The last time Grigor Dimitrov played Diego Schwartzman, this happened…
When Grigor Dimitrov rose to number 8 in the world in August 2014, it seemed only a matter of time before all those predictions about his future greatness came to pass.
He had just outclassed Andy Murray at Wimbledon, and pushed Novak Djokovic hard at the All England Club.
Baby-Fed had finally come of age. He was starting to deliver on the big stage.
But the anticipated acceleration did not quite materialize.
It has been a frustrating couple of years for Dimitrov, during which he has failed to reach any Grand Slam quarter finals, and failed to win any tour titles.
The closest he came to breaking that negative streak was at the Istanbul Open in May, when he contested the final against Argentinean, Diego Schwartzman.
The Bulgarian seemed destined for the title when he led 7-6 5-2, but a combination of some Argentinean brilliance, and a spectacular Dimitrov collapse turned the match around in Schwartzman’s favour.
It was all too much for Dimitrov to handle, cue, the video above…
Both players meet today in the quarter finals of the inaugural Chengdu Open.
Dimitrov lost five straight matches after his Istanbul meltdown as he threatened to fall into the abyss, but a timely mini-resurgence has lifted him back to number 21 in the world.
This is their first reunion since that infamous Istanbul meeting, with Dimitrov seeking some sort of redemption, and Schwartzman looking to rub more salts into his opponent’s wounds.
While that match in May was on clay, this Chengdu meeting is on a hard court, and that should put Dimitrov at an advantage.
The athletic Bulgarian remains strong in defence, and his extra firepower should get him past his Argentine adversary.