Grigor Dimitrov edges Dominic Thiem in opener
Grigor Dimitrov v Dominic Thiem 6-3 5-7 7-5

Grigor Dimitrov edges Dominic Thiem in opener

13/11/2017

Grigor Dimitrov made a winning start to his maiden ATP World Tour Finals with a gripping victory over Dominic Thiem.

The world number six briefly threw away a final set advantage – being broken at 5-4 when serving for the match – but he responded brilliantly to secure a 6-3 5-7 7-5 victory in Group Pete Sampras.

"The first time I got broken (at 5-4) I thought 'okay let's get back up and try again'," Dimitrov, who enjoyed some noisy support from a contingent of Bulgarian fans, said on court.

"I'm living my dream right now and I wanna keep on going."

The opening two sets saw a solitary break of serve apiece, but it was a turbulent affair from 3-3 onwards in the decider.

First, Dimitrov broke with a beautiful deft volley at the net, before fighting back from 0-30 in the next to consolidate his advantage.

But Thiem hit back, halting the Bulgarian as he served for the match – only to then immediately donate his serve with two untimely double faults.

And Dimitrov finally triumphed after two hours and 22 minutes, serving out victory via a nervy deuce.

World number one Rafael Nadal opens his quest for a first ATP Finals title later against Belgium's David Goffin.

Nadal's appearance has been in doubt after a knee injury forced him to withdraw midway through the Paris Masters tournament.

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.