ATP Finals: Grigor Dimitrov rallies to defeat Jack Sock and set up title clash with David Goffin

Grigor Dimitrov produced dazzling tennis to win 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 and set up a Sunday showdown with fellow debutant David Goffin.

Reuters November 19, 2017 12:47:19 IST
ATP Finals: Grigor Dimitrov rallies to defeat Jack Sock and set up title clash with David Goffin

London: Grigor Dimitrov stood one win away from the biggest title of his career on Saturday after ending his Jack Sock jinx to reach the final of the season-ending ATP Finals at the 02 Arena.

The Bulgarian, finally beginning to look the real deal after year’s weighed down by comparisons to Swiss great Roger Federer, produced more dazzling tennis to win 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 and set up a Sunday showdown with fellow debutant David Goffin.

ATP Finals Grigor Dimitrov rallies to defeat Jack Sock and set up title clash with David Goffin

Grigor Dimitrov celebrates after winning his semi-final match against Jack Sock. Reuters

With Federer stunned earlier by Goffin, who Dimitrov thrashed in group play earlier in the week, the door had opened tantalisingly for the 26-year-old to go on and collect the biggest title of his career to date.

But Sock had won their last two meetings having saved match points, most recently at Indian Wells this year, and those demons were lurking for Dimitrov as victory loomed.

Poised for victory at 5-3 40-15 in the decider he made two nervy errors then ballooned a forehand out on a third match point. As proof of his greater mental fortitude these days, however, Dimitrov got the job done at the fourth attempt.

Victory means he will move above Alexander Zverev and end the year as world number three, with only all-time greats Federer and Rafael Nadal ahead of him.

“I don’t know what to say. This took a lot out of me,” Dimitrov, the first debutant to reach the semi-finals after going unbeaten in round robin play since Andy Murray in 2008, said on court. “But my belief was good today.”

Asked how he had controlled his nerves when serving for the match, Dimitrov said: ”You have to. I was very composed and didn’t let negative thoughts come to my head.

“If I’d have been broken in the last game then tough luck, I would have gone down the other side and played again. I‘m just so humbled to be able to play the final tomorrow.”

Sock had gate-crashed the London showpiece by winning the Paris Masters and catapulting up the standings and became the first American to reach the semi-finals since Andy Roddick in 2007 when Shanghai was the host city.

While his journey came to a halt, the 25-year-old said he now felt like he belonged at the top of the game.

”Shouldn’t have been here in the first place,“ he said. ”I mean, to be here, my first appearance, to make the semis, getting through a pretty tough group, that’s a big confidence booster for me.

“Now I want to go and play some golf.”

Updated Date:

also read

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini withdraws from Games due to muscle strain
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini withdraws from Games due to muscle strain

World number eight Berrettini picked up the injury in London where he became the first Italian to reach a Wimbledon singles final, losing in four sets to Novak Djokovic.

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Angelique Kerber, Victoria Azarenka become latest tennis stars to pull out of Games
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Angelique Kerber, Victoria Azarenka become latest tennis stars to pull out of Games

"The thought of participating in the Olympics has been a constant motivation for me over the past few moths," wrote Kerber, who is the highest-ranked German at 22.

India denied entry into ITF World Junior Finals after being deemed as 'extreme risk' nation
Sports

India denied entry into ITF World Junior Finals after being deemed as 'extreme risk' nation

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) earlier this month named a three-member Under-14 boys team comprising of Rethin Pranav RS, Kriish Ajay Tyagi and Tejas Ahuja for the prestigious tournament, scheduled to be held from 2 to 7 August.