Atanas Atanasov, Bulgaria‘s new minister of culture, tried his hand at tennis as a teenager and even worked with Grigor Dimitrov. Atanasov teamed up with the world number 28 and won the National Doubles Championship when he was only 14 years old.
Since then, the two have gone in opposite directions. Atanasov was active in tennis for a while, but did not practice it full-time. Instead, he decided to go to the United States to attend college.
According to New Fox 24, Atanasov went to Whitman University in Washington on a full scholarship and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the performing arts. He is an actor but also makes documentaries.
The 31-year-old has lived in London, Berlin and Hollywood, among others. He also visited the village of Tatarevo in Bulgaria where his grandmother lives.
Disappointed with the depopulation, Atanasov tried to restore the community center and organize a cultural event. By telling his foreign friends about the scenic beauty and depopulation of Bulgarian villages, he attracted them to the cause and managed to attract a number of volunteers.
Over $ 15,000 was raised to restore the community center. It now serves as a stage for a number of cultural events, including the “Unlock” festival founded by Atanasov. The 31-year-old’s efforts became the subject of a documentary called “Unlock the Stage”.
Dimitrov, on the other hand, remained involved in tennis. The Bulgarian turned pro in 2008 but didn’t make much of an impact until the mid-2010s. Dimitrov reached the top 10 of the ATP rankings in 2015 after winning three titles and reaching the semifinals of the Italian Open, Canadian Open and Wimbledon.
The Bulgarian slipped in the rankings after poor form in 2015 and 2016, but returned to the top 10 soon enough and cracked the top 3 in 2017.
The next few years were completely upside down for Dimitrov when he reached the semifinals and quarterfinals of some Grand Slams and Masters 1000 events, but also dropped out early in a number of tournaments.
What does Grigor Dimitrov expect in 2022?
The Bulgarian struggled with injuries in 2021 but had some good moments, reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the Indian Wells Masters. He finished the season in 28th place.
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Dimitrov will start its 2022 season at the ATP 250 tournament in Melbourne and then focus on the Australian Open. The Bulgarian reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne last year, then suffered back cramps and lost to Aslan Karatsev.