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Sports

Dimitrov masters Goffin to win ATP Finals

media Grigor Dimitrov is the first debutant to win the trophy since Alex Corretja in 1998. Reuters/Tony O'Brien

Grigor Dimitrov claimed the ATP Finals on Sunday with a thrilling three set victory over David Goffin. The 26-year-old Bulgarian hoisted the most prestigious trophy of his career following a 7-5 4-6 6-3 triumph over his Belgian adversary.

And he vowed to follow up the success with glory at one of the four Grand Slam events in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York.

"I'm still trying to think about what I just did," said Dimitrov in the immediate aftermath of his triumph. "I will sit down with the team and reassess the whole year to see what we've done well and what we can improve.

"Of course, one of my main goals is to win a Grand Slam tournament. This has always been a dream of mine.

"I've had good results in the past. But now I need to be even more consistent in those kind of events and at the same time raise up my level on occasions like this.

"Obviously, this is a great, unbelievable achievement for me but I just still have a lot to give."

Both men were competing in their first end of season championships and as a result of their runs to the final both will savour career highs in the rankings.  Dimitrov will only have Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal above him while 26-year-old Goffin will go into next weekend’s Davis Cup final against France boasting seventh spot.

“After this week I think I am a better player mentally,” reflected Goffin. “And physically too. It was tough. But I proved to myself that I can do it and I also proved to myself that I belong in the top 10. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved even if I am disappointed about the result in the final. I gave everything and I have no regrets.”

Dimitrov started the match tentatively and lost his opening service game. Fortunately, Goffin, so imperious at the conclusion of his semi-final against Federer, was also timid. He coughed up his opening service game to restore parity. Dimitrov continued the munificence and handed over his second service game.

Goffin ended the generosity by holding for a 3-1 lead. But it was Dimitrov who claimed the opener 7-5. Goffin profited from two double faults from Dimitrov in the second to take a 4-3 lead and the 26-year-old clinched it 6-4 to level.

He had the chance to draw first blood in the decider but squandered four break points during Dimitrov’s opening service game.

From 2-2, Dimitrov won three consecutive games and on Goffin’s serve held three consecutive match points but could not capitalise. He had to serve for the title and he claimed it after two and a half hours.

“The important thing is just to stay with my feet on the ground and put my head down and even work harder,” said Dimitrov.

"I don't want to get too hyped up because I've done well, now I'm number three in the world. No, this makes me even more I think locked in, more excited about my work, and for what's to come."

 

 

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