Expectations were not very high as Grigor Dimitrov began his 2023 season. He entered the season as a 31-year-old who had endured many struggles since his career-best 2017 season. However, what transpired was a largely unexpected revival, with Dimitrov enjoying his best year since 2017. Read on to relive the many highs, but also the lows, for Dimitrov in 2023.
Grigor Dimitrov 2023 Season Review
The overall consistency of Dimitrov’s season was excellent. His win percentage of 66% in 2023 is his best since 2017 and the third-best of his career. The Bulgarian also had success across all three surfaces over the course of the year.
Although he impressed throughout the season, Dimitrov’s best achievement came in last tournament of the season at the Paris Masters. The 2017 ATP Finals champion progressed all the way to the final. This included three-set victories against Daniil Medvedev, Hubert Hurkacz, and an epic final-set tiebreak triumph in the semifinal against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Dimitrov then fell in the final to recent ATP Finals champion Novak Djokovic. He also made the semifinal of the Shanghai Masters, which included an outstanding victory against Carlos Alcaraz. Reaching the third round of the Australian Open and US Open for the first time since 2021, and semifinals in Rotterdam, Washington, and Chengdu were other notable hardcourt results.
On clay, Dimitrov made his first ATP final in over five years in Geneva. The 32-year-old defeated Taylor Fritz in a final-set tiebreak in the semifinal, before falling to Nicolas Jarry 7-6 6-1 in the final. Dimitrov then equaled his best result at the French Open by progressing to the fourth round. He won his first three rounds easily in straight sets but was then swept aside by Alexander Zverev in the Round of 16.
The former Cincinnati Masters champion only played two grass court events in 2023 but performed solidly in both. He came through qualifying at Queen’s Club to make a quarterfinal appearance. At Wimbledon, Dimitrov achieved his best result since 2014 by reaching the fourth round, where he lost a very tight contest to Holger Rune in four sets.
The biggest frustration for Dimitrov in 2023 is obvious. Despite the huge improvement in his level, he did not manage to win a title and also underperformed somewhat in the finals he did make. Although Nicolas Jarry made big improvements himself in 2023 and is a very good excellent clay court player, the Geneva final represented a massive opportunity for the eight-time ATP champion to end his title drought. Unfortunately, the 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist did not perform at his best. Dimitrov was also below par against Djokovic in the Paris Masters. Toppling the 24-time Grand Slam was obviously a huge challenge, but the Bulgarian still did not reach his highest level, and Djokovic prevailed comfortably.
It was a similar story for Dimitrov in some of his semifinals in 2023. In Rotterdam, he was demolished 6-1 6-2 by this year’s US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev, while in Washington, a big opportunity was missed in a straight sets loss to Dan Evans, where Tallon Griekspoor would have waited in the final.
The 17-time ATP finalist will hope he can take the next step in 2024 by bringing his best tennis in the biggest matches. But Dimitrov should be incredibly proud of his overall season. Huge improvements were achieved, and it will be fascinating to observe whether he can continue that momentum in 2024.
Main Photo Credit: Credit: Mike Frey – USA TODAY Sports