faced a tougher third round, overcoming David Goffin in four sets after being bageled in the opening set, though then fell to 20th seed Gael Monfils in a tight straight-sets encounter.
After a poor couple of seasons, the Bulgarian was the 22nd seed in 2016, though comfortably saw off Inigo Cervantes in the opening round before edging past Jeremy Chardy in five sets in the second round. Dimitrov then saw off Joao Sousa in four sets to make the fourth round for the fourth time, where he fell to Andy Murray in tame fashion, winning just five games.
It has been a fairly strange season for Dimitrov so far, with some extremely successful moments and some extremely disappointing moments, though his victory in Cincinnati means he head into the tournament with some confidence. There is an opportunity for him to go on a big run here.