How can Dimitrov get back on track? Greg Rusedski and Annabel Croft discuss his latest damaging defeat in Toronto
“His confidence is shattered because every big point he’s hitting double faults”, Greg Rusedski and Annabel Croft argue whether Grigor Dimitrov needs a psychologist to help him with his serving.
Dimitrov suffered a 6-2 6-2 hammering at the hands of Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Friday.
The Bulgarian, who lifted the biggest title of his career at the season-ending ATP Finals in London last November, has been struggling to replicate the same kind of form.
Now the 27-year-old world No 5 heads to Cincinnati where he will be defending 1000 points, having won the tournament last year and a early exit could damage his chances of a return to the O2.
“If I was Dimitrov’s coach I would take him down the practice court and hit tons of serves tonight, tomorrow and the next day and just keep on drilling that area. His confidence is shattered because every big point he’s hitting double faults and we’ve seen it for three matches in a row,” Rusedski told Sky Sports Arena.
“He’s got to get to a stage where he actually believes what he’s doing but the problem he’s having is that he’s missing long, he’s missing wide, he’s missing in the net. There’s not one miss he’s having to deal with. He’s just not got a clue what’s going on.”
But Croft disagreed with Rusedski’s comments that it can all be solved on the practice courts, and argued the problem could be deeper.
“It doesn’t matter how much you practise serving, mentally when you get into that pressure situation you can never replicate it during a match so I think, as much as you keep saying it’s technical, which it is, mentally it’s not there either,” she said.
“He has to keep practising it but it’s not going to fix the problem. I think it needs a psychologist or a hypnotherapist.
“It’s about shifting his mindset when he’s going up to serve. Something is entering his head at the moment of the ball toss for him not to commit to it the way that we know he can.
“We know he can go out there and hit 100 serves in a practice situation and make every single one of them but he’s so deeply insecure on the tennis court right now.”
1:36 Anderson: I controlled proceedings
We have the US hardcourts covered from all angles via our website skysports.com/tennis. On the move? Head to our app for mobile devices and iPad, or follow our Twitter account @SkySportsTennis to join in the conversation.
Our latest tennis action comes from the ATP Masters 1000 in Toronto. Watch the action throughout the week on Sky Sports Arena with the final on Sunday August 12 from 6.30pm before we head to Cincinnati and the return of Andy Murray.
Never miss the big kick-off or have to deal with interrupted games or low-quality streams with a NOW TV Sky Sports Pass this summer. You’ll get exclusive coverage of The Ryder Cup, ATP Tour and loads more starting from just £7.99. No contract.