Grigor Dimitrov rounded off the year with victory over Belgium's David Goffin in the season finale in London. The Bulgarian won 7-5 4-6 6-3 in front of a star-studded crowd at the O2 Arena.
Grigor Dimitrov claimed the biggest title of his career and sent out a huge statement of intent, beating David Goffin 7-5 4-6 6-3 to win the ATP Finals on Sunday.
The 26-year-old recovered from losing his opening two service games to finally get the better of the Belgian, but it was fiercely-fought two-and-a-half hour duel with Goffin saving four match points before finally succumbing.
Both finalists were first-time qualifiers for the tournament and while many ticket holders might have booked them in anticipation of watching Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, the two newcomers provided a fitting end to the ATP season.
Goffin managed only two games against Dimitrov when they met on Wednesday in group play, but the world number eight, who claimed a rare double of beating both Nadal and Federer this week, was a different proposition this time.
Dimitrov asserted himself at the end of the first set to put his nose in front, only for Goffin to dig deep and square the match by taking the second.
Dimitrov broke for a 4-2 lead and although Goffin saved three match points at 5-2 down to keep the game alive and rescued another on the Bulgarian's serve, he finally deposited an easy volley into the net on the fifth match point.
Dimitrov will end the year as the world number three behind Nadal and number two Federer.
mds/jt (afp, dpa)