Dimitrov beats Sock to set up ATP Final against Goffin
Grigor Dimitrov v Jack Sock 4-6 6-0 6-3

Dimitrov beats Sock to set up ATP Final against Goffin

18/11/2017

Grigor Dimitrov stood one win away from the biggest title of his career on Saturday after ending his Jack Sock jinx to reach the final of the season-ending ATP Finals at the 02 Arena.

The Bulgarian, finally beginning to look the real deal after year's weighed down by comparisons to Swiss great Roger Federer, produced more dazzling tennis to win 4-6 6-0 6-3 and set up a Sunday showdown with fellow debutant David Goffin.

With Federer stunned earlier by Goffin, who Dimitrov thrashed in group play earlier in the week, the door had opened tantalisingly for the 26-year-old to go on and collect the biggest title of his career to date.

But Sock had won their last two meetings having saved match points, most recently at Indian Wells this year, and those demons were lurking for Dimitrov as victory loomed.

Poised for victory at 5-3 40-15 in the decider he made two nervy errors then ballooned a forehand out on a third match point. As proof of his greater mental fortitude these days, however, Dimitrov got the job done at the fourth attempt.

Victory means he will move above Alexander Zverev and end the year as world number three, with only all-time greats Federer and Rafael Nadal ahead of him.

"I don't know what to say. This took a lot out of me," Dimitrov, the first debutant to reach the semi-finals after going unbeaten in round robin play since Andy Murray in 2008, said on court. "But my belief was good today."

Asked how he had controlled his nerves when serving for the match, Dimitrov said: "You have to. I was very composed and didn't let negative thoughts come to my head.

"If I'd have been broken in the last game then tough luck, I would have gone down the other side and played again. I'm just so humbled to be able to play the final tomorrow."

Sock had gate-crashed the London showpiece by winning the Paris Masters and catapulting up the standings and became the first American to reach the semi-finals since Andy Roddick in 2007 when Shanghai was the host city.

While his journey came to a halt, the 25-year-old said he now felt like he belonged at the top of the game.

"Shouldn't have been here in the first place," he said. "I mean, to be here, my first appearance, to make the semis, getting through a pretty tough group, that's a big confidence booster for me.

"Now I want to go and play some golf."

Related news

Rafa Nadal opens up against Alexandr Dolgopolov, Kyle Edmund to face Alex De Minaur

Rafa Nadal opens up against Alexandr Dolgopolov, Kyle Edmund to face Alex De Minaur

Defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal will open his campaign against Alexandr Dolgopolov whilst Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund will face talented youngster Alex De Minaur.

Serena Williams drawn against Kristyna Pliskova, Simona Halep faces Alison Riske

Serena Williams drawn against Kristyna Pliskova, Simona Halep faces Alison Riske

Former world number one Serena Williams has been drawn against Kristyna Pliskova in the first round of the French Open with current number one Simona Halep facing Alison Riske.

Rain delay helps Rafael Nadal down Alexander Zverev in Rome final

Rain delay helps Rafael Nadal down Alexander Zverev in Rome final

Rafael Nadal benefitted from a timely rain delay as he recovered to see off Alexander Zverev 6-1 1-6 6-3 and win an eighth Rome Masters title.

Elina Svitolina dominates Simona Halep to defend Italian Open crown

Elina Svitolina dominates Simona Halep to defend Italian Open crown

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina successfully defended her Italian Open title on Sunday with a dominant 6-0 6-4 victory over an out-of-sorts Simona Halep.

Kyle Edmund downs Lucas Pouille to set up Alex Zverev clash

Kyle Edmund downs Lucas Pouille to set up Alex Zverev clash

Kyle Edmund produced a good performance to beat Lucas Pouille 6-2, 7-6(3) on Wednesday and set up a clash with Alex Zverev in the last-16 in Italy.

Rafa Nadal cruises into Italian Open third round, Dominic Thiem exits

Rafa Nadal cruises into Italian Open third round, Dominic Thiem exits

Rafa Nadal got his claycourt season back on track with a 6-1 6-0 victory over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur to reach the third round of the Italian Open on Wednesday, while sixth-seed Dominic Thiem suffered an early exit.

Simona Halep races past Naomi Osaka in Rome, Caroline Wozniacki advances

Simona Halep races past Naomi Osaka in Rome, Caroline Wozniacki advances

World number one Simona Halep produced a ruthless display to see off Japan's Naomi Osaka 6-1 6-0 in the second round of the Italian Open on Wednesday.

Johanna Konta sees off Hsieh Su-wei to progress in Internazional BNL d’Italia

Johanna Konta sees off Hsieh Su-wei to progress in Internazional BNL d’Italia

Johanna Konta demonstrated her improving form in a convincing win over Hsieh Su-wei in the second round of the Internazional BNL d’Italia in Rome.

Alexander Zverev warms up for French Open in style by crushing Dominic Thiem in Madrid final

Alexander Zverev warms up for French Open in style by crushing Dominic Thiem in Madrid final

Alexander Zverev continued his preparation for the French Open in style with a 6-4, 6-4 straight sets victory over Dominic Thiem.

RELATED NEWS

Rafa Nadal opens up against Alexandr Dolgopolov, Kyle Edmund to face Alex De Minaur
ATP Roland Garros Draw

Rafa Nadal opens up against Alexandr Dolgopolov, Kyle Edmund to face Alex De Minaur

Defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal will open his campaign against Alexandr Dolgopolov whilst Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund will face talented youngster Alex De Minaur.

Serena Williams drawn against Kristyna Pliskova, Simona Halep faces Alison Riske
WTA Roland Garros Draw

Serena Williams drawn against Kristyna Pliskova, Simona Halep faces Alison Riske

Former world number one Serena Williams has been drawn against Kristyna Pliskova in the first round of the French Open with current number one Simona Halep facing Alison Riske.

Rain delay helps Rafael Nadal down Alexander Zverev in Rome final
Rafael Nadal v Alexander Zverev 6-1 1-6 6-3

Rain delay helps Rafael Nadal down Alexander Zverev in Rome final

Rafael Nadal benefitted from a timely rain delay as he recovered to see off Alexander Zverev 6-1 1-6 6-3 and win an eighth Rome Masters title.

Elina Svitolina dominates Simona Halep to defend Italian Open crown
Elina Svitolina v Simona Halep 6-0 6-4

Elina Svitolina dominates Simona Halep to defend Italian Open crown

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina successfully defended her Italian Open title on Sunday with a dominant 6-0 6-4 victory over an out-of-sorts Simona Halep.

Kyle Edmund downs Lucas Pouille to set up Alex Zverev clash
Kyle Edmund v Lucas Pouille 6-2, 7-6(3)

Kyle Edmund downs Lucas Pouille to set up Alex Zverev clash

Kyle Edmund produced a good performance to beat Lucas Pouille 6-2, 7-6(3) on Wednesday and set up a clash with Alex Zverev in the last-16 in Italy.

Rafa Nadal cruises into Italian Open third round, Dominic Thiem exits
Rafa Nadal v Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-0

Rafa Nadal cruises into Italian Open third round, Dominic Thiem exits

Rafa Nadal got his claycourt season back on track with a 6-1 6-0 victory over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur to reach the third round of the Italian Open on Wednesday, while sixth-seed Dominic Thiem suffered an early exit.

Simona Halep races past Naomi Osaka in Rome, Caroline Wozniacki advances
Simona Halep v Naomi Osaka 6-1 6-0

Simona Halep races past Naomi Osaka in Rome, Caroline Wozniacki advances

World number one Simona Halep produced a ruthless display to see off Japan's Naomi Osaka 6-1 6-0 in the second round of the Italian Open on Wednesday.

Johanna Konta sees off Hsieh Su-wei to progress in Internazional BNL d’Italia
Johanna Konta v Hsieh Su-wei 6-0 6-4

Johanna Konta sees off Hsieh Su-wei to progress in Internazional BNL d’Italia

Johanna Konta demonstrated her improving form in a convincing win over Hsieh Su-wei in the second round of the Internazional BNL d’Italia in Rome.

Alexander Zverev warms up for French Open in style by crushing Dominic Thiem in Madrid final
Alexander Zverev v Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-4

Alexander Zverev warms up for French Open in style by crushing Dominic Thiem in Madrid final

Alexander Zverev continued his preparation for the French Open in style with a 6-4, 6-4 straight sets victory over Dominic Thiem.