Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria celebrates during the awarding ceremony after the singles final against David Goffin of Belgium at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena in London, Britain on Nov. 19, 2017. Dimitrov won 2-1 to claim the title. (Xinhua/Han Yan)
LONDON, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov fought off tenacious challenge to beat Belgian David Goffin to lift the ATP Finals trophy in his debut at the O2 Arena here on Sunday.
The Bugarian took two hours and 30 minutes to defeat seventh seed Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to win the biggest title of his life and win a total of 2.549 million U.S. dollars in prize money.
It's the fourth title of Dimitrov's 2017 and the eighth of his career, which will lift him to a career-high No. 3 in the year-end ATP rankings.
"This makes me even more locked in, more excited about my work, and for what's to come," Dimitrov said. "It's a great platform for me to build on for next year. It's going to be amazing in the off-season. I know what I have to do in order to do good."
He became the first debutant to win the season finale since Spaniard Alex Corretja in 1998.
The sixth seed had already crushed Goffin 6-0, 6-2 on Wednesday during Group Pete Sampras play and extended his lead to 5-1 against the Belgian.
After that shock defeat, Goffin, who beat world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in his first match, went on to experience what he called the best win of his career, upsetting the No. 2 seed and six-time former champion Roger Federer to reach Sunday's final.
Goffin will take home 1.158 million U.S. dollars and finish at a career-high No. 7 in the year-end rankings.
"I proved to myself that I'm in the right place, and I deserve to be here in this tournament. Then match after match, I took more confidence until the final," Goffin said. "So I'm proud of what I've achieved, even if I'm disappointed about the final."