Tennis star Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal pulled out of the London Olympics on Thursday due to injury.

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Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to David Goffin of Belgium during their singles tennis match at the ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Rafael Nadal pulled out during the Paris Masters with a right knee injury and was forced to call it quits after the first round in London but sounded upbeat about his chances of being ready to compete at the start of next season

Rafael Nadal pulled out during the Paris Masters with a right knee injury and was forced to call it quits after the first round in London but sounded upbeat about his chances of being ready to compete at the start of next season (AFP Photo/Glyn KIRK )

The Tennis Podcast: 'Daredevil' Grigor Dimitrov passes biggest test yet by winning ATP Finals

The Tennis Podcast has been raving about the potential of Grigor Dimitrov since it began in 2012, and after years of disappointment and underachievement, is he finally ready to meet expectations? In the latest show, in which presenters Catherine Whitaker (Eurosport) and David Law (BBC 5 Live) were joined by Telegraph Sport Tennis Correspondent Simon Briggs as the O2 Arena court was dismantled around them, Dimitrov’s excruciatingly tense victory over David Goffin is discussed in detail.  How did he get over the line when he was so visibly tightening with nerves? Why has it taken so long for Dimitrov’s 'daredevil' brand of tennis to help him win big? And what next for the man that, at 26, has yet to reach a Grand Slam final – could he go all the way at one of the major tournaments in 2018? Will the three-set excesses of Goffin’s run to the final help or hinder his attempt to lead Belgium to Davis Cup glory later this week?  What was Rafael Nadal doing playing the event when he was clearly unfit? And why did Roger Federer’s form desert him after he won the first set against Goffin in the semi-finals? The podcast team also discuss the second break-up of Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl. Why have they parted ways, and where does Lendl stand in the list of great tennis coaches? The Tennis Podcast is presented by broadcasters Catherine Whitaker (Eurosport, BBC 5 Live) and David Law (BBC 5 Live, BT Sport). It is produced weekly throughout the year, and daily at the Grand Slam tournaments, in association with Telegraph Sport and Eurosport. www. TheTennisPodcast.net HOW TO LISTEN TO THE TENNIS PODCAST Acast:  http://po.st/TP365 Download: http://po.st/ TP364Download iTunes: http://po.st/ TP365Apple

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov claims maiden ATP World Tour Finals title after overcoming stubborn David Goffin

  If Sunday's final at the O2 felt like a changing of the guard, then it was the right man – from tennis’s perspective – who stepped up to fill the hole left by more famous names. Grigor Dimitrov might have started the week as a long shot, but he has long been the most fascinating and charismatic figure outside the ranks of grand-slam winners. Only the results have been missing – and this could be the breakthrough moment that triggers his transformation from nearly-man into serial champion. Dimitrov has long been nicknamed “Baby Fed” – because his stylish game, with its flourishing one-handed backhand, is so reminiscent of Roger Federer himself. And if Federer was back in Switzerland yesterday, having been eliminated by David Goffin in a tight semi-final, Dimitrov put on a show that no ticket-holder could complain about. Stars were out: David Beckham (with son Romeo Beckham and Actor Rami Malek) was  among the crowd Credit: Getty From the first point, which Goffin won with a scorching forehand up the line, the match was played with a rare combination of power and touch. These are two top-class technicians who can hit any shot, and look as comfortable at the net as they do at the baseline. The comparison with Federer extended to the same “How did he do that?” feeling whenever Dimitrov pulled a particularly exotic stroke from his kitbag. There was plenty of heart, too. Dimitrov fought back from a break down to claim the opening set, and then had to weather half-an-hour of Goffin genius, as winners sprayed off the Belgian’s racket like champagne. Head to head: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov (L) passes Belgium's David Goffin as they swap ends Dimitrov was scrambling to live with his inspired opponent, covering great swathes of territory as he used his flexibility and athleticism to stay in the points. But for a man who has often been written off as a playboy and a lightweight, he showed enormous hunger, wresting back the initiative with some bold and brilliant counter-attacks. It took him five match points to complete his 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory, but when Goffin miscued his final shot – a drop-volley that didn’t clear the net – Dimitrov fell flat on his stomach and wept violently. Rather a prestigious trophy-bearer Credit: Getty “It’s such an honour to play here, one of the best weeks I have ever had,” Dimitrov told the on-court interviewer, Annabel Croft, once he had regained his composure. “I want to thank my girlfriend Nicole, she’s somewhere hiding, she deserves quite a bit of credit.” Nicole is actually Nicole Scherzinger, the pop star who was unable to be present for this final because she was recording an episode of The X Factor. It must be unusual for both members of a celebrity couple to be battling for audience share on rival terrestrial channels, but that was the case last night, with Dimitrov (who has previously dated both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams) occupying BBC2 while Scherzinger handed out her verdicts on ITV1. Stretched: David Goffin in action against Grigor Dimitrov Credit: PA As he accepted the trophy from Boris Becker, Dimitrov also enjoyed a warm handshake with Chris Kermode – who is not only the president of the ATP tour but a mentor who championed him when he was still an unknown. Coming from Bulgaria, Dimitrov did not enjoy the same advantages as players from the grand-slam countries, but Kermode granted him an unexpected wild card for Queen’s in 2009, when he was still only 18. The decision drew objections from British hopefuls who felt they should have taken precedence, but Dimitrov has stayed loyal to Queen’s ever since and repaid the investment by winning the title in 2014. This has been a very different Nitto ATP Finals to the tournament we are used to watching. Once a hobbled Rafael Nadal had withdrawn, following his lone appearance on Monday, Federer was left as the only available member of the so-called “Big Five”. And even Federer looked exhausted by Saturday afternoon, when Goffin’s clean ball-striking left him increasingly flat-footed as the match wore on. But if star power was in short supply, the tennis itself has been riveting and hard-fought. The trend of the last couple of years, when one-sided singles matches predominated, was emphatically reversed. Of the 15 contests played out over the past eight days, 11 reached a deciding set. As for the attendances, they were unaffected by the absence of last year’s finalists, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Another 253,642 people rolled through the gates of the O2 Arena, which represented a 95 per cent sell-out. With another three years left on its contract, London remains a compelling venue for this event.       8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. It's the biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov vs David Goffin: Live updates from ATP World Tour Finals 

8:48PM The champion Dimitrov's in tears! Goffin looks inconsolable. The pair embrace at the net. David Bowie's 'Heroes' rings around the O2. Dimitrov hugs every single member of his team. The biggest title of Dimitov's career, and what a brilliant final that was.  8:48PM Game, set and match! Dimitrov defeats Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3  Goffin misses an easy backhand; Dimitrov returns the favour with a simple forehand error. 15-15. Goffin then nets a forehand - 30-15. The Dimitrov camp can barely watch. A big unreturnable serve from Dimitrov makes it 40-15, which brings up two more match points. How's your never Grigor? Well, he just misses a forehand pass on the first one and it's 40-30. One more to go. And this time Dimitrov takes it as Goffin nets a backhand volley! Grigor Dimitrov is the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals champion.   8:43PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 5-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves three championship points and holds on! Brilliant exchange with both men at the net ends with Dimitrov flicking away a backhand winner for 0-15. The Bulgarian then moves to 0-30 after a sensational chase down of a Goffin stop volley, and it's three match points at 0-40 when Dimitrov flicks away a backhand passing shot winner. The first two comes and goes as Goffin produces a backhand winner and then an ace. Third time lucky for Dimitrov? No, he tightens up and nets a very makeable forehand! Back to deuce. This is so tense.  Goffin takes the next two points, and clings on! He implores the crowd to make some noise, and on we go.  Dimitrov, having missed three championship points, will now serve for the biggest title of his career.  8:34PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 5-2 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov has not always been the best at closing out matches - witness his meltdown in Istanbul last year having been a set and 5-2 up - and so Goffin is still right in this match.  The Bulgarian shows no signs of nerves here though, as he scores a straightforward hold to 15 . Goffin will now serve to stay in the final.  8:32PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 4-2 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks Again Goffin sees a 30-0 lead quickly become 30-30, and suddenly Dimitrov's eyes light up. A tired looking forehand from the Belgian then hands his opponent a break point at 30-40. Can Dimitrov take this one? No, he can't. Again he's a little passive on a big point, and it's Goffin who steps up the aggression to force an error and cling on. But after a couple of missed game points, Goffin nets a backhand, and it's break point Dimitrov again. And this time he takes it! Goffin misses a backhand, and Dimitrov is two service holds away from the title.  8:22PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Blessed relief for Dimitrov as he scores a breezy love service hold. The pressure swings back to Goffin.  8:20PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Nothing's coming easy for either player at the moment, and Goffin sprays a forehand well wide for 30-30. A double fault then sees a game point come and go, and we're at deuce. Goffin does complete the hold moments later though, courtesy of a forehand winner and a missed Dimitrov backhand return.  8:14PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Goffin looks set to make inroads again on his opponent's serve when he scorches away a forehand to move up 0-15. Dimitrov slams the door shut though and claims the next four points to complete a hold to 15.  8:11PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Gofifn saves a break point and holds Goffin looks by far the fresher of the two players, but Dimitrov is digging in, and he battles his way to 30-30 when his opponent makes a couple of errors. The Bulgarian then forces a break point at 30-40 after a stunning rally that has both men hurtling around the court and trying to break their rival's resistance. But chapeau Goffin, who saves the break point with a big first serve, and then nails a couple more big first serves to eke out a crucial service hold.  8:07PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) - Dimitrov saves four break points and holds I'm sticking with my prediction of Dimitrov to win in three. Andrew Castle agrees with me; Tim Henman is going for Goffin.  Goffin has the bit between his teeth at the moment, and he crunches a backhand return winner up the line to move up 15-40 and two break points. Dimitrov saves them both though - the first with an ace, the second with a conservative 93 mph first serve that rears off the line awkwardly and befuddles his opponent. A third break point then comes and goes, as Goffin snatches at a makeable first serve return. "Come on!" roars Dimitrov in celebration. Goffin is red lining at the moment though and forces another break point with a couple of sumptuous forehands. But again he wastes the opportunity, as he skews a backhand a few feet long. Goffin had the break on his racket there. Dimitrov eventually clings on and completes the hold, and that is a massive opportunity missed for Goffin. The Belgian was spraying winners and had his opponent on the ropes, but Dimitrov somehow found a way to get through it.  Have we just witnessed another momentum shift in the match? As he was in the first set, Goffin the far more aggressive player in the second set 7:56PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 4-6 Goffin (*next server) - Game and second set Goffin No signs of nerves from Goffin. He closes out the set to love, and we're going the distance here. The set turned on a sixpence after that missed Dimitrov break point in the sixth game.  Goffin has a Tour-best record for deciding sets in 2017 - 22 wins from 27 matches.  When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) November 19, 2017 7:51PM Dimitrov 7-5, 4-5 Goffin* (*next server) Wow, Goffin has the bit between his teeth now, and he absolutely leathers a forehand return winner for 15-30. Dimitrov responds with a sensational backhand half-volley up the line from the baseline to level things up at 30-30. The Bulgarian reels off the next two points to complete the hold. Goffin will now serve to take us into a decider.  7:48PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-5 Goffin (*next server) Andrew Castle continuing to patronise the hell out of Goffin and is going on and on about his grey socks. He also says the first time he saw Goffin was against GB in the Davis Cup when 'Goffin was an unknown who had just played a couple of Challenger events'. He was the world No 16 at the time!  Anyway, Goffin shows his mettle again here and grinds out a hold to 30. Dimitrov will now serve to stay in the second set.  7:44PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-4 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks Oh dear, a couple of Dimitrov double faults gift Goffin a 15-30 lead, and a forehand winner then takes the BElgian to two break points at 15-40. Stunning footwork once again from Goffin to run around his forehand there and swat away a winner. He repeats the trick on the next point, thundering away a 95mph inside in forehand to secure the break!  Huge few minutes in the match here, and Goffin is now a couple of service holds away from levelling the match.  7:40PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 3-3 Goffin (*next server) - Goffin saves a break point and holds Glimmer of a break here for Dimitrov, as Goffin sends a backhand long for 30-30. It's then a big chance for the Bulgarian, as Goffin nets a backhand for 30-40 and break point. A lengthy rally ensues, and Goffin saves it with a gutsy crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the sideline as it flies through the court. Goffin then completes the hold a couple of points later with a swinging ace down the T.  How big a moment could that saved break point end up being in this match?  7:33PM Dimitrov 7-5, 3-2 Goffin* (*next server) Lovely ball striking from Dimitrov - especially a beauty of a forehand winner down the line - help the Bulgarian to a hold to 15. Big noise coming from the Dimitrov supporters now.  7:30PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 2-2 Goffin (*next server) Second love hold in a row for Goffin, who has settled into a nice rhythm on his serve.  7:26PM Dimitrov 7-5, 2-1 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looks in control of the game up 40-15, but a missed backhand pass and a Goffin forehand return winner have us at deuce. It proves to be a temporary reprieve for Goffin though, as Dimitrov bangs down a service winner and an ace out wide to wrap up the hold.  7:22PM Dimitrov* 7-5, 1-1 Goffin (*next server) Nicely done David Goffin. He arrests the slide with a first love hold of his own, helped on his way by a pair of aces to start the game.  7:19PM Dimitrov 7-5, 1-0 Goffin* (*next server) Dimitrov looking to turn the screw early on this set, and he gets off to the perfect start by securing the first love hold for either player in the match. Goffin needs to steady himself.  7:17PM Dimitrov* 7-5 Goffin (*next server) - Game and first set Dimitrov Big Bulgarian presence at the O2, and cheers of 'Grigor, Grigor' ring around the O2 as the players rise to their feet for the start of the game. The decibel level then cranks up a couple of notches, as some brilliant defence draws a Goffin forehand error for 0-30. It's then two set points for Dimitrov as Goffin sprays a forehand long to make it 15-40. Wonderful, controlled aggression from Dimitrov there. Goffin saves the first set point with a textbook big serve-forehand winner one-two punch, and he saves the second as well with a wrong-footing forehand winner up the line. Dimitrov was just a little too passive there. He gets a third set point though when Goffin sends a volley wide. Can Dimitrov take this one?  No, he can't. Goffin saves it with a service winner down the T. But the Belgian makes a mess of the next point and botches a volley to hand Dimitrov a fourth set point. Fourth time lucky for Dimitrov? Nope. He pushes a forehand long and we're back at deuce. Nervy tennis from both men, and it gets worse as Goffin forces a game point but then double faults at just the wrong moment. A dreadful forehand error from Goffin then hands Dimitrov a fifth set point. And this time he takes it, as Goffin nets a forehand.  After 59 minutes, Dimitrov is a set away from the biggest title of his career.  Goffin with more winners and unforced errors in the first set  7:04PM Dimitrov 6-5 Goffin* (*next server) Ay ay ay, two double faults in a row from Dimitrov hand Goffin a 15-30 lead, and the Belgian really should win the next point as well but he snatches at a backhand volley for 30-30. An ace and a missed Goffin forehand follow to secure the hold for Dimitrov.  Goffin will serve to stay in the set for a second time. This is the 23-shot rally I was talking about a couple of games ago... Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin...#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ysojsQP0GN— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 19, 2017 7:01PM Dimitrov* 5-5 Goffin (*next server)  Goffin looks to be losing his footing in this first set after going down 0-15 here, but he steels himself to take the next three points with two good first serves and a backhand crosscourt winner. Dimitrov then nets a backhand return, and Goffin completes the hold to 15.   Goffin has hit 12 winners to Dimitrov's four. The Belgian has been the player forcing the issue from the back of the court so far.  6:57PM Dimitrov 5-4 Goffin* (*next server)  Big game coming up here, one that could well be decisive this set. The players exchange the first two points before the rally of the match ends on the 23rd shot with a brilliant Dimitrov stop volley for 30-15. Goffin produced some magnificent spins and angles that point, but it was Dimitrov who prevailed. Both players are at it again a couple of points later, and again it's Dimitrov who comes out on top - this time securing the point with a brilliant forehand pass on the run to make it 40-30. Goffin then sends a forehand long, and Dimitrov holds.  Three games in a row for Dimitrov; Goffin will now serve to stay in the first set.   6:52PM Dimitrov* 4-4 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back A couple of loose points from Goffin at the start of the game hand Dimitrov a 0-30 lead. Both players are on just 33 per cent second serve points won. Goffin then channels his inner Stefan Edberg and serves and volleys to excellent effect on the next two points for 30-30. But a double fault then gifts Dimitrov a break point at 30-40, and a missed Goffin forehand secures the break for the Bulgarian.  We're back on serve.  6:47PM Dimitrov 3-4 Goffin* (*next server)  That backhand from Goffin really is mesmerising to watch. He takes the ball so early, and uses it to devastating effect on the first point of this game to draw a missed Dimitrov backhand and move up 0-15. Dimitrov then bangs down his first ace of the match - a clean strike down the T - before easing to a hold to 15. Ok, so there will be some comfortable holds!  6:44PM Dimitrov* 2-4 Goffin (*next server)  I would wager that we are going to have very few comfortable service holds this match. Goffin looks in charge at 30-0 before a missed forehand and a double fault has us at 30-30. A couple of big serves follow though, and the Belgian completes the hold.  Good graphic below from the BBC of the six players, including Goffin, to have beaten Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.  Credit: BBC 6:41PM Dimitrov 2-3 Goffin* (*next server)  Dimitrov chucks in a couple more loose errors but looks to be on course for a service hold at 40-30. Goffin saves the game point with another brilliant forehand return winner, before Dimitrov does eventually claim his first hold of the match when Goffin nets a forehand and then misses a service return.  6:36PM Dimitrov* 1-3 Goffin (*next server)  A yelp of frustration from Goffin, as a passive point from him allows Dimitrov to get on top and thunder away a forehand winner up the line for 15-30. A nifty second serve from Goffin though outfoxes Dimitriov for 30-30, before a pair of aces secure the first service hold of the match.  Goffin successfully consolidates the break this time.  6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin (*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov vs David Goffin: Live updates from ATP World Tour Finals 

6:31PM Dimitrov 1-2 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks!  Beautiful ball-striking from Goffin helps him to 0-40 and three more break points. Solid serving from Dimitrov saves the first two, but Goffin takes the third with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass.  That's three breaks of serve in the first three games, and Goffin has won as many games already as he did against Dimitrov on Wednesday.  6:27PM Dimitrov* 1-1 Goffin(*next server) - Dimitrov breaks back The first cut to Becks leads Castle to say no more than "Davide Beckham". Anyway, enough mentions of Andrew Castle.  Dimitrov forces a break back point at 30-40 when Goffin nets a forehand, but the Bulgarian sprays a forehand long of his own to waste the opportunity. Dimitrov earns a second one though, and takes it this time as Goffin sends a forehand long.   Slightly nervy start from both men, and we're all square.  6:22PM Dimitrov 0-1 Goffin* (*next server) - Goffin breaks David Beckham is in the crowd - Andrew Castle is going to absolutely wet himself when the cameras cut to him. "There's a man who knows a thing or two about bending the ball, and even he will have appreciated that Dimitrov passing shot. Lovely stuff."" Away from the hypotheticals, Dimitrov makes a sluggish starts and pushes a forehand long to hand Goffin a break point at 30-40. Goffin though can't convert when he returns the favour with a long forehand of his own. No matter though, the Belgian earns a second break point moments later and this time he takes it with a brilliant off-forehand return winner crosscourt. Dream start for La Goff.  Castle meanwhile is patronising the absolute crap out of Goffin in the early stages.  0-1. #Dimitrov tight. Broken. His toss was a little wayward in that 1st game. Nerves will be a big factor for these two guys. #Goffin looks chill ☃️#NittoATPFinalspic.twitter.com/ODWLj8lNd2— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) November 19, 2017 6:16PM Ready? Play We're under way...Dimitrov serving first.  Good stat below.  David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) November 19, 2017 6:09PM Coin toss Dimitrov wins it and elects to serve.  6:07PM Omen? Lots has been made understandably of Dimitrov's 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Goffin on Wednesday, but the stats suggest it may not necessarily have too much of a bearing today.  Tennis stats guru Luca Beck has crunched the numbers and shown that on nine out of the 17 occasions when two players have met in the Round Robin stage and then the final of the ATP World Tour Finals, the loser of the first match has won the second.  That said, not many of those players will have lost the first match to quite such a humiliating extent... When 2 players meets twice in the same #AtpFinals edition (and the second match is the Final). Waiting for #Dimitrov-#Goffin, 9 times won the loser of the RR match, 7 times the winner #ATPWorldTourFinalspic.twitter.com/ogfVJcUw8v— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 19, 2017 6:06PM The players are on court Warm reception for both, and after a short warm up we'll be under way.  5:30PM Preamble Afternoon all,  So, this was unexpected. Today's World Tour Finals final feels a bit like turning up to a party only to discover that the only person you knew going has now bailed.  The absentee from the O2 Arena this evening is of course Roger Federer, who was stunningly defeated in yesterday's semi-final by David Goffin. Legions of 'Fedfans' had bought tickets for today's final in anticipation of seeing their hero, so they may be a little disappointed to be watching the diminutive world No 8 instead.  That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the 'Big Four/Five'. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.  That said, Goffin could be forgiven for taking to the court today with a degree of trepidation. Not only does his opponent Grigor Dimitrov lead the head to head between the two players 4-1, but he hammered Goffin 6-0, 6-2 just four days ago in the tournament's Round Robin stage. Goffin on that occasion looked like a man who hadn't slept for about a month, while Dimitrov played with the ease and confidence of a man lording it about on the practice court.  Goffin stunned Roger Federer on Saturday  Credit: REUTERS Partly, though not entirely, because of Wednesday's mismatch, Dimitrov is the big favourite to win today and claim what would be the biggest title of his career. The Bulgarian has had his best year to date - an Australian Open semi-final and a maiden Masters title in Cincinnati among the highlights - and will finish the year as the world No 3 regardless of the result today. At last, Dimitrov, now 26, seems to be making good on the potential that saw him given the nickname of 'Baby Fed' in his youth.   He is still prone to the odd lapse, including in yesterday's semi-final when he struggled to serve out the match against Jack Sock, but generally his temperament and shot selection has improved dramatically. Linking up with Andy Murray's former hitting partner Dani Vallverdu has been a massive factor in this regard.  My prediction for what it's worth is a Dimitrov win in three sets, with Goffin rallying in the second to force a decider but ultimately falling short.  

Grigor Dimitrov vs David Goffin: What time is the ATP World Tour Finals final, what TV channel is it on and what are the odds?

What is it? It's the ATP Finals final between Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin at the O2 Arena in London. When is it? It's on Sunday November 19 - ie today. What time does it start? It's a 6pm GMT start. What TV channel is it on? It will be broadcast live on BBC Two and the Sky Sports red button. Alternatively, you can follow every serve and volley here with Charlie Eccleshare. Goffin defeated Roger Federer on Saturday Credit: Action Plus via Getty Images What's the head to head? The pair have met five times, with Dimitrov winning four of them. In fact, you do not have to look too far back to when they last met - Dimitrov beat Goffin 6-0 6-2 at this very tournament earlier in the week. Goffin has had a recent taste of success against Dimitrov, though, beating him in Rotterdam in February. How have they reached this round?  As if clocking up a first victory over Rafael Nadal was not enough, David Goffin continued breaking new ground by stunning Roger Federer at the ATP Finals on Saturday to claim the biggest win of his career and reach the final. Few gave the willowy world number eight a prayer against the Swiss maestro who had glided through his three round-robin matches unbeaten for the 10th time. Yet Goffin, beaten in all six prior meetings with Federer, turned the tables to win 2-6 6-3 6-4 and become only the sixth player to beat Nadal and Federer in the same tournament. Dimitrov lost the first set to Sock but recovered to win the match Credit: Hongbo Chen/Action Plus via Getty Images He will face fellow first-time qualifier Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday's final after the Bulgarian produced another classy display to beat American Jack Sock 4-6 6-0 6-3. It was the first time in the tournament's 48-year history that three debutants had reached the semi-finals. Dimitrov, meanwhile, beat Jack Sock in three sets. What are they saying? Goffin: "Both are really special. It was the first time against Rafa. Then the semi-final, to beat Roger for the first time here in such a big event, big tournament, it was the perfect moment," Goffin, who beat a physically-struggling Nadal on Monday, said. "It is the greatest win of my career, for sure." Dimotrov, speaking to Sky Sports: "Playing the same player twice in a week has never happened to me before but it's just another match, the last of the season and I need to keep on playing. Bring it on." What are the odds? Dimitrov - 4/11 Goffin - 11/5 What's our prediction? Grigor Dimitrov should see off Goffin here in straight sets.

Grigor Dimitrov vs David Goffin: What time is the ATP World Tour Finals final, what TV channel is it on and what are the odds?

What is it? It's the ATP Finals final between Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin at the O2 Arena in London. When is it? It's on Sunday November 19 - ie today. What time does it start? It's a 6pm GMT start. What TV channel is it on? It will be broadcast live on BBC Two and the Sky Sports red button. Alternatively, you can follow every serve and volley here with Charlie Eccleshare. Goffin defeated Roger Federer on Saturday Credit: Action Plus via Getty Images What's the head to head? The pair have met five times, with Dimitrov winning four of them. In fact, you do not have to look too far back to when they last met - Dimitrov beat Goffin 6-0 6-2 at this very tournament earlier in the week. Goffin has had a recent taste of success against Dimitrov, though, beating him in Rotterdam in February. How have they reached this round?  As if clocking up a first victory over Rafael Nadal was not enough, David Goffin continued breaking new ground by stunning Roger Federer at the ATP Finals on Saturday to claim the biggest win of his career and reach the final. Few gave the willowy world number eight a prayer against the Swiss maestro who had glided through his three round-robin matches unbeaten for the 10th time. Yet Goffin, beaten in all six prior meetings with Federer, turned the tables to win 2-6 6-3 6-4 and become only the sixth player to beat Nadal and Federer in the same tournament. Dimitrov lost the first set to Sock but recovered to win the match Credit: Hongbo Chen/Action Plus via Getty Images He will face fellow first-time qualifier Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday's final after the Bulgarian produced another classy display to beat American Jack Sock 4-6 6-0 6-3. It was the first time in the tournament's 48-year history that three debutants had reached the semi-finals. Dimitrov, meanwhile, beat Jack Sock in three sets. What are they saying? Goffin: "Both are really special. It was the first time against Rafa. Then the semi-final, to beat Roger for the first time here in such a big event, big tournament, it was the perfect moment," Goffin, who beat a physically-struggling Nadal on Monday, said. "It is the greatest win of my career, for sure." Dimotrov, speaking to Sky Sports: "Playing the same player twice in a week has never happened to me before but it's just another match, the last of the season and I need to keep on playing. Bring it on." What are the odds? Dimitrov - 4/11 Goffin - 11/5 What's our prediction? Grigor Dimitrov should see off Goffin here in straight sets.

Grigor Dimitrov vs David Goffin: What time is the ATP World Tour Finals final, what TV channel is it on and what are the odds?

What is it? It's the ATP Finals final between Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin at the O2 Arena in London. When is it? It's on Sunday November 19 - ie today. What time does it start? It's a 6pm GMT start. What TV channel is it on? It will be broadcast live on BBC Two and the Sky Sports red button. Alternatively, you can follow every serve and volley here with Charlie Eccleshare. Goffin defeated Roger Federer on Saturday Credit: Action Plus via Getty Images What's the head to head? The pair have met five times, with Dimitrov winning four of them. In fact, you do not have to look too far back to when they last met - Dimitrov beat Goffin 6-0 6-2 at this very tournament earlier in the week. Goffin has had a recent taste of success against Dimitrov, though, beating him in Rotterdam in February. How have they reached this round?  As if clocking up a first victory over Rafael Nadal was not enough, David Goffin continued breaking new ground by stunning Roger Federer at the ATP Finals on Saturday to claim the biggest win of his career and reach the final. Few gave the willowy world number eight a prayer against the Swiss maestro who had glided through his three round-robin matches unbeaten for the 10th time. Yet Goffin, beaten in all six prior meetings with Federer, turned the tables to win 2-6 6-3 6-4 and become only the sixth player to beat Nadal and Federer in the same tournament. Dimitrov lost the first set to Sock but recovered to win the match Credit: Hongbo Chen/Action Plus via Getty Images He will face fellow first-time qualifier Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday's final after the Bulgarian produced another classy display to beat American Jack Sock 4-6 6-0 6-3. It was the first time in the tournament's 48-year history that three debutants had reached the semi-finals. Dimitrov, meanwhile, beat Jack Sock in three sets. What are they saying? Goffin: "Both are really special. It was the first time against Rafa. Then the semi-final, to beat Roger for the first time here in such a big event, big tournament, it was the perfect moment," Goffin, who beat a physically-struggling Nadal on Monday, said. "It is the greatest win of my career, for sure." Dimotrov, speaking to Sky Sports: "Playing the same player twice in a week has never happened to me before but it's just another match, the last of the season and I need to keep on playing. Bring it on." What are the odds? Dimitrov - 4/11 Goffin - 11/5 What's our prediction? Grigor Dimitrov should see off Goffin here in straight sets.

Beating Federer better than Nadal win - Goffin

David Goffin believes his win over Roger Federer in the ATP Finals is the best win of his career.

Beating Federer better than Nadal win - Goffin

David Goffin believes his win over Roger Federer in the ATP Finals is the best win of his career.

Beating Federer better than Nadal win - Goffin

David Goffin believes his win over Roger Federer in the ATP Finals is the best win of his career.

Roger Federer stunned by David Goffin as Swiss suffers shock defeat at ATP World Tour Finals

Well, this was unexpected. Awkward, even, for the legions of fans who had bought tickets for this afternoon’s final in the hope of seeing Roger Federer. But David Goffin, the Belgian who had looked so short of energy in midweek, rewrote the script yesterday by overcoming Federer in one of the O2’s biggest upsets. Bear in mind that Goffin had never come close to challenging Federer before, in six previous meetings. On Friday, he had sounded nonplussed at the prospect of this semi-final, saying “I’ve never found a key to beat Roger. Honestly, I don’t know what to do tomorrow.” His low expectations were born out in the first set. Goffin was reduced to the role of a spectator as Federer toyed with him, tossing in cheeky drop-shots and scorching passing shots. But the worm turned early in the second set, when Goffin scored his first break of serve. Suddenly he was the man feeling the ball more cleanly on his racket. Federer was a step slow around the court now, perhaps tiring at the end of a season that had already brought him seven titles. He couldn’t find a way to recover his early fluency. And although Goffin has had trouble closing against big names in the past – he struggled to finish off a hobbled Rafael Nadal here in his opening match on Monday – his serve helped him over the finish line when it came to the crunch. Two aces in the first two points of the decisive game got him off to the perfect start, and within a couple of minutes he had completed his 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win. Federer congratulated Goffin after his 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win Credit: Reuters “Words can’t describe how I am feeling,” Goffin told the on-court interviewer Annabel Croft. “So much joy, so much happiness, such a special moment.” Later, speaking to reporters, he confirmed that it was the biggest win of his career. It was hard to reconcile this triumphant figure with the hag-ridden one who had lost 6-0, 6-2 to Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday night. At that point, we wondered whether Goffin was carrying a significant problem in his knee, which he always tapes up. There were real concerns that he might withdraw in order to prepare for the Davis Cup final, which will pit Belgium against France in Lille next weekend. Yet if Goffin had no answers to “Baby Fed” – as Dimitrov is widely known, thanks to the visual similarities between the two men’s games – then he was ready to take down the senior version yesterday. As for Federer, he had won all three of his group matches, but admitted yesterday that he had never quite settled into this tournament as he might have hoped. “I'm not that disappointed that I wasn't able to raise it,” he said, when asked about his level of play. “Because I just felt like I was never quite feeling it 100 per cent. There's no need to dwell over it, especially when it's the last match of the season. I wish I could have played more aggressive today, but I never really felt comfortable taking the ball on.” World No.2 Federer, seemed to be struggling with injury Credit: Reuters His defeat has implications for next year’s rankings. Had Federer lifted this title, he would have gone into 2018 right on Rafael Nadal’s shoulder. As it is, he will start 1,040 points behind, after an off-season that will last just six weeks rather than the six months he enjoyed in the build up to January’s Australian Open. It will also be difficult for Federer to add to his tally substantially, given that he won the first three significant tournaments of 2017. Nadal, by extension, is almost guaranteed to remain No. 1 until the clay-court season at the very least. In yesterday’s doubles, meanwhile, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares were eliminated by the reigning champions John Peer and Henri Kontinen. This was a high-quality match in which both teams played some sharp tennis, but Kontinen was particularly outstanding. He and Peers – who had been Murray’s regular partner until two years ago – never dropped their serve, and never even looked like they were going to. In the end, they forged through to the final by a 7-6, 6-2 margin. And Murray and Soares fell at the semi-final stage for the second straight year.

Roger Federer stunned by David Goffin as Swiss suffers shock defeat at ATP World Tour Finals

Well, this was unexpected. Awkward, even, for the legions of fans who had bought tickets for this afternoon’s final in the hope of seeing Roger Federer. But David Goffin, the Belgian who had looked so short of energy in midweek, rewrote the script yesterday by overcoming Federer in one of the O2’s biggest upsets. Bear in mind that Goffin had never come close to challenging Federer before, in six previous meetings. On Friday, he had sounded nonplussed at the prospect of this semi-final, saying “I’ve never found a key to beat Roger. Honestly, I don’t know what to do tomorrow.” His low expectations were born out in the first set. Goffin was reduced to the role of a spectator as Federer toyed with him, tossing in cheeky drop-shots and scorching passing shots. But the worm turned early in the second set, when Goffin scored his first break of serve. Suddenly he was the man feeling the ball more cleanly on his racket. Federer was a step slow around the court now, perhaps tiring at the end of a season that had already brought him seven titles. He couldn’t find a way to recover his early fluency. And although Goffin has had trouble closing against big names in the past – he struggled to finish off a hobbled Rafael Nadal here in his opening match on Monday – his serve helped him over the finish line when it came to the crunch. Two aces in the first two points of the decisive game got him off to the perfect start, and within a couple of minutes he had completed his 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win. Federer congratulated Goffin after his 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win Credit: Reuters “Words can’t describe how I am feeling,” Goffin told the on-court interviewer Annabel Croft. “So much joy, so much happiness, such a special moment.” Later, speaking to reporters, he confirmed that it was the biggest win of his career. It was hard to reconcile this triumphant figure with the hag-ridden one who had lost 6-0, 6-2 to Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday night. At that point, we wondered whether Goffin was carrying a significant problem in his knee, which he always tapes up. There were real concerns that he might withdraw in order to prepare for the Davis Cup final, which will pit Belgium against France in Lille next weekend. Yet if Goffin had no answers to “Baby Fed” – as Dimitrov is widely known, thanks to the visual similarities between the two men’s games – then he was ready to take down the senior version yesterday. As for Federer, he had won all three of his group matches, but admitted yesterday that he had never quite settled into this tournament as he might have hoped. “I'm not that disappointed that I wasn't able to raise it,” he said, when asked about his level of play. “Because I just felt like I was never quite feeling it 100 per cent. There's no need to dwell over it, especially when it's the last match of the season. I wish I could have played more aggressive today, but I never really felt comfortable taking the ball on.” World No.2 Federer, seemed to be struggling with injury Credit: Reuters His defeat has implications for next year’s rankings. Had Federer lifted this title, he would have gone into 2018 right on Rafael Nadal’s shoulder. As it is, he will start 1,040 points behind, after an off-season that will last just six weeks rather than the six months he enjoyed in the build up to January’s Australian Open. It will also be difficult for Federer to add to his tally substantially, given that he won the first three significant tournaments of 2017. Nadal, by extension, is almost guaranteed to remain No. 1 until the clay-court season at the very least. In yesterday’s doubles, meanwhile, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares were eliminated by the reigning champions John Peer and Henri Kontinen. This was a high-quality match in which both teams played some sharp tennis, but Kontinen was particularly outstanding. He and Peers – who had been Murray’s regular partner until two years ago – never dropped their serve, and never even looked like they were going to. In the end, they forged through to the final by a 7-6, 6-2 margin. And Murray and Soares fell at the semi-final stage for the second straight year.

Roger Federer stunned by David Goffin as Swiss suffers shock defeat at ATP World Tour Finals

Well, this was unexpected. Awkward, even, for the legions of fans who had bought tickets for this afternoon’s final in the hope of seeing Roger Federer. But David Goffin, the Belgian who had looked so short of energy in midweek, rewrote the script yesterday by overcoming Federer in one of the O2’s biggest upsets. Bear in mind that Goffin had never come close to challenging Federer before, in six previous meetings. On Friday, he had sounded nonplussed at the prospect of this semi-final, saying “I’ve never found a key to beat Roger. Honestly, I don’t know what to do tomorrow.” His low expectations were born out in the first set. Goffin was reduced to the role of a spectator as Federer toyed with him, tossing in cheeky drop-shots and scorching passing shots. But the worm turned early in the second set, when Goffin scored his first break of serve. Suddenly he was the man feeling the ball more cleanly on his racket. Federer was a step slow around the court now, perhaps tiring at the end of a season that had already brought him seven titles. He couldn’t find a way to recover his early fluency. And although Goffin has had trouble closing against big names in the past – he struggled to finish off a hobbled Rafael Nadal here in his opening match on Monday – his serve helped him over the finish line when it came to the crunch. Two aces in the first two points of the decisive game got him off to the perfect start, and within a couple of minutes he had completed his 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win. Federer congratulated Goffin after his 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win Credit: Reuters “Words can’t describe how I am feeling,” Goffin told the on-court interviewer Annabel Croft. “So much joy, so much happiness, such a special moment.” Later, speaking to reporters, he confirmed that it was the biggest win of his career. It was hard to reconcile this triumphant figure with the hag-ridden one who had lost 6-0, 6-2 to Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday night. At that point, we wondered whether Goffin was carrying a significant problem in his knee, which he always tapes up. There were real concerns that he might withdraw in order to prepare for the Davis Cup final, which will pit Belgium against France in Lille next weekend. Yet if Goffin had no answers to “Baby Fed” – as Dimitrov is widely known, thanks to the visual similarities between the two men’s games – then he was ready to take down the senior version yesterday. As for Federer, he had won all three of his group matches, but admitted yesterday that he had never quite settled into this tournament as he might have hoped. “I'm not that disappointed that I wasn't able to raise it,” he said, when asked about his level of play. “Because I just felt like I was never quite feeling it 100 per cent. There's no need to dwell over it, especially when it's the last match of the season. I wish I could have played more aggressive today, but I never really felt comfortable taking the ball on.” World No.2 Federer, seemed to be struggling with injury Credit: Reuters His defeat has implications for next year’s rankings. Had Federer lifted this title, he would have gone into 2018 right on Rafael Nadal’s shoulder. As it is, he will start 1,040 points behind, after an off-season that will last just six weeks rather than the six months he enjoyed in the build up to January’s Australian Open. It will also be difficult for Federer to add to his tally substantially, given that he won the first three significant tournaments of 2017. Nadal, by extension, is almost guaranteed to remain No. 1 until the clay-court season at the very least. In yesterday’s doubles, meanwhile, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares were eliminated by the reigning champions John Peer and Henri Kontinen. This was a high-quality match in which both teams played some sharp tennis, but Kontinen was particularly outstanding. He and Peers – who had been Murray’s regular partner until two years ago – never dropped their serve, and never even looked like they were going to. In the end, they forged through to the final by a 7-6, 6-2 margin. And Murray and Soares fell at the semi-final stage for the second straight year.

Goffin stuns favourite Federer to reach London final

Roger Federer suffered the same fate as Rafael Nadal at the ATP Finals as David Goffin booked his place in Sunday's showpiece.

How to Watch Roger Federer vs. David Goffin: ATP Finals Live Stream, TV Channel, Time

Roger Federer will meet David Goffin in the semifinals of the 2017 ATP Finals on Saturday in London.

The winner of Saturday's match will play either Jack Sock or Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday's final.

Federer won all three of his group stage matches, beating Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic and Sock to finish in first place. Goffin finished second in the other group, beating an injured Rafa Nadal and easing past Dominic Thiem, with a loss to Grigor Dimitrov in between.

Federer hasn't won the ATP Finals since 2011. Goffin has never won the event.

See how to watch Saturday's semifinal below.

How to watch

Time: 9 a.m. ET

TV: ESPN News

Live stream: WatchESPN

Rafael Nadal's withdrawal, after a punishing three-set defeat by David Goffin, has given the ATP Finals a rather lopsided look

Rafael Nadal's withdrawal, after a punishing three-set defeat by David Goffin, has given the ATP Finals a rather lopsided look (AFP Photo/Glyn KIRK )

Ex-France minister has to pay damages to Nadal

Rafael Nadal of Spain waves to supporters after losing his singles tennis match against David Goffin of Belgium at the ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Ex-France minister has to pay damages to Nadal

Rafael Nadal of Spain shouts during his singles tennis match against David Goffin of Belgium at the ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Ex-France minister has to pay damages to Nadal

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to David Goffin of Belgium during their singles tennis match at the ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Nadal awarded damages over doping claim

Rafael Nadal has been paid €12,000 in damages after suing a French politician who suggested that he had doped in his career.

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals - The O2 Arena, London, Britain - November 13, 2017. Spain's Rafael Nadal during a press conference after losing his group stage match against Belgium's David Goffin. Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals - The O2 Arena, London, Britain - November 13, 2017. Spain's Rafael Nadal during a press conference after losing his group stage match against Belgium's David Goffin. Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien

Roger Federer relaxes before raising game to beat Marin Cilic at ATP Finals

Roger Federer is in such a rich vein of form that he is even winning matches he could afford to lose. Thursday’s meeting with Marin Cilic in the Nitto ATP Tour Finals at the O2 Arena was a dead rubber, so when Cilic took the first set, Federer would have had every reason to drop his intensity. Instead, he raised it. By coming back to claim a 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 victory, Federer maintained his impressive record of only having lost four times all season. He also stayed on track for the potential maximum payout of 1,500 rankings points if he wins all five matches at this tournament. Which would send him into 2018 right on Rafael Nadal’s tail, only 140 points behind. “I told myself to try to relax a little bit,” Federer told Annabel Croft in his on-court interview. “We have a lot of pressure on us throughout the season, so it was nice to have less pressure and remind myself I am through regardless. Still, I wanted to keep the momentum going. “Knowing you have qualified on Tuesday evening is kind of weird,” said Federer, who knew he would finish at the top of the Boris Becker Group whatever happened on Thursday, and would avoid the other group winner, Grigor Dimitrov, in the semi-finals. “Try to relax now and one more push at the weekend, to finish off a great season.” Meanwhile, Nadal may have been forced out of this tournament by knee trouble, but he scored a victory on Thursday as well, though his came in a French legal court.  This was the outcome of a defamation case that he had brought against Roselyne Bachelot, the former French health and safety minister, who had claimed last year that Nadal was serving a silent doping ban when he sat out the second half of the 2012 season. Rafael Nadal was forced to abandon the ATP Finals earlier this week through injury Credit:  Getty Images   Neither party appeared in person at the trial, but Nadal’s lawyer brought medical evidence that Nadal was unable to play during that period because of his knees, while Bachelot could not support her claim with proof. As a result, she was fined £454 and told to pay £10,700 in legal fees. Her liability could have been higher, but the judge said there were no grounds to believe that her comments – which had been broadcast by the D8 channel in March 2016 – had damaged Nadal’s relationships with sponsors. Nadal responded to the verdict in a statement. “When I filed the lawsuit against Mrs Bachelot,” he said, “I intended not only to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete, but also the values I have defended all my career. I also wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished. “The motivation as I have always remarked was not economical. The compensation will be paid back in full to an NGO or [charitable] foundation in France.” Finally, Czech police announced that they had abandoned efforts to track down the burglar who slashed the former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova with a knife last year.  “Despite extensive investigation, we have not managed to identify the attacker to date,” detective Jan Lisicky told reporters.

Roger Federer relaxes before raising game to beat Marin Cilic at ATP Finals

Roger Federer is in such a rich vein of form that he is even winning matches he could afford to lose. Thursday’s meeting with Marin Cilic in the Nitto ATP Tour Finals at the O2 Arena was a dead rubber, so when Cilic took the first set, Federer would have had every reason to drop his intensity. Instead, he raised it. By coming back to claim a 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 victory, Federer maintained his impressive record of only having lost four times all season. He also stayed on track for the potential maximum payout of 1,500 rankings points if he wins all five matches at this tournament. Which would send him into 2018 right on Rafael Nadal’s tail, only 140 points behind. “I told myself to try to relax a little bit,” Federer told Annabel Croft in his on-court interview. “We have a lot of pressure on us throughout the season, so it was nice to have less pressure and remind myself I am through regardless. Still, I wanted to keep the momentum going. “Knowing you have qualified on Tuesday evening is kind of weird,” said Federer, who knew he would finish at the top of the Boris Becker Group whatever happened on Thursday, and would avoid the other group winner, Grigor Dimitrov, in the semi-finals. “Try to relax now and one more push at the weekend, to finish off a great season.” Meanwhile, Nadal may have been forced out of this tournament by knee trouble, but he scored a victory on Thursday as well, though his came in a French legal court.  This was the outcome of a defamation case that he had brought against Roselyne Bachelot, the former French health and safety minister, who had claimed last year that Nadal was serving a silent doping ban when he sat out the second half of the 2012 season. Rafael Nadal was forced to abandon the ATP Finals earlier this week through injury Credit:  Getty Images   Neither party appeared in person at the trial, but Nadal’s lawyer brought medical evidence that Nadal was unable to play during that period because of his knees, while Bachelot could not support her claim with proof. As a result, she was fined £454 and told to pay £10,700 in legal fees. Her liability could have been higher, but the judge said there were no grounds to believe that her comments – which had been broadcast by the D8 channel in March 2016 – had damaged Nadal’s relationships with sponsors. Nadal responded to the verdict in a statement. “When I filed the lawsuit against Mrs Bachelot,” he said, “I intended not only to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete, but also the values I have defended all my career. I also wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished. “The motivation as I have always remarked was not economical. The compensation will be paid back in full to an NGO or [charitable] foundation in France.” Finally, Czech police announced that they had abandoned efforts to track down the burglar who slashed the former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova with a knife last year.  “Despite extensive investigation, we have not managed to identify the attacker to date,” detective Jan Lisicky told reporters.