Grigor Dimitrov Named Best Balkan Athlete of 2017
Sofia, December 18 (BTA) - Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov was named Best Balkan Athlete of 2017 in the 45th annual poll of the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA). Romanian tennis player Simona Halep was ranked second in the poll, and Turkish sprinter Ramil Guliyev came in third.
The poll was conducted among the national news agencies in the Balkans: Agerpres (Romania), Anadolu Agency (Turkey), ANA-MPA (Greece), ATA (Albania), FENA (Bosnia and Herzegovina), HINA (Croatia), MIA (Macedonia), MINA (Montenegro), Tanjug (Serbia) and BTA (Bulgaria).
Dimitrov won points from all participating news agencies and his total score is 62.
This past season was the best in Dimitrov's career and he ended up in third place in the world men's singles ranking after winning the ATP World Tour Finals in London. The 26-year-old also won three other ATP titles during the season, in Brisbane, Sofia and Cincinnati, the last of which was a Masters 1000 title, and reached a Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open.
Dimitrov told BTA: "I am happy to learn that I have been named Best Balkan Athlete of 2017. Good work yields good results. Perseverance, confidence and complete dedication always pay off. This year has been strong and special for me and my coaching team. I want to thank my family and my team, and all who believe in me and support me in bad times and in good times. I am honoured to represent Bulgaria! Happy holidays and a successful new year 2018, Bulgaria!"
Dimitrov is the first Bulgarian to become Best Balkan Athlete after wrestler Stanka Zlateva in 2010. A total of 30 athletes earned points in the 2017 poll.
The top 10 are:
1. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria (men's tennis) - 62 pts
2. Simona Halep, Romania (women's tennis) - 60
3. Ramil Guliyev, Turkey (men's sprinting) - 49
4. Katerina Stefanidi, Greece (women's pole vault) - 48
5. Sandra Perkovic, Croatia (women's discus throw) - 46
6. Luka Modric, Croatia (men's football) - 31
7. Eleftherios Petrounias, Greece (men's artistic gymnastics) - 21
8. Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia (men's basketball) - 19
9. Tijana Boskovic, Serbia (women's volleyball) - 17
10. Stojance Stoilov, Macedonia (men's handball) - 16