'Baby Fed' no more: Dimitrov wins ATP Finals

Lawrence Cooper
November 20, 2017

The 26-year-old, who became the first player since Alex Corretja to win the season-ending tournament on their debut, finished the season as the world No 3 following a three-set win over fellow debutant David Goffin.

Dimitrov topped the Pete Sampras group after an impressive week that included a tight three-set win against Austria's Dominic Thiem, a thumping victory against Goffin, whom he will play for the second time in a week on Sunday - live on Sky Sports Arena from 3.30pm - and an electrifying performance against Pablo Carreno Busta on Friday night.

He was the better player early on, using his pinpoint accuracy to keep Dimitrov under control. Now slowly I think this thing is getting there. But I'm going to try something, something different, something that I've never done in the past.

The second game of the second set was to prove a turning point as Goffin, beaten 6-2 6-1 by Federer in Basel last month, broke the Swiss's serve with a forehand victor and then consolidated his lead to take the match into a decider.

Goffin saved four set points, two with forehand winners, but double-faulted on a game point of his own before Dimitrov forced an error to wrap up the opener.

"He is one of the most improved players this past week and months". Honestly, I don't know what to do tomorrow.

Goffin, who became just the sixth player in history to beat Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the same tournament, forced his opponent back in the opening game and broke in stunning fashion with a scintillating forehand victor.

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"It was the only game I didn't serve well".

Dimitrov was more clinical, striking in the sixth game to take control of the third set. Been so happy that I was playing at this level from the beginning till basically the end, till today.

The Belgian fended off a fourth match point before Dimitrov finally sealed it when Goffin dumped a seemingly unmissable drop volley into the net.

Dimitrov edged to the brink of victory, only for Goffin to serve his way back from 0-40 and three match points down. "He was really solid".

This year's Finals have lacked the star power of previous editions, with the likes of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray taking time away from the sport and Rafael Nadal having to pull out injured. "This has always been, again, a dream of mine".

But Dimitrov said it was too soon to proclaim a new era and write the obituaries of the "Big Four" who have dominated tennis over the past decade and more.

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