Sports

ATP FINALS - Grigor Dimitrov beats Jack Sock to achieve career high ranking

ATP FINALS - Grigor Dimitrov beats Jack Sock to achieve career high ranking

To his credit, Dimitrov responded well, winning the first three games of the second set.

Sock switched off in the second set but was back firing in a superb decider, wasting a break point chance in the first game.

There still seemed plenty of time for 19-time Grand Slam champion Federer to re-assert his authority but Goffin stayed cool and his moment of truth arrived at 5-4 when he stepped up to serve for the biggest win of his career.

With Goffin down 5-4, the player who had beaten Rafael Nadal and Federer on the way to the final looked anxious as he began to serve to save the set. Even though I was down a break point or something, even if I had to play an extra game or games, I had to accept it.

"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. "Then the semi-final, to beat Roger for the first time here in such a big event, big tournament, it was the flawless moment", Goffin, who beat a hobbling Nadal on Monday, said.

The Belgian opened the match well, acing Federer twice, but he threw away a game point allowing his opponent to swoop in and claim the first game easily. He did all of that in the opening game of the match, which played out over eight minutes and had four deuces.

On the opposite side of the draw, fates was hung upon the result of Dominic Thiem's matchup with David Goffin.

He was broken again in the third game of the second set and then twice more as Goffin cruised to victory. For the first time in the encounter, the underdog finally made his first breakthrough on the return after Federer came up with several unusual errors on his forehand and Goffin took an early 2-0 lead with an excellent passing forehand. What at first appeared to be an exercise in damage limitation grew into an increasingly potent threat as Goffin's serve subdued Federer, who fired a forehand long on his only break point in the set.

But the psychological advantage Goffin's netted forehand gave Dimitrov lasted only until mid-way through the second set, when the less fancied of the two players broke and then closed out the set to level the score.

"I think in the beginning, I think I started the match exactly the way I wanted it".

Jack Sock was the unlikeliest of players to make it thus far. The Bulgarian had lost his previous two clashes with Sock having held match points and three went begging in a nervy finale before he ended the contest.


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