In his debut at the season ending event, Grigor Dimitrov is the champion of the ATP Finals with a three set win over David Goffin. With the 7-5 4-6 6-3 win, he earns $2.5m and 1500 points which puts him at No. 3 in the rankings to begin 2018.
While Goffin was fresh off a stunning win over Roger Federer, it was difficult still to see him managing to reverse his fate from earlier in the week. A 6-0 6-2 loss saw him off the court in just over an hour. “We started the match really well from both sides. We had a lot of good rallies. It was a great intensity from the start. But he played well. He was a little bit more aggressive. He came to the net from the beginning, from the first point.” Goffin said after that loss.
It was the Belgian who stared well on this occasion, breaking in both of his first two return games – the second restoring his lead after giving up his serve first time round. However, the pressure told as the set went on and he would fold serving to stay in the set at 5-6. Likely due to his name recognition in the UK, Dimitrov was gaining the majority of the support from the crowd at the O2 Arena and it seemed like he would go on to close it out in straight sets once more.
However, the fight displayed by Goffin was on show once more as he forced a third set after he saved break point to avoid falling 4-2 down. Dimitrov navigated a tricky service game to begin the decider, saving 4 break points before holding. He dropped just 4 more points on serve from that point on with the break for 4-2 proving decisive. Goffin was still not down and out just yet, saving 4 match points before he disappointingly netted a volley to end the match.
Dimitrov will use this week to push on I 2018 and has to be seen as one of the top contenders for grand slams next year. While disappointing he did not get to compete against Federer or Nadal, it was still a thoroughly professional week for the Bulgarian who held his nerve when needed. “I think I’ve had good results in the past, but now, as I said, I need to be even more consistent on those kind of events, and in the same time raise up my level on occasions like this,” he said.
“Obviously, this is a great, unbelievable achievement for me, yes. But I still have a lot to give. I want to perform better and better.” added the Bulgarian.
Meanwhile, Goffin heads to the Davis Cup final full of confidence after his run this week which sees him end the year as No. 7 in the rankings. “I proved to myself that I’m in the right place, and I deserve to be here in this tournament. Then match after match, I took more confidence until the final,” Goffin said. “So I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, even if I’m disappointed about the final.”