Grigor Dimitrov beats David Goffin, claims ATP Finals title

David Goffin is only the sixth player to overcome Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the same tournament.                  Reuters  Toby Melville

David Goffin is only the sixth player to overcome Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the same tournament. Reuters Toby Melville

Based on his success on hard courts this year and his career trajectory to get to this point, it's a good bet he'll be a contender for the Australian Open in 2018, and could make his first Grand Slam final, even if several of the injured players comes back (Djokovic, Murray, Nishikori, Wawrinka).

The largest prize in ATP World Tour Finals history is up for grabs for Roger Federer at the O2 Arena this weekend.

Either way, the final will produce a first-time victor for ATP's year-end showcase event, whether it is Dimitrov who is making his debut in the ATP Finals, or Goffin, who played one match as an alternate in 2016 and made his debut as an outright qualifier this year. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.

"For my first time, to play the three guys that were in our group, to get through, was a big confidence booster for me".

But as Dimitrov savoured that one of many firsts by looking forward to a break from the game, Goffin will be in action again next week for Belgium in the Davis Cup final against France.

Dimitrov's confidence carried into the second set, where he brought up the first break point in the sixth game, only for Goffin to produce a stunning cross-court backhand victor to save it.

"I proved to myself that I'm in the right place, and I deserve to be here in this tournament". It was a nervous start as both players failed to hold serve in the opening three games before Goffin settled down to control the opener as Dimitrov struggled with his timing.

Having won his previous two matches for the loss of just four games, Dimitrov's title credentials were given a far more rigorous examination by the American. Dimitrov finished it ahead after a 10-minute game on Goffin's shaky early serve gave him five chances to break.

"Little by little, drop by drop, here I am".

Goffin saved three match points on his own serve, but Dimitrov kept his cool, taking the second opportunity on his own delivery to close it out. "That period really helped me a lot", he said.

It's the fourth title of Dimitrov's 2017 and the eighth of his career, which will lift him to a career-high No. 3 in the year-end ATP rankings. "I want to go play golf", he said before leaving the press conference.

"Of course, one of my main goals is to win a tournament, a grand slam tournament", Dimitrov said.

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