Tennis: Predicting the ATP’s and WTA’s movers and shakers for 2018 – Part 6

Both, Grigor Dimitrov of the ATP and Caroline Garcia of WTA, picked steam and performed well towards the latter half of the season.

 

Grigor Dimitrov’s did well in 2017.

Grigor Dimitrov had the best season ever, in 2017. He finished 6th with a 49-19 win-loss record and four titles, including the year-end ATP finals.

Grigor started the year by winning the Brisbane title and beating Dominic Thiem, Milos Raonic, and Kei Nishikori on the way to the trophy. He then stretched Rafael Nadal to five sets in the semifinals of the Australian Open.

Dimitrov then won the Bulgaria Open in Sofia by beating David Goffin 7-5, 6-4 for the title. Goffin, however, avenged his loss in the quarterfinals of the ABN Amro WTT in Rotterdam. Grigor’s Indian Wells and Miami open were disappointments, and he lost early in both.

Grigor Dimitrov’s clay and grass court seasons.

His clay season began with first set losses to the 385th ranked Tommy Robredo, and Jan-Lennard Struff. Grigor Dimitrov lost to Pablo Carreno Busta in the third round of the French Open and went down in the fourth round of the Wimbledon to Roger Federer.

After a shaky start in the post-Wimbledon season which he began with a third-round loss to Daniil Medvedev at the Citi Open, and Robin Haase, also in the third round of the Canadian Masters. Grigor Dimitrov regained top form to win the Cincinnati Masters by beating Feliciano Lopez, Juan Martin Del Potro, John Isner and Nick Kyrgios en route. He was not able to carry that form into the US Open, however, and lost 5-7, 6-7 (3), 3-6 in the second round to Andrey Rublev.

Grigor Dimitrov’s season after the US Open.

Grigor Dimitrov lost the China Open and Shanghai Masters to Rafael Nadal. He bounced back to beat Juan Martin Del Potro in the finals of the Stockholm Open. At the ATP Finals in London, Grigor Dimitrov won the round-robin matches against Dominic Thiem, David Goffin, and Pablo Carreno Busta, and his semifinals against Jack Sock and took down David Goffin, in three sets, in the finals.

Grigor’s playing style.

Grigor is an aggressive baseline player and has recently started attacking the net to end points. He has a powerful serve and also moves quickly for a tall player. His game may appear similar to Roger Federer’s, but it lacks Roger’s balance. He lacks Roger’s uncanny abilities to move from the baseline to the net and defense to offense.

What can we expect from Grigor Dimitrov in 2018?

2017 was successful and also ended on a high for Grigor Dimitrov. Much is expected of him by many, in 2018.

We believe he will be a top-ten player in 2018 again but, with the continued dominance of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and the return of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Stan Wawrinka, the competition will only get tighter for Grigor Dimitrov to win a slam.

 

Caroline Garcia’s performance until the US Open was not exceptional.

Caroline Garcia began her 2017 ranked 24 at the Australian Open where she lost 6-2, 7-5 in the third round to Barbara Strycova, and could not make the quarterfinals of the next six tournaments. Caroline Garcia reached the semifinals of the Monterrey International, on hard courts, in Mexico, and Strasbourg International, on clay, in France. She suffered a 7-6 (3) 6-4 quarterfinal loss to Karolina Pliskova in the French Open. Her first grass court tournament in 2017 was Mallorca International, in Spain where she lost 6-4, 6-2 to the 19th ranked Anastasija Sevastova in the semifinals, which was followed by a fourth-round loss to Johanna Konta in the fourth round of the Wimbledon. Caroline Garcia lost in the third round of the US Open to Petra Kvitova.

Caroline Garcia’s Asian swing was fantastic.

Caroline Garcia did well in the Asian swing and won the Wuhan Premier, and Beijing Premier Mandatory back-to-back over consecutive weeks. In the Beijing Premier Mandatory she took down, the World number three, Elina Svitolina 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (6) in the quarterfinals and the world number two, Simona Halep, 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the finals.

She was also the only player to beat Caroline Wozniacki on the slow courts of Singapore a the year-end WTA Finals.

Caroline Garcia’s playing style.

Caroline Garcia is an aggressive base-liner and has a powerful serve. She clocked 354 aces in 2017. Caroline wields a strong forehand, which she uses to create openings and end-points.

Caroline Garcia was a high-ranking doubles player and gave up doubles to focus only on singles. She is an expert at volleys but rarely approaches the net in singles. She uses her relatively quick footwork to set up her ground shots.

What can we expect of Caroline Garcia in 2018?

Caroline has tasted blood by beating the top-ranking players in 2017, and she has the makings of a slam winner too. In 2018, her chances to win a slam will be as good as any other top 10 ranking WTA player.