No. 7 Match of the Year: Dimitrov vs. Goffin, London

The Grandstand has compiled its list of the Top 10 Matches of the Year for 2017. Matches were ranked from a combination of Top 10 lists made by the Grandstand’s Ricky Dimon, Joey Hanf of Cliff Drysdale Tennis, voting at MensTennisForums, and Twitter user Ben Conti.

No. 7: Grigor Dimitrov d. David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, London final

With a round-robin victory over world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and a semifinal upset of title favorite Roger Federer at the Nitto ATP Finals, Goffin became the sixth player ever to beat both Nadal and Federer in the same tournament. He did not have quite enough left in the tank to pull off a trophy-clinching win over Dimitrov, but the Belgian certainly did his part to make it competitive.

Becoming the first man to defeat Nadal and Federer in the same tournament and then not capture the title, Goffin succumbed to a red-hot Dimitrov in a three-set thriller that lasted exactly two and a half hours. For the Bulgarian, it capped off a perfect run through the O2 Arena in which he compiled a 3-0 record in Group A prior to three-set victories over Jack Sock and then Goffin in the knockout rounds.

One of Dimitrov’s round-round wins had come against Goffin via a 6-0, 6-2 demolition. The rematch just four days later was nothing of the sort.

On one side of the net was Dimitrov maintaining his fine form that had been on display throughout the week. On the other side it was the Goffin who had stunned Federer–not the one who had gotten humiliated by Dimitrov. The result was a totally even contest in which the first two sets were split and the third came down to nothing more than break-point conversions. Goffin, who had taken the middle frame to force a decider, earned four break points at the very start of the third. Dimitrov, however, saved all four to hold for 1-0 and eventually seized a break of his own for a 4-2 lead.

But there was more drama to be had. Goffin scraped out of a 0-40, triple championship point hole at 2-5 and held serve to make his opponent close it out. That is exactly what Dimitrov did, although–predictably–it was not easy. Goffin fought off a fourth match point with a forehand winner before Dimitrov converted his fifth opportunity at 5-3, 40-30.


“A lot happened in this final today,” Dimitrov said. “I think David deserves an unbelievable credit for this tournament; he’s done so well to beat Rafa (and) Roger. To be so successful for the first time (in London), both of us, to play on such a stage, it’s just a tremendous, tremendous effort. I’m really happy to share this final with him and I wish I could share [the trophy] with him to be honest. But, yes, there’s only one winner.”

Goffin agreed.

“I think I deserve the win today, of course,” he commented. “But Grigor, also, he deserves the win. He was unbeatable this week. He played really great tennis; was really solid from the first match until the end. So he deserves completely to be here and to win the tournament. Even if I won against Rafa and Roger, I lost the final. But, anyway, it was a great week. I have no regrets after that match.”

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