Let me preface this by saying that I don't claim to know Grigor Dimitrov and Dmitry Tursunov so they really aren't "my boys" as in my personal buddies (but I would be ok with that), but they have definitely become "my boys" when it comes to who I root for when I watch tennis.
Because tennis is an individual sport, there is usually something about a player that connects with you on a personal level, in addition to how they play the game, that makes you a fan. For example, my sister says that she loves Jo-Wilfried Tsonga because he is "joyous" when he plays tennis. (She also thinks he's hot).
I choose players for a variety of reasons. I love the journeymen, I love the players with the with the die-hard work ethic, and sometimes I just like a player because they are easy on the eyes. (I AM human.)
I would be telling a tall tale if I said that before this year I was actively following Grigor's career. I knew of his accomplishments, I knew he was an up-and-coming talent, but he wasn't really on my radar until I was covering the Campbell's Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, RI. He was one of the first players that did the OnTheGoTennis Quick Q & A, and I found him to be 1 part smart, 1 part silly, and 3 parts adorable, (math isn't exactly my forté), a triple threat. Add that to his talent on the tennis court and I have become a permafan.
On the other hand, my affection for Dmitry is a little less clear. I like his power game, but I also like Dima because he is complicated, a bit mysterious, and seemingly completely unapologetic for who he is. I have personally watched him hit a tennis ball in frustration so high in the air that I was unsure if it was ever coming down, laugh with a fan, and then lay his head on the wall in despair while monologing in Russian and in English, all in one set. Perhaps complicated isn't a complicated enough word to describe him. He is also absolutely hilarious on Twitter, but please don't follow him if you do not have thick skin, because nothing is sacred and no one is safe from his sarcastic and often self-deprecating tweets. (Also don't follow if you do not like a Russian proverb or five popping into your timeline).
Dima did the Quick Q & A while at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic which has been the most epic of all the interviews we have done by far, and if that doesn't sell you, then you MUST check out a recent article on him in DEUCE Magazine.
So there you have it - all the reasons I enjoy watching Dima and Grisho play. It's been fun to see them so much this summer (maybe not for them), and I am sad that they have both exited the US Open so early. I can only hope that along the way I've made you a fan as well.
See you next year.....