Grigor Dimitrov hasn't been consistent in the 2017 season. He started the year off very well, winning Brisbane and then making the semifinals of the Australian Open. Afterward, he would go on to win another title in Sofia. In many ways, the 26-year old, with the way he started the season, looked like he was finally going to start living up to some of the hype that surrounded him at earlier points in his career.

But Dimitrov is a player in the middle of an extended slump right now. Entering Cincinnati he hasn't beaten anyone in the top ten since way back at Brisbane. Dimitrov spoke recently with the ATP ahead of contesting the Cincinnati draw.

He spoke about Cincinnati but claimed that his "ultimate goal" at this point in his career is to qualify for the year-end World Tour Finals from London.

"I've never been to London," Dimitrov stated in his interview with Tennis TV, referring to the year-end event that has been staged in the English capital for a number of years now. "I've missed it quite a few times."

London qualification is realistic

The year-end event on tour is one of the most prestigious tournaments during the calendar year, arguably 5th-most prestigious behind the Grand Slam events. To qualify for London players need a top-eight ranking at the end of the Paris Masters. Lower-ranked players may still serve as alternates should a top-eight player not be able to play for whatever reason.

Dimitrov's goal definitely has to be considered attainable given the situation on the ATP Tour.

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Dimitrov, as of August 14th, is currently 9th in the ATP's Race To London. However, Dimitrov is looking up at Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic. Those are two players whose points total will remain stagnant for the balance of the year. So long as Dimitrov stays healthy, he can only gain on those two players.

Dimitrov is also looking up at Marin Cilic and Andy Murray in the race to London. Those are players that are currently injured and may not be effective for their returns. Dimitrov is also a better hard courter than Dominic Thiem, another player currently placed higher than the Bulgarian in the race to London. Thiem is a clay-court ace that may slide down in the race to London for the balance of the season, given that the events are now all hard-court ones.

Injuries to others help Dimitrov's chances

It's clear that Dimitrov might qualify for London as others invariably slide down the rankings with their injuries. But if he is to have any chance of doing well in the year-end event he will have to start posting wins against the top ten as the tournament will only have players with very high rankings. At this point in his season, Dimitrov is having trouble with the early-round players. It's not so much that he's in a slump against the top ten, but rather he's simply not generally getting to the points in his draws (ie. the late rounds) where he would face a top player. That's something he'll need to reverse in Cincinnati, New York, Shanghai, and Paris.