The ATP Tour has rewarded four new players for entering the top 10 of the Emirates ATP Tour Rankings, during a special presentation at this week event, the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
ATP Executive Chairman & President Chris Kermode, presented the Emirates ATP Top 10 Trophy to, Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and Ernests Gulbis in recognition of their achievements for breaking into the elite of the men's game.
Grigor Dimitrov has long been expected to run alongside the biggest names in the sport and with three-titles in 2014, it appears the player once referred to as: "Baby Fed," is finally starting to fulfil that much spoken about promise.
Coming into the 2014 season, the former Wimbledon and US Open Champion at junior level, already had three ATP titles to his name, however he has moved his game to the next level this year with a further three titles in 2013, all on different surfaces.
The 23-year old Bulgarian also made it through to the Wimbledon semi-finals before losing to eventual winner Novak Djokovic, although he did account for Andy Murray along the way.
After receiving his award in Toronto, the new world number eight said: "It obviously means a lot to me.
"I've always been chasing the Top 10 all my life, then especially when I got onto the tour. I take it as a step forward. For me it's just the beginning.
"I'm really excited to be able to be in that space and to fight for what's out there. When you reach the Top 10, you reach another status and it brings you extra confidence and belief. But Roger Rasheed and I know it's just the beginning and we want to go even further."
Canada's Milos Raonic is also a Wimbledon semi-finalist this year before falling to Roger Federer, and arrives in Toronto off the back of a sixth ATP title achieved in Washington last week.
The big serving Canadian, still only 23-years old, has proved he can challenge the big names on the hard-courts of the US when he reached the final of the 2013 Montreal Masters before losing to Rafa Nadal.
"It's great, that kind of recognition," said Raonic.
"It's great all the things that have happened in this past year. I think the progress I have made, the development I've been fortunate to go through.
"The sights pretty much go down now. It's No. 5, No. 4, No. 3, whatever comes after that. It's about getting better each week and figuring out a way to win matches," a confident Raonic told the ATP Media.
Raonic wins in Washington
Japanese superstar Kei Nishikori broke into the Emirates ATP Rankings in May, after reaching his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Madrid, before sustaining an injury and going down to Rafa Nadal, after having the Spaniard up against the ropes.
Two weeks prior to that, Nishikori tasted victory on the red dirt in Barcelona and he also triumphed in February at the US National Indoor Championships.
At the Miami Masters in March, Nishikori advanced through to the semi-finals, beating Roger Federer and David Ferrer on the way before being forced to withdraw ahead of his clash with Novak Djokovic due to injury.
Nishikori has spent much of the last few months struggling with various niggles, halting his progress up the rankings, and his latest setback, an injured toe, appears to have sidelined him for the next few weeks which could include missing the US Open.
However despite the latest blow, he was still thrilled to recognised for his efforts.
"It's been great," said Nishikori.
"It's a very special feeling. It was my goal when I was a kid. I was always looking to reach the Top 10. The goal is to keep this ranking.
"You get used to this feeling and hopefully I can keep going. Thanks to my team; they always helped me. It was big news in Japan because they always talk about the Top 10 and now I made it."
Ernests Gulbis has enjoyed a similar year with titles in Marseille and Nice. The 25-year old Latvian, also reached the semi-finals of the French Open.
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