Grigor Dimitrov punished for attacking umpire; risks his place in the 2011 Australian Open
The Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov has been charged €2000 and could face further punishment as a result of attacking an umpire at the Challenger event in Helsinki last month.
The 19-year-old Dimitrov, who made his debut on the ATP World Tour back in 2008, is currently enjoying his career highest ranking of number 106 in the world. In his highly successful junior career, the right hander captured the boy’s singles crown at the
grass court Grand Slam tournament as well as the junior United States Open. Dimitrov also had a junior high ranking of number one in the list.
The 1.88 meters tall started his 2010 campaign by competing at the Challenger event in New Caledonia where he finished as quarterfinalist in the end. He next successfully qualified into the main draw of the year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open in
Melbourne, where the Bulgarian couldn’t even win his opening match as he was toppled at the hands of Robert Kendrick in three sets. Grigor, however, regained his form immediately at the Honolulu challenger, advancing into fourth round before falling to Donald
Young. The teenager then played for his country in the Davis Cup, claiming all three victories in a 3-2 win over Monaco.
Dimitrov triumphed in his first ATP tour clash of the season on the grass court of the AEGON Tournament in London where he got the better of Alex Bogdanovic in three sets before falling at the hands of world number thirty one Feliciano Lopez in two sets
in the next round. The final match score was 6–2, 6–4.
He won his first Challenger title in Geneva, where the world number 106 thrashed out Pablo Andujar in a three setter title battle. The final score line was 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
In his most recent news, the Bulgarian after his final four loss to Ricardas Berankis at the Helsinki Challenger is reported to have attacked umpire Daniel Infanger away from the court before pushing the official in the chest using both of his hands.
According to one of the Finnish newspapers, an irate Dimitrov also swore at Daniel until an Italian colleague of the umpire separated the two of them.
The newspaper also reports the director of the competition saying that the Association of Tennis Professional could yet impose a more severe punishment on the contender once the incident has been further examined.
Antti Aine who is the President of the Finnish umpire's association, was extremely critical of Grigor after witnessing the argument himself.
"The immunity of the umpire is a sacred thing in sports. You can disagree with calls but this was way out of line,” said Aine.
A suspension could possibly endanger Dimitrov’s place in next month’s Australian Open with the contender’s current ranking of world number 106 enough to secure him straight entry.
As a junior, the Haskovo resident captured both the grass court Grand Slam title as well as the United States Open; however he may yet have to wait for a while for his debut appearance into the main draw of a professional slam on the tour.
It is a rather disappointing end to the year for the Bulgarian tennis ace, who has enjoyed a huge boost up the rankings since joining his Australian coach Pete McNamara earlier this year during the month of June.
Since then, Dimitrov has picked up three crowns on the Challenger tour and jumped over 250 spots to register his name as the highest ranked teenager on the ATP tour, a full fifty places ahead of Milos Raonic, a teenager from Canada.