Dimitrov hopes Serena rumours will not hit rise

 

Miami

Grigor Dimitrov always expected to hit the headlines one day, but what he never expected was that the majority of interest would surround not his career, but his private life.

The Bulgarian 20-year-old has become a high-profile name at recent tournaments due the growing obsession over the nature of his relationship with Serena Williams, who has been spotted courtside at his matches.

Dimitrov has laughed off questions in that direction, but the attention he always craved has clearly not been entirely unwelcome, after one of the best performances of his career at the Miami Masters this week.

There Dimitrov, currently the world No 101, claimed his first career win over a top 10-ranked opponent in Tomas Berdych, before finally bowing out in the fourth round to Janko Tipsarevic, who was due to play Andy Murray in the quarter-finals last night.

Dimitrov is a former world No1 junior who won both the Wimbledon and US Open titles in a stellar 2008 before making the immediate decision to concentrate on the senior circuit.

Big things were expected of the then teenage Bulgarian – but then, exactly the same had been said for his two immediate predecessors as Wimbledon junior champions, Donald Young and Thiemo de Bakker.

"I remember playing juniors and then coming up to these guys and I thought it was going to be a walk in the park," Dimitrov admitted this week. "But obviously it's not. Actually I'm pretty happy that I've got so far."

Dimitrov's progress has been slow and steady. Three years after committing to the seniors, he is yet to reach a tour final, and has not gone beyond the second round in his six main draw appearances at Grand Slams.

"It's very tough," admitted Dimitrov. "Nowadays I think the tennis is getting really competitive and it's a very physical sport so you've got to be on top every time.

"Of course you have your bad days, and you have to escape a little bit from them.

"The preparation [this season] was one of the best I did since I came on the tour. It has paid off a lot.

"I was expecting to play a little better at the beginning of the year, but obviously it wasn't the right time for me."

If there is any truth in the rumours of his relationship with Williams,the young man from Haskovo, close to the borders with Greece and Turkey, can expect to stay in the headlines for some time to come. But the way it is finally going, his tennis could soon be doing just as much of the talking.

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before