Over the next two weeks, as the new season begins and the Australian Open nears, our panel of writers and editors will debate the five burning questions on each tour.
PETER BODO, Senior Writer: I have a two-word answer: Roger Federer. It’s not so much that Federer has endorsed Grigor Dimitrov, the 23-year-old Bulgarian who finally made an impression last year. The important detail is that Federer didn’t win his first major until he was almost 22. Great champions sometimes take their time hitting their stride. Not all prodigies are destined, like Boris Becker or Mats Wilander, to win Grand Slam titles as teenagers.
Dimitrov had won just one title before last season, but he added three more in 2014, giving us confirmation that he’s getting more comfortable playing under pressure and in big moments. Those three titles also represented the most common surfaces used on the pro tour, clay (Bucharest), hard (Acapulco) and grass (Queen’s Club). Dimitrov is demonstrating a versatility that will make him a threat on any surface, at any time. He’s here to stay.