Exhausted Dimitrov battling shoulder injury, could miss Sofia Open

Tennis - Australian Open - Quarterfinals - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 23, 2018. Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria serves against Kyle Edmund of Britain. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgarian world number three Grigor Dimitrov faces a race against time to get fit to defend his title at the Sofia Open after shoulder pain and exhaustion prevented him from practicing.

“I underwent a medical examination in Monaco yesterday,” Dimitrov told a news conference in Sofia ahead of the Feb. 5 - 12 tournament.

“I didn’t feel well, I felt pain in my shoulder.

“I’m expecting the results in the coming days and I hope that I’ll be able to fight again but I don’t want to make promises. I never want to play in a tournament if I’m not 100 percent fit.”

Dimitrov, who suffered a shock defeat by unseeded Briton Kyle Edmund in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open earlier this week, said that fatigue was also a factor in his failure to reach the Melbourne Park semi-finals.

“I played some tough matches in Australia and I got tired,” the 26-year-old, who won the biggest title of his career at last year’s season-ending ATP Finals in London, said.

“I had only one week rest after the end of last season... (and) ... you just can’t go against your body.”

($1 = 0.8052 euros)

Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Pritha Sarkar