LONDON, November 19, 2017
Grigor Dimitrov clinched the biggest title of his career by winning the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 in London on Sunday evening. The 26-year-old Bulgarian, who has not lost a match en route to the title match, battled past David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in an exciting ultimate encounter of the ATP World Tour season.
Dimitrov, who sent down five aces, gained his third break in the 12th game of the opening set when a Goffin forehand went into the net to seal the frame after 59 minutes.
Goffin fought back and broke serve in the seventh game. He made a clinical start to the 10th game with an easy high volley winner into the open court. An ace down the tee brought up three set points and the Belgian eventually forced the final set.
In the sixth game of the third set Dimitrov took the lead, as Goffin pushed a backhand into the net to hand a break point to the Bulgarian, which is taken when Goffin mistimed a backhand into the tramlines. Dimitrov eventually served out and converted his fifth match point when Goffin missed a simple drop volley to hand the title to the Bulgarian after two hours and 30 minutes.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 19. November 2017
Dimitrov earns $2,549,000 in prize money as well as 1,500 ATP ranking points. He finishes the year on a career high World No. 3.
“It’s such an honour to play here. This week has been one of the best weeks I’ve ever had,” Dimitrov was happy afterwards.
“It was also just the end of the year, the last match. Knowing I don’t have to go to practice tomorrow will be great feeling when I wake up in the morning, I just can do whatever I want. As a tennis player, you don’t have that freedom that much. If you want to be up at the top, there’s no shortcuts.
“This year I think I’ve done a lot of work on that. I sacrificed days that I should have probably had off, maybe go to a little vacation here and there. Now it pays off,” said the Bulgarian, who joins Stan Smith (1970), Ilie Nastase (1971), Guillermo Vilas (1974), John McEnroe (1978) and Alex Corretja (1998) as first year qualifier to win the title.
Goffin To Conclude Season At the Davis Cup Final
For Goffin, it hasn’t been the last match of the season. The Roucourt native will return to the court next week representing Belgium in the final of the Davis Cup in France.
“I think after this week I’m a better player mentally. Yeah, obviously mentally, but also physically. It was tough,” Goffin told.
“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. So I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, even if I’m disappointed about the final.
“I gave everything. I have no regrets after the final. Anyway, it was a great week.”