Friday, July 12, 2013

Dimitrov, Fognini Searching for Maiden ATP Titles this Weekend

(July 12, 2013)--Being a human highlight film has not parlayed into winning ATP titles for Fabio Fognini and Grigor Dimitrov, but each is making a strong case for their first title this weekend in Stuttgart (Fognini) and Bastad (Dimitrov).

Dimitrov (29) and Fognini (31) are two of the highest-ranked ATP players yet to secure a maiden ATP title. Jerzy Janowicz (17) and Benoit Paire (27) are the two highest. Strangely, the argument could be made that these four players are the most preternaturally gifted athletes in terms of shotmaking abilities in the top 50, and it makes one wonder: Is there an inverse correlation between being wildly talented and winning lots of titles? Clearly, judging from the likes of Roger Federer (77 career titles) and Rafael Nadal (57 career titles) the answer is no.

The more likely scenario is that both Fognini (26, but a late bloomer) and Dimitrov (22), just need a little time for their games to come together on the big stage. Fognini is headed for his first-ever year-end top 40 appearance, and so is Dimitrov. With lots of hard work and patience, Dimitrov and Fognini have put themselves in position to break out this weekend.

Dimitrov defeated Juan Monaco for the first time in four career matches in Bastad on Friday, a very nice result, particularly on clay, while Fognini took out the ageless wonder Tommy Haas in two easy sets in Stuttgart, a great result considering Haas is so difficult to beat on his home soil.

Dimitrov will face the red-hot Fernando Verdasco in his semifinal tomorrow, while Fognini will face the up-and-coming Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

We're betting that one of these two wildly talented players gets the monkey off his back this weekend.

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