A very good assessment of Grigor's match vs Roddick at Shanghai 2011:
It’s been a bumpy 10 months for all of these young players, filled with injuries (Raonic), creeping but frustrating improvement (Dimitrov), and results that swing violently from one event to the next (Tomic, Dolgopolov).
Yep, he's improving we can tell and yet not as speedy as himself or some fans would like to see.
A stat: By the middle of the first set between Andy Roddick and Grigor Dimitrov today, Dimitrov had hit 11 winners and made 17 unforced errors, while Roddick had exactly one of each.
Roddick, in his later, conservative years, has become a kind of litmus test. He doesn’t hit many winners and commits very few errors, so it’s up to you to make your shots and make things happen. Traditionally, though it’s not as true as it once was, Roddick has beaten the players he’s supposed to beat and lost to the players he’s supposed to lose to. He’s very good at assessing his opponent’s weaknesses and waiting for them to show up and bite them at the crucial moment.
That’s essentially what happened today against Dimitrov. The Bulgarian’s soft spot—and it’s very soft right now—is his backhand, especially his slice backhand. He chops at it and puts it in the net regularly. Roddick, naturally, was content to play to that side, and Dimitrov couldn’t hold steady with it long enough. He struggled to get more than three in a row in the court.
To me, this is an example of how difficult it is to be a great tennis player, and to fulfill even the most sky-high potential. Grigor Dimitrov has a lot going for him. He can soar for a forehand like a dancer, and open up the court when he hits it. He serves well and has great touch and flair in all parts of the court. But for all of his full-flight talents, unless he learns to do the very basic and earthbound task of getting his backhand into the court four, five, or 10 times in a row, he’s not going to make good on the rest of his artistic abilities. There's no way around the fundamentals.
To paraphrase Bon Scott, it’s a long way to the top if want to hit a tennis ball. If any of these young guys do one-fourth as much as Federer or Nadal or Djokovic, they’ll be lucky. They might even count themselves lucky to be the next Feliciano Lopez or Janko Tipsarevic.