I didn't think much of Grigor Dimitrov's comments in his post match press conference the other day so I wasn't too disappointed with his loss to Robredo in the next round at Indian Wells. His coach Roger Rasheed can keep playing the same old tune over and over regarding his fitness expertise but it accounts for nothing if you can't teach the finer points of the game.
Take a look at Dimitrov's returning statistics, the weakest part of his game by a long way; The Bulgarian 12th seed won just 16 of 60 first service return points against a player who's serve is definitely not in the higher echelon of service statistics. And second service return points; 10 of 21. So Dimitrov is winning around 25 per cent of first service return points and 50 per cent of second service return points. Robredo did serve extremely well all the same with 74 per cent of first serves in but Dimitrov won just 26 of 81 return points for the match.
I make no apologies for my lack of respect for Roger Rasheed because he is not a tennis coach, he is a fitness expert, there is actually a difference. He can keep training his man Grigor as hard as he wishes but it's going to keep accounting for nothing if he keeps losing early in tournaments. The Bulgarian needs a coach who can see his weaknesses and improve them, not to simply make him into a fitness machine as Rasheed seems to be doing.
Someone needs to show Dimitrov how to play the service return as a 50/50 shot just as Federer does so well as he nullifies service pace, particularly from his backhand. His chip return should be in every tennis manual complete with step by step instruction on how to play it. No professional tennis player handles a service return from the backhand better than the genius from Switzerland.
The young man from Bulgaria has been likened to Federer many times as his style is similar however his tactical mind is lacking the polish of the great man. I have no doubt Dimitrov could become a great player but he will need to do some serious work on his thought processes in the future if he is to fulfil his potential.
I look at less talented players from the past such as Brad Gilbert and my favourite player Mats Wilander who's shots weren't anywhere near as glamorous as Dimitrov's. Those two players had rather simple games but their brilliant thinking found avenues to victories more often than not.
It's not that I don't like Dimitrov but I think he needs someone to show him how to play tennis before he becomes a wasted talent.
Perhaps a new coach could also teach him a thing or two regarding what to say at the press conference........