Three tournaments were played on the ATP Tour over the last week, one in Sofia, one in Montpellier, and one in Quito. The champions from the events are Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, and Victor Estrella Burgos.
Dimitrov enjoyed fairly smooth sailing in Sofia, at least after his first match of the tournament. Jerzy Janowicz took a set off of the home-country favorite early in the week, and he extended Dimitrov to a 7-5 deciding set. However, after that, the Bulgarian did not drop a set in defeating Viktor Troicki, Nikoloz Basilashvili, and David Goffin. Furthermore, Dimitrov actually won his quarter, his semi, and the final without being extended to a tiebreaker. The Bulgarian is truly on impressive form to start the 2017 season.
The Sofia title is just a 250-level title on tour, but Dimitrov still projects to gain a spot in the rankings on Monday. With very clear Top-5 potential this season, he will supplant Tomas Berdych in the rankings for the World No. 12 spot.
This is certainly an exciting time to be part of Dimitrov’s camp. It’s not quite mid-February yet, and he has two titles on the season already to go with his Australian Open semifinal appearance. In the year-to-date race, Dimitrov is ranked 3rd behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It’s certainly possible that those two veterans aren’t able to keep up the kind of tennis that they played at Melbourne Park to start the season. That being the case, Dimitrov may emerge as a candidate in the year-end No. 1 race as he does have a large lead on Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray through the first six weeks of the season.
Alexander Zverev had plenty of trouble in the Montpellier draw. After enjoying a first-round bye, the German dropped sets in each of his next three matches before beating Richard Gasquet in a straight-sets final. The 19-year old Zverev couldn’t have made too many fans in France as he eliminated other French hopefuls in Jeremy Chardy and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. However, he picked up his 2nd career title and will move up to what will be a new career-high ranking of World No. 18 on Monday.
In Quito, Victor Estrella Burgos walked a finer tightrope to the title than Zverev. He saved match points in the 2nd round and another in the final to claim the third title of his career at the age of 36. ‘Viti’ is actually undefeated at the Quito event and not for lack of participation either. He won the tournament for the third straight season, he is now 15-0 at the venue, and this season he started the tournament as the World No. 156. He’ll be back in the Top 100 with the 250 ranking points really helping him to stay relevant for the bigger draws.
Tennis doesn’t stop this upcoming week with events in Buenos Aires, Memphis, and Rotterdam. The latter one will feature both Dimitrov and Zverev, two players that are likely to be tired heading into the tournament.