For readers who haven’t yet seen any of these, we took some pics of a very young Grigor Dimitrov with a very young Vasek Pospisil at the 2007 U.S. Open, where they reached the doubles final together.
Pospisil had just turned 17; Dimitrov had turned 16 in May. But he was the hotter prospect; to go with the ITF rules about doubles teams being essentially matchy-matchy, he had to lend Pospisil some of his adidas shirts.
Here are some pics of that final. All together how: Awwwwwwwww.
Dimitrov’s future girlfriend, the lovely Maria Sharapova, was the defending champ that year (she lost in the third round to Radwanska, but she probably wasn’t trolling the junior courts the following week looking for her future love 🙂
Dimitrov was always a gifted guy, but that match, against Frenchmen Jonathan Eysseric and Jerôme Inzerillo, was a small sample of what was holding him back. He was a total looney tunes hothead.
In the middle of the second set, when things were getting to crunch time, Dimitrov started losing his mind. There were some balls fired out of the court, etc. etc.
As you can see at right, referee Tony Cho (as it happens, a Canadian) had to come over and explain to them why they ended up losing a game because of a penalty point. Pospisil was kind of flummoxed by the whole thing.
They ended up losing 6-2, 6-4. Not that you can’t figure that out by the awards ceremony pics. In singles, Dimitrov lost in the second round to Brit Daniel Evans.
A year later, Dimitrov was the No. 1 junior in the world after winning junior Wimbledon and the junior U.S. Open. It just took 5 1/2 years to get to today’s quarterfinal with Nadal. Though many were in a rush to get them there, in the men’s game, sometimes that’s how long it takes.
And what about those two Frenchmen? Eysseric (who was ranked No. 1 in the juniors in Jan, 2007) is currently ranked No. 317 and has yet to break the top 200. Inzerillo? He got to No. 13 in the juniors; as a pro, he never broke the top 350 and is currently just out of the top 1000. He hasn’t played since October.