Grigor Dimitrov’s talent took him to the brink of his biggest career win but he needed more than that to get over the line. The sixth-seeded Bulgarian claimed the title at the season-ending ATP Finals on 19 November 2017, prevailing on his fifth match point to beat David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the final.
Goffin’s adjustments paid off early as he broke Dimitrov’s first two service games either side of losing his own, before settling down to control the opener. Dimitrov fought his way back. He leveled in the eighth game before breaking once more in the 12th to snatch the set, despite Goffin hitting eight more winners.
It wasn’t the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal matchup many fans had hoped for, but they were left satisfied as the two 26-year-olds delivered the longest final since the tournament returned to a three-set format in 2008. Dimitrov won in 2 hours, 30 minutes, 15 seconds, adding 11 minutes to the mark set by Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2011.
Dimitrov’s confidence carried into the second set, where he brought up the first break point in the sixth game, only for Goffin to produce a stunning cross-court backhand winner to save it. The momentum back with him, Goffin broke the following game for a 4-3 lead and calmly closed out the set.