Grigor Dimitrov claimed the biggest title of his career by beating David Goffin at the ATP Finals – and now has his sights set on winning a grand slam.
For years Dimitrov has struggled to deliver on his supreme technical talent but the Bulgarian may finally be living up to the hype after he beat Goffin 7-5 4-6 6-3 at The O2.
Both aged 26, Dimitrov and Goffin are hardly fledglings on the tour but there is still time for each to enjoy greater success at major tournaments.
Goffin has never gone further than the last eight at a grand slam while Dimitrov’s best is two semi-finals.
Dimitrov, in particular, looks now to be a leading contender behind Nadal and Federer, and he will rise to world number three when the rankings update on Monday.
“Of course, one of my main goals is to win a tournament, a grand slam tournament,” Dimitrov said.
“This has always been, again, a dream of mine. Now slowly I think this thing is getting there.
“I think I’ve had good results in the past, but now I need to be even more consistent on those kind of events and in the same time raise up my level on occasions like this.
“Obviously, this is a great, unbelievable achievement for me, yes, but I just still have a lot to give.”
Dimitrov pockets the champion’s cheque for $1.2m to take his total haul for the week to $2,549,000.
Goffin had seen off both Nadal, who was hampered by injury, and Federer en route to the final. The Belgian will now head into next week’s Davis Cup final against France brimming with confidence.
Fans may have hoped for a re-run final here of Federer versus Nadal, the veteran grandees who dominated the sport in 2017, but Dimitrov and Goffin offered an enthralling finale and perhaps a glimpse of the future.
“There is – how can I say – not the old generation, but the generation of Federer, he’s almost 10 years older than me,” Goffin said.
“We are not from the same generation but he’s still there. He’s still playing such nice tennis. You have Rafa (Nadal), (Novak) Djokovic, (Andy) Murray, all the same age. Then you have the next generation.
“As you saw last week in Milan, there are so many good players coming. It’s going to be tough in the future.
“But me and Grigor, we are almost the same age, and we are between the generations. We are fighting to beat the young guns and also the old ones.”
Earlier in the day, Jamie Murray’s former partner John Peers won the doubles title alongside Henri Kontinen. They beat Marcelo Melo and Lukasz Kubot, the world’s top-ranked pair, 6-4 6-2.