LONDON – Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov raced into the semi-finals of the ATP Finals with a 6-0 6-2 demolition of David Goffin on Wednesday.
Dimitrov has never quite lived up to his billing as the heir to Roger Federer’s throne, but the world number six’s eye-catching rout of Goffin was a reminder he is still young and gifted enough to finally make the breakthrough.
The 26-year-old unloaded 18 winners to dismiss the Belgian world number eight at London’s O2 Arena and seal his spot in the last four with one match to play.
Dimitrov, who defeated Dominic Thiem in three sets in his Pete Sampras group opener, has already made history as the first Bulgarian to qualify for the season-ending Tour finals.
While Roger Federer remains the title favourite following Rafael Nadal’s injury withdrawal, Dimitrov will fancy his chances of becoming the first debutant winner since Alex Corretja in 1998.
“You get a few days out of the year that whatever you touch turns to gold, and that was the first set,” Dimitrov said.
“You work for those days – it’s nice when it comes on such an occasion. It’s a special win for me.
“My goal was to reach the weekend. I’m not here just to participate.”
Goffin, another first-time Tour Finals qualifier, had made a flying start with his dramatic three-set victory over Nadal on Monday.
But that victory was slightly devalued as the world number one, who was struggling with a knee injury, pulled out of the tournament after the match.
Now Goffin will have to win his last group match against Thiem to have a chance of joining Dimitrov in the semi-finals.
World number two Federer, aiming for his seventh Tour Finals title, has already qualified for the last four from the Boris Becker Group after winning his first two matches.
One of Alexander Zverev or Jack Sock, who face each other on Thursday after Federer takes on Marin Cilic, will advance with the Swiss as the second qualifier from the Becker group.