Monday, December 19, 2011

Players to Watch in 2012: Damir Dzumhur (’92)

This is a very interesting player to keep an eye on because of the amount of success that he had in 2011. The Bosnian started the year playing qualys in Israel and ended up inside of the top 350 players in the world. He improved his ranking by over 600 spots, showing that his junior career wasn’t a fluke.

Dzumhur lacked a signature performance in a junior Grand Slam, but won several titles and beat most of the best players of his class. He was ranked as high as 3 in ITF in 2010 and was ready to show in the pros that he belonged. He amassed an amazing 46-18 in his first full year on the tour, which included 4 titles and an additional finals appearance. They weren’t easy titles either, as he played in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Turkey, all hotbeds of young talent.

Throughout the year he managed upset victories over Mirza Basic, Andrea Arnaboldi, Axel Michon and Aldin Sektic among others. It is surprising that he did not attempt to play any Challenger tournaments. However, he was called up by Bosnia to play Davis Cup against Denmark. He lost to Martin Pedersen in 4 sets but it was likely an experience that will aid in his development.

Because of his lack of evidence against older players and in higher stakes tournament it’s hard to predict where he will end up at the end of next year. However, if his rapid development and junior pedigree are an indication, he should be able to continue rising in the rankings. I see Dzumhur ending up 2012 fully immersed in the Challenger tour and sitting right outside the top 200.

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