Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday night won the final ATP Tour trophy, defeating in three sets David Goffin, who had knocked out tournament favorite Roger Federer on Saturday.
Dimitrov seeded sixth in the tournament beat 7th seed Goffin 7-5 4-6 6-3 in a thrilling match that lasted two hours thirty minutes. The player nicknamed Baby Federer, fell down on the court and cried for a moment before standing to meet Goffin at the net.
Dimitrov had also beaten Goffin at the round robbin stage.
The ATP Tour Final title was the biggest of Dimitrov’s career and his fourth in the season that just ended.
The right-hander was already going to climb to a career-high No. 3 in the year-end Emirates ATP Rankings. But now he’ll do so emphatically and with a heap of momentum heading into his 2018 season, the ATP Tour website said.
He became the first debutant to win the Nitto ATP Finals title since Spaniard Alex Corretja in 1998 (d. Moya).
The Bulgarian, who finished 5-0 this week in London, will earn $2,549,000 in prize money and 1,500 Emirates ATP Rankings points.
Goffin will take home $1,158,000 in prize money and 800 Emirates ATP Rankings points. The Belgian will finish at a career-high No. 7 in the year-end Emirates ATP Rankings.
“It has been a tremendous two weeks for me,” the Bulgarian champion said. “It is such an honour to play here. This week has been one of the best I have had.
“David is such a tremendous guy, forget the tennis. He can hit the ball well also so congrats to him. He is one of the most improved players this past week and months. It was an unbelievable effort. I am very proud to play him in the final.
“I am lost for words. My team have been unbelievable, my family.”
According to the ATPTour website, Dimitrov’s season changed when he paired with coach Daniel Vallverdu. The Bulgarian was No. 40 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, his lowest position in more than three years, and he had lost both of his ATP World Tour finals.
But Vallverdu, who had worked with Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych, brought a simplified game plan for Dimitrov, and as the two grew closer, the weekend finishes – and the titles – followed.