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
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.
In the day's other Pete Sampras group match, Austrian fourth
seed Dominic Thiem beat Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to remain in
the hunt for a semi-final berth.
Dimitrov, who defeated Thiem in three sets in his group
opener, has already made history as the first Bulgarian to qualify for the
season-ending Tour finals.
And while 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 in
such an occasion.
"It's a special win for me. My goal was to reach the
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
Now Goffin faces Thiem in their final group match with a
semi-final place awaiting the winner.
"It was not easy for me to lose my serve at the start.
It was tough for my confidence after that," Goffin said.
World number two Federer, aiming for his seventh Tour Finals
title, has already qualified for the last four from 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.
Dimitrov had won three of his four previous meetings with
Goffin and he was quick to establish control once again.
Goffin had a strapping around his left knee and Dimitrov
immediately tested his mobility, moving Goffin around the court with some deft
groundstrokes, and landed an early blow with a break in the second game of the
Dimitrov dominated from the baseline, breaking twice more to
take the set in just 27 minutes, and carried his dominance into the second set,
racing into a 3-0 lead after winning nine games in a row.
The Belgian avoided the embarrassment of a total whitewash
and drew mocking cheers from the crowd in the 10th game as he finally held his
After losing to Dimitrov in his opener, Thiem had little
margin for error when he faced Carreno Busta, who was drafted in to replace the
Thiem had won all four of their previous meetings and he
extended that unblemished streak in a bruising baseline battle lasting over two
"It got very tight at the end, luckily I got the
deciding break," Thiem said.
"I'm happy I'm still playing for the semi-finals."
Collated results from the fourth day of the ATP Finals at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):
Pete Sampras group
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x6) bt David Goffin (BEL x7) 6-0, 6-2
Dominic Thiem (AUT x4) bt Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x9) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo (POL/BRA x1) bt Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA/USA x5) 6-4, 6-3
Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares (GBR/BRA x4) bt Ivan Dodig/Marcel Granollers (CRO/ESP x7) 6-1, 6-1