Jamie Delgado is certainly among the people with the most credit for Grigor Dimitrov’s renaissance in 2023. The British specialist started working with the Bulgarian at the very end of 2022, during the preparation for the season.
His positive words for Dimitrov made an impression during the Paris Masters and again emphasized the role of the man who was next to Andy Murray during his greatest successes. With Delgado on her team, Murray won the 2016 Wimbledon title, her second Olympic gold medal and reached world No. 1.
That’s why the coach was asked about the path traveled in the last 11 months and what has changed for Dimitrov. “When we started working last December, he was in a difficult position. His confidence was low, his ranking was falling, so we tried to boost his motivation and make it clear to him what was working well in his game and what things he needed to improve. Congratulations to him, he worked all the time and now he is starting to play very, very well.”
The first goal for Delgado was for the Bulgarian to add muscle mass. Since December, Grigor has achieved his goal, adding 5-6 kilograms of muscle.
The other big change has to do with the mental part of the game. “I think in the big moments he’s braver than he was. At the beginning of the year, when he was playing with the best, he was a bit passive and didn’t seem to believe he could win. Now, whether he’s winning or losing, it feels like he’s a lot more positive and believes in his game more.”
According to the 46-year-old specialist, what is happening in Paris is a bonus to the big goal – to be in optimal condition for a strong 2024. “Hopefully with a better ranking he will be better positioned in some draws and confidence will be higher.” This is the plan – to prepare for next year. He wants to be part of the big games again. I think in the last few years he’s lost that confidence that it can happen. He lost a bit of confidence, but now he’s starting to see that maybe, why not?’
Besides the “pretty clear vision” of how Dimitrov should play, according to Delgado, another important factor is the good relationship between them. “I think we can be discovered. I feel like I’ve been able to tell him the hard things and he’s listened.”
Grigor himself also spoke in a little more detail about how Delgado was brought into his team with Dani Valverde. “Before he joined the team, I spoke a lot with Daniel Valverde. He is the main person in our team. We thought who we could bring in would be someone he also knew well. We wanted to make sure it was someone with real expertise in the sport who loved the game, understood the game and lived for the game in the same way. I’ve known Jamie for a long time. There were some other names, but when it came to Jamie, I thought it was interesting. I hadn’t spent much time with him. We always had a lot of respect for each other. I have trained many times with the players he has trained, so we got along well. When we met, everything worked out and the rest is history. Here we are one year later.”
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