Dimitrov Opens Up About How He Went From 'Questionable Hotel' To Beating Djokovic In Madrid

Dimitrov Opens Up About How He Went From 'Questionable Hotel' To Beating Djokovic In Madrid

by Zachary Wimer

Back in 2013, Grigor Dimitrov was a youngster wanting to leave a mark, and he certainly did so at that year's Madrid Open.

It would be the first time Dimitrov would beat Novak Djokovic in a tennis match. The Bulgarian played Djokovic before that meeting at the ATP Masters 1000 event, so it wasn't the first time they played, but it was the first time he outplayed him.

It was also the last time he did it, as it never happened again. They're up to 13 matches so far, and that 7-6(6), 6-7(8), 6-3 win remains the only one Dimitrov has over Djokovic.

Djokovic was world number one at that time, while Dimitrov was hovering around the 30th position in the world, which made it a pretty big upset. The Bulgarian shared a story about that win ahead of this year's Madrid Open.

"I remember. I came earlier to Madrid. I remember staying in some very, very questionable hotel. And then, when I found out I had to play him, I was like, 'Okay, let's see, it's time.' And I wanted to win so I could get some cash to a different hotel. At the time, I remember that. I like to raise my level on those occasions, and I think just against him in particular."

Dimitrov remebers the 2013 Madrid Open.

While he might enjoy those matches, Dimitrov hasn't had much luck after that. He would occasionally win a set here and there, but he never came close to beating Djokovic again. The most recent meeting happened last year in Paris, and Djokovic won 6-4, 6-3.

The Bulgarian has had a really strong year so far in 2024, with a trophy and two additional finals. He hopes to bring a good level to Madrid as well, but there is no Djokovic at the event.

Eleven years after that 2013 match Dimitrov will play at the event, but Djokovic will not. What is impressive, though, is that Djokovic is still world number one. That's very impressive.


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