Despite cracking the top-10 in 2014, Grigor Dimitrov had struggled to fulfill his potential before 2017, winning just four ATP titles before the breakthrough season that finally showed everything he owns in rich tennis arsenal.
With 49 wins and four ATP crowns, Grigor returned into the top-10 for the first time since February 2015, reaching the semi-final in Melbourne and lifting the biggest trophy in a career in Cincinnati after beating Nick Kyrgios in the title match.
The Bulgarian earned a chance to compete at the ATP Finals for the first time and it inspired him to deliver the best tennis, defeating Dominic Thiem, David Goffin, Pablo Carreno Busta, Jack Sock and David Goffin to wrap up 1500 points and stand at the top of men's tennis as world no.
3! Instead of building on that and battle for the ATP throne in 2018, Grigor produced mediocre season with 24 wins (half of those in 2017) and just one ATP final in Rotterdam that he lost comfortably against Roger Federer.
Protected by those 1500 points from London, Grigor stayed in the top-10 until November but will have to work much harder if he wants to return there anytime soon, having to deal with more bad news in 2019 as well. Struggling with a shoulder injury, the 28-year-old Bulgarian has played only seven tournaments this year and we are yet to see his best tennis, winning just nine matches so far and dropping out from the top-40 for the first time since February 2013!
Between Barcelona last year and Rome (Jan-Lennard Struff ousted him in the first round), Dimitrov has won just 19 matches on Tour and it wasn't enough to keep him in this ranking group longer, bowing out after more than six years when he was still 21.
Starting from Barcelona last year, Dimitrov is yet to reach the semi-final on the Tour and that's his worst streak since competing in the first one at Queen's 2012, also beating no one from the top-20 in this period.
Grigor asked for a wild card in Barcelona and lost in the third round to Nicolas Jarry before another early exit in the first round in Madrid when Taylor Fritz ousted him in two tie breaks. After this defeat, Grigor decided to part ways with Daniel Vallverdu after almost three years, achieving great things together but feeling this is the right moment to make the next step and try to recover his best tennis with someone else in the coaching box.
While waiting for an answer from Andre Agassi who is not ready to travel with him outside big tournaments, some Bulgarian sites have shared the news that Grigor negotiates with the six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker who worked with Novak Djokovic between 2014-16.
Also, he started working with Radek Stepanek and that is yet to bring the results, with the Bulgarian losing in the first round in Rome as well to extend his misery and barely survive in the top-50 only because he won no points at this time last year.
Seeking more matches ahead of Roland Garros, Grigor asked for a wild card at next week's ATP 250 event in Geneva but the main draw invitations have already been given to Stan Wawrinka, Janko Tipsarevic and Feliciano Lopez, leaving only the qualifying wild card for Bulgarian as an option.
Dimitrov accepted that and he will play in the qualifying round of an ATP tournament for the first time since Paris Masters in 2012 when he was ranked outside the top-50 for the last time!