Grigor Dimitrov has revealed that he split with his coach Franco Davin before Wimbledon and he had been competing at a major without a team behind him for the first time in his career.
The Bulgarian ended a six-match losing streak and won back-to-back matches for the first time since May 1 by reaching the third round but fell to American Steve Johnson on Saturday 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-2 to exit the tournament, missing out on a chance to set up a fourth round clash with Roger Federer.
Johnson, who is on an eight-match winning streak having captured the title in Nottingham last week, triumphed in a rain-interrupted battle that was suspended at 4-3 in the opening set on Friday, and was completed on Saturday on Court 18.
“I’m alone in this tournament. I’m not trying to hide it, obviously. Things just haven’t worked out good for us. It is what it is. This is the situation,” said Dimitrov about his status with Davin, who is the former coach of Juan Martin del Potro.
“I mean, I know how to play tennis in the same time. I just have to do a little bit extra work on my own with the racquets, with the stringing, the balls, the courts, the practice. Other than that I’m pretty comfortable right now and happy.”
Dimitrov, who made the Wimbledon semi-finals two years ago and cracked the top-10 that season, is now ranked 37 in the world and has not made it past the third round at a major since a fourth round showing at the 2015 Australian Open.
He says he split with Davin the week before Wimbledon.
“It’s (time) for me to obviously find something else, something new, something that would get me back on the right track,” said the 25-year-old.
“I mean, I want to improve. That’s my main goal. I want to improve and I want to win matches. If you do all that right, I mean, everything’s coming together.”
On what he will be looking for when deciding on his next coach, Dimitrov added: “I haven’t thought about it, to be honest. I’m just trying to ‑ that was the first time for me just taking obviously such a decision and especially before a tournament like that. I’m just trying to stay positive and not think about it.
“Obviously now I’m going to have a bit of time to think about all that, but the decision is taken. As I said, I’m confident behind that. So let’s see. This is just a process now.”
Dimitrov said having to deal with the daily logistics by himself the past week at Wimbledon was a positive, although often stressful, learning experience.
“I’m pleased with it. For some reason I feel very positive, first with the decision that I took, and then to be able to control everything on my own after that, it shows me a lot. I don’t do it for anyone else but me,” said the Bulgarian.
“I think that’s just very important for me right now, to show to myself to show that what I do is not for anyone else. It’s just for me.”
Del Potro, who had lots of success with Davin, including winning the 2009 US Open, does not have a coach at the moment as he continues to mount his comeback from a lengthy injury hiatus.
The world number one, bidding for a fourth Wimbledon title and 13th major, suffered his earliest loss at a Slam since the 2009 French Open.
The 7-6 (8/6), 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5) third round defeat also ended Djokovic’s Open era record run of 30 successive wins at the majors and his streak of having reached 28 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-finals.
“Sam played a great match. His game was brutal and I was overpowered today,” said Djokovic who added that he “wasn’t 100% healthy”.
“But this is not the place or time to talk about it.”
“I managed to win four Grand Slams in a row — two different seasons, though. I want to try to focus on that rather than on failure.”
“It’s an amazing feeling, obviously, to be able to hold four Grand Slams at the same time. Coming into Wimbledon, I knew that mentally it’s not going to be easy to kind of remotivate myself.
“But the importance of this tournament is so immense that you always find ways to really get inspired and prepare and try to give your best.
“Obviously my best wasn’t enough this year.”
American Sam Querrey served up a monumental shock by beating Novak Djokovic in the third round at Wimbledon.
Djokovic held all four grand slam titles coming to Wimbledon but will relinquish his grass-court crown now after a four-set loss on Court One.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the tournament’s most famous upsets in the men’s singles.
1967: Charlie Pasarell v Manuel Santana
Pasarell opened the championships against title holder and top seed Manuel Santana of Spain, and sensationally dismissed him 10-8 6-3 2-6 8-6.
1970: Roger Taylor v Rod Laver
When the great Laver faced Britain’s Taylor in the fourth round, he had won 31 consecutive matches and was favourite to complete a Wimbledon hat-trick. Taylor, advised by the press that he may as well stay at home, overwhelmed the champion 4-6 6-4 6-2 6-1 on a rising tide of patriotic fervour.
1987: Peter Doohan v Boris Becker
‘Boom Boom Boris’ became Wimbledon’s youngest champion at the age of 17 in 1985, and made a successful defence a year later. He arrived at the 1987 championships as favourite but the Australian played the match of his life in the second round to win 7-6 (7/4) 4-6 6-2 6-4.
1991: Nick Brown v Goran Ivanisevic
Charismatic Croatian Ivanisevic was one year away from reaching his first Wimbledon final when he came up against unheralded Briton Nick Brown in the second round. Brown, a 29-year-old who had quit the game for five years and was two years into his comeback, won 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 in an upset that was hailed by the ATP’s own computer as the biggest shock since world rankings started 18 years earlier. Ivanisevic was seeded number 10, while Brown was 591st in the world.
2002: George Bastl v Pete Sampras
Sampras returned to his favourite hunting ground in 2002 without a tournament win in two years and carrying an injury. The seven-time champion nevertheless suffered one of the most surprising defeats of his career to world 145 George Bastl of Switzerland in the second round. Sampras had battled back from two sets down to level, on the now-demolished Court Two which was famed as the ‘Graveyard of Champions’, but Bastl held his nerve to win 6-3 6-2 4-6 3-6 6-4.
2003: Lleyton Hewitt v Ivo Karlovic
Hewitt became just the second returning champion to exit in the first round as he fell foul of the big-serving Croatian, who was making his grand slam debut. Karlovic sealed a stunning 1-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 6-4 success over the Australian.
2012: Rafael Nadal v Lukas Rosol
Unsung Czech Rosol claimed a remarkable second-round victory. Rosol sent multiple grand slam winner Nadal packing, completing a 6-7 (9/11) 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4 success under the Centre Court roof.
2013: Rafael Nadal v Steve Darcis
Nadal refused to blame troublesome knees in the wake of his shock opening-round loss. The Spaniard suffered a first-week exit from Wimbledon for the second successive year as Darcis – the world number 135 – prevailed 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (10/8) 6-4.
2013: Roger Federer v Sergiy Stakhovsky
Federer described his first-round victory over Victor Hanescu as ”perfect”, but his joy did not last long as the seven-time champion bowed out of the tournament in the next round with a 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 7-6 (7/5) defeat to unheralded Ukrainian Stakhovsky.
2015: Rafael Nadal v Dustin Brown
Nadal slumped to a 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-4 defeat against dreadlocked German-Jamaican Dustin Brown. Brown’s unconventional style included shots that will not be found in any tennis coaching manual, but it made for a thrilling spectacle against the out-of-form Spaniard.