Last Updated on January 14, 2024
After winning his first title since 2017 at the 2024 Brisbane International, Grigor Dimitrov continues working with Dani Vallverdu and Jamie Delgado, who helped guide his successful 2023 season; read on for his full coaching history.
Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov earned the nickname “Baby Federer” for his stylish talent. Many expect him to reach world No. 1 someday.
Dimitrov was born into an athletic family in 1991. His dad Dimitar coached tennis, while mom Maria played volleyball. Maria gave a 3-year-old Grigor his first racket.
By age 5, Grigor was playing daily. He trained locally at the Haskovo Tennis Club under his father initially. Aged 14, Dimitrov won his first European junior title at the U14’s.
Success continued in 2006, capturing the prestigious Orange Bowl championship for 16-and-under boys. After these top junior results, it was clear advanced coaching could further develop Grigor’s immense potential.
Who Are Grigor Dimitrov’s Current Coaches?
For the 2024 season, Grigor will continue to work with two coaches, Dani Vallverdu and Jamie Delgado.
Jamie Delgado is a British tennis coach and former professional tennis player who has been coaching Bulgarian professional tennis player Grigor Dimitrov since December 2022. In his playing days, Delgado held the male record for consecutive appearances at Wimbledon tournaments, with his 23rd appearance happening in 2014 when he was 37 years old.
Delgado had a fruitful singles career, reaching the second round at Wimbledon on three occasions (1999, 2001, 2006) and winning three Challenger Tour titles. However, he enjoyed more success in doubles, winning 15 Challenger Tour titles and reaching the final of two ATP Tour events in 2012. His highest ranking in doubles was No. 57 in the world (8 October 2012).
His coaching career started in 2014 when he started coaching Gilles Müller, continuing until 2016. Subsequently, he coached British professional tennis player Andy Murray from 2016 until 2021. During his tenure, Murray won the 2016 Wimbledon Championships, the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals, and ended the year as the world number one. He also guided Murray to win the 2017 Dubai Tennis Championships and the 2019 European Open. After Murray, Delgado coached Canadian professional tennis player Denis Shapovalov until 2022, after which he started coaching Grigor Dimitrov.
Delgado was born in Birmingham, England, and turned professional in 1995. He retired from professional tennis in 2014 to focus on coaching.
Daniel Vallverdú is a Venezuelan tennis coach and a former professional player. Born on March 17, 1986, Vallverdú started his coaching career with Andy Murray, guiding him to many tournament victories. He also worked with Tomáš Berdych, Juan Martín del Potro, and Stan Wawrinka.
Most notably, Vallverdú coached Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov from 2016 to 2019 and started coaching him again in 2022. He had a significant impact on Dimitrov’s career, guiding him to his first Masters 1000 title at the 2017 Cincinnati Masters and the ATP Finals title later that year. This success brought Dimitrov to a career-high ranking of No. 3 by the end of 2017.
In 2023, Vallverdú mentioned in an interview with Puntodebreak about his current coaching focus, saying “Now my number one priority is to help Grigor in this second stage together. I want to help him win tournaments again and raise his ranking again, we are super focused on this.”
In addition to coaching, Vallverdu also serves as the coaches’ representative on the ATP Player Council and acts as the Tournament Director of the Washington D.C. Citi Open ATP 500.
Dani Vallverdu & Jamie Delgado – Interview
Dimitrov brought on Dani Vallverdu and Jamie Delgado as new coaches leading into 2023. The move immediately paid dividends. Dimitrov reached two ATP finals in Geneva and Rotterdam and made deep runs at Masters events in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome. Additional highlights included a fourth-round showing at the French Open and a quarterfinal result at Wimbledon.
The Bulgarian’s stellar form rolled on into 2024. At the Brisbane International, Dimitrov set new tournament records with 21 career match wins. He took out top seed Holger Rune in the final for his first title since 2017 and ninth of his career. The triumph lifted his ranking back up to #13, his best mark since 2018.
After capturing the Brisbane International title, an emotional Grigor Dimitrov reflected on his history with the tournament. “It’s been a while since I held one of these, it’s a bit emotional,” the 32-year-old Bulgarian said as he lifted the trophy. “My love affair started here many years ago in Brisbane and it continues. I’m very thankful to lift the trophy again.”
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Grigor Dimitrov’s Past Coaches
William Pato Alvarez
As 16 years old boy in 2007, Grigor joined the academy “Sanchez-Casal” where he was trained under mentorship of William Pato Alvarez.
Pato Alvarez was born on 15th December 1934 in Medellin, Colombia and died this year at age of 87. During his career he was an eight-time Colombian national champion and his best result on Majors is third round at French Open. He relocated to Spain in 1970s where is recognized as creator of the current Spanish tennis training system and became a world acclaimed tennis coach. In the 1980s was the technical manager of the Royal Spanish Tennis federation and was in charge of choosing the best Spanish tennis players whom he accompanied in the main tournaments on the circuit. He trained outstanding Spanish rackets such as Emilio Sanchez Vicario and prominent tennis players on the international scene such as Andy Murray and Juan Monaco.
Under Pato’s mentorship, in 2007, Dimitrov was the finalist at the Orange Bowl U18 boys’ singles losing to Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania and with Vasek Pospisil, he reached US open doubles final. During 2008 he won Junior Wimbledon without dropping a set, and Junior US Open. After that tournament on 8 September 2008, he became junior world No.1 and announced that he was ending his junior career and focusing on improving his ATP ranking. Later that year came his first title in men’s events at a futures tournament on clay in Barcelona and after that futures tournament in Madrid on hard court.
“Grigor is the best 17-year-old tennis player that I have trained so far.” said Alvarez on his trainee back then.
They separated their ways early in 2009.
Since March 2009 Dimitrov trained in Paris where he joined Patrick Mouratoglou’s Tennis Academy and spent next four seasons there. That year he formally began a coaching relationship with Peter Lundgren.
Peter Lundgren was born on 29th January 1965 in Gudmundra, Sweden. He was one of the second-generation Swedish players along with Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, Joakim Nystrom that followed after the success of Bjorn Borg. During his playing career won 3 titles in singles (Cologne, San Francisco, and Rye Brook) and 3 titles in doubles (Tel Aviv, Newport and Sydney Indoor). Lundgren’s best ranking was 25th in the world, he retired at 30 years of age and then went into coaching.
“I was little up and down as player. Sometimes I could lose motivation and then suddenly get thrashed against lower ranked players.”
He made a name for himself as a coach when took Marcelo Rios into top 10. Worked for the Swiss Tennis Federation coaching juniors, among them Roger Federer for three years. In 2005 guided Marat Safin to the Australian Open title. His trainees were British Davies Cup team, Marcos Baghdatis, Stanislas Wawrinka, Daniela Hantuchova.
Grigor Dimitrov, during their collaboration made his Grand Slam debut at the Wimbledon and won his first doubles Challenger title alongside with Teymuraz Gabashvili, at the ATP Challenger Trophy held in Trnava, Slovakia.
“He is better player than Federer was at his age.” said Lundgren about Grigor Dimitrov
From the beginning of 2010 Dimitrov had a number of disappointing losses in Challenger events and separated ways with Peter Lundgren.
Starting from June 2010 Grigor started collaboration with Australian coach Peter McNamara.
Peter McNamara was born on 5th July 1955 in Melbourne, Australia and died in 2019 at age of 64 from prostate cancer. As a player he won five singles and nineteen doubles titles out of which three Grand Slams. His highest singles ATP-ranking is No.7 and No.3 in doubles. In partnership with Paul McNamee, duo known as the “Super Macs,” claimed 1980 and 1982 Wimbledon as well as the Australian Open in 1979. There was also an impressive singles career and wins over Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl. He represented Australia in 21 Davis Cup singles and doubles rubbers over a six-year period, culminating in the 1986 title run. After retiring at age of 32 he started coaching career at Tennis Australia. He went on to coach juniors and professionals including Carling Bassett, Mark Philippoussis, Mathew Ebden and Wang Qiang
When coaching Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgarian managed to improve his form and captured three consecutive titles on Challenger Tour. First at the IPP Trophy held in Geneva, Switzerland defeating Pablo Andujar. Than at the final of Bangkok Open he beat former top 20 player Dmitry Tursunov and won Bangkok Open 2 defeating Alexander Kudryavtsev.
During 2011 he won Challenger DCNS de Cherbourg by defeating defending champion Nicolas Mahut in the final. He played many tournaments, entered top 100 and ended the year ranked No.76
They ended their coaching relationship at the end of the 2011 season.
In 2012, Dimitrov was coached by Patrick Mouratoglou.
Patrick Jean Andre Mouratoglou (52), a French tennis coach with Greek descent, was born 8th June 1970 in Neuilly-sue-Seine, France. He founded the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in 1996 near Paris and coached many top tour players, among them Marcos Baghdatis, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Jeremy Chardy and Serena Williams. Currently he is coach of Stefanos Tsitsipas together with his father Apostolos Tsitsipas, Coco Gauff, and Simona Halep.
He has achieved the greatest success with Serena Williams, guided her to her fifth, sixth and seventh Wimbledon titles, the Olympic gold medal, her fourth, fifth and sixth US Open titles, her second and third French Open titles, three consecutive year-end championships titles, her sixth and seventh Australian Open title.
Coached by Mouratoglou, Grigor Dimitrov that year made his first win over a top-ten player, by beating Tomas Berdych at the Sony Ericsson Open. He participated at many tournaments, reached his first ATP semifinal at the Aegon Championships, and ended 2012 ranked World No.48 in singles.
In November 2012 Dimitrov left the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy and has joined the Good to Great Tennis Academy in Sweden.
On 7 October 2013, Grigor announced that he has hired Roger Rasheed.
Roger Rasheed, Australian of Lebanese descent, was born 10th March 1969 in Adelaide, Australia. He is former Australian Rules football player, tennis player, coach, and commentator. As a tennis player was the youngest ever to qualify for an Australian Open in 1985 at 16 years of age. He won four titles in the ATP Challenger Series and reached 192 in ATP singles rankings.
As tennis coach is notable as Lleyton Hewitt’s coach, who under Rasheed’s mentorship became the first Australian in seventeen years to reach the Australian Open final and win the 2006 Queen’s Club Championships. He also coached Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
As for Grigor Dimitrov, just one month after hiring Roger Rasheed, he won his first ATP title in Stockholm after beating David Ferrer in the final. That year Grigor made his biggest win of his career at that moment, defeating world No.1 Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open and reached a career-best No.22 in the world.
During 2014 Dimitrov won Acapulco Open by defeating Kevin Anderson in the final, reached his first ATP title on clay at Bucharest Open beating Lukas Rosol and his first ATP title on grass at Aegon Championships where he defeated Feliciano Lopez in the final.
At Wimbledon, he made his best result on Grand Slams, playing in semifinal, where he was beaten in four sets by Novak Djokovic who went on to win the tournament. That performance led him to No.9 at ATP rankings and was chosen for Bulgarian Sportsperson of the Year.
“This kid came to me pretty strongly when I stopped with Tsonga. When you say you want to be the best player in the world at some point in your career, it means you’re really prepared to be accountable, which opens a lot of skeletons, a lot of doors and have to be honest with yourself. To his credit, he’s wanted to do that.” said Rasheed about his beginnings with Grigor.
They parted ways after Wimbledon in 2015.
Starting from September 2015, he trained under mentorship of Franco Davin.
Franco Davin (52) was born 11th January 1970 in buenos Aires, Argentina. He had an excellent junior career, winning French Open Doubles and reaching US Open Singles final. He holds record for being the youngest player to win an ATP-tour level main draw match, at age of 15 years and 1 month. During his playing career won 3 ATP titles, 4 Challenger tournaments and reached a career-high singles ranking of World No.30 in 1990.
He retired from playing tennis in 1997 and started his coaching career. Under his tutelage Juan Martin del Potro won the 2009 US Open and also coached Gaston Gaudio when he won the 2004 French Open. His collaboration with Grigor Dimitrov was short-lived as Dimitrov dropped out of the top 20 during 2015 and his downfall continued during 2016.
In May 2019 Dimitrov and Vallverdu parted ways following a string of unsuccessful tournament participations and Bulgarian added Radek Stepanek to his team, but that lasted only few months.
Radek Stepanek was born 27th November 1978 in Karvina, Czech Republic. During his playing career won 5 singles titles and 18 doubles titles out of which two Grand Slams (Australian and US Open) Also he is two times Davis Cup champion. His career-high singles ranking was world No.8 and best doubles ranking was No.4. After his retirement in 2017, started coaching career and during 2018 was part of Novak Djokovic’s team.
“We wanted to see with Stepanek whether things would work. Agassi is still with me. In the important moments, you can count on him. Our relationship goes beyond tennis.” Dimitrov said in an interview with Bulgarian television.
During 2020, Grigor Dimitrov worked with German coach Christian Groh.
Christian Groh was born in Crailsheim, Germany. He started coaching career in 2010 and best results had with Tommy Hass and Taylor Fritz. Under his mentorship Haas won Halle, Munich and Vienna and reached No.11 in the world within less than 24 months, while Fritz managed to win the Us Open Juniors reached French Open final and became World No.1 in the Junior ITF rankings.
Best Dimitrov’s result under Agassi and Groh, in 2019 was defeating Roger Federer and reaching semifinals at US Open, and in 2020 reaching the fourth round of the French Open.
As the 2020 season did not go very well and Dimitrov hasn’t added any ATP title to his tally of eight since 2017, he part ways with both Agassi and Groh.
In 2021, Grigor Dimitrov started his journey with Dante Bottini.
Dante Bottini is a professional tennis coach, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He started playing tennis at the young age of four and later played at the University of West Florida until 2003. Although he played on the Futures and Challenger circuit, he didn’t have much success as a player, reaching only up to the 827th spot in singles. However, he found his true calling as a coach.
Bottini started his coaching career in 2007 at the IMG academy, where he worked with players of all ages. He notably coached Kei Nishikori from Japan for nine years. Under Bottini’s guidance, Nishikori won 12 titles, reached the US Open final in 2014, and attained the fourth spot in the world rankings in 2015. He even won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics, making it Japan’s first singles Olympic medal since 1920.
However, Bottini’s stint with Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov didn’t yield any titles, even though they had a two-year run from January 2021 to September 2022. Dimitrov managed to reach the quarterfinals at the Australia Open and made it to the semifinals in Indian Wells for the first time in his career under Bottini’s tutelage. His best performances in 2022 were reaching the semifinals at the Melbourne Summer Set tournament and the Monte-Carlo Masters.
Bottini had positive things to say about his time with Dimitrov. “Dimitrov is getting his tennis back. I like the energy he puts on the track when he’s out there. I appreciate that he listens to my advice, which is important,” he said. Dimitrov also had a positive attitude about working with Bottini, stating, “The moment I found out Dante was sort of alone, I reached out to him. We hit it off.”
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Grigor Dimitrov’s achievements with different coaches
We have collected in the table the data about the trophies won by Grigor Dimitrov under the guidance of various coaches.
|Years of Cooperation
|William Pato Alvarez
|2007 – 2009
|2008 Junior Wimbledon
2008 Junior US Open
2008 Futures tournament Barcelona
2008 Futures tournament Madrid
|2009 – 2010
|2009 Trnava ATP Challenger doubles
|2010 – 2011
|2010 Geneva IPP Trophy Challenger
2010 Bangkok Open Challenger
2010 Bangkok Open 2 Challenger
2011 DCNS de Cherbourg Challenger
|2012 – 2012
|2013 – 2015
|2013 Stockholm Open
2014 Acapulco Open
2014 Bucharest Open
2014 AEGON Championships
|2015 – 2016
|2016 – 2019
|2017 Brisbane International
2017 Sofia Open 2017
2017 ATP finals
|2018 – 2020
|2019 – 2019
|2020 – 2020
|2021 – 2022
|Daniel Vallverdu, Jamie Delgado
|2024 Brisbane International