LONDON Tennis Update From The 02 • Grigor Dimitrov Dominates At Nitto 2017 ATP World Tour Championship Finals

Written by: on 17th November 2017
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LONDON Tennis Update From The 02 • Grigor Dimitrov Dominates At Nitto 2017 ATP World Tour Championship Finals  |

By Richard Pagliaro

LONDON—Another backhand bolt from Grigor Dimitrov stung the sideline leaving Pablo Carreno Busta shaking his head smiling at the absurdity of it all.

 

On this night, Dimitrov turned the Spaniard’s shots into persistent punch lines for his brilliance.

 

Dimitrov dominated Pablo Carreno Busta administering a 6-1, 6-1 thrashing at the Nitto ATP Finals that spanned just 59 minutes, wrapping up round-robin play with a 3-0 record in the Group Pete Sampras.

Dimitrov won 19 of 20 first-serve points, converted five of 10 break points and absolutely annihilated the US Open semifinalist.

 

It was a relaxed ruthlessness and even more commanding than the 6-0, 6-2 beat-down Dimitrov dealt David Goffin on Wednesday.

 

“I don’t think I did anything outrageous or crazy,” Dimitrov said. “I followed my game well and didn’t make mistakes. I think the simplicity helped me to play such a good game, to go through those matches in such a manner.”

 

The ATP Finals debutant is determined to end the season with a bang.

 

The first Bulgarian qualifier in the 48-year history of the Nitto ATP Finals has permitted just four games in his last two matches, producing two of his most commanding performances of the season.

 

“Another good match, I’m feeling pretty pleased with my game so far,” Dimitrov said afterward. “It’s really just mesmerizing. It’s such a special, spectacular feel.”

 

It was a humbling experience for Carreno Busta, who replaced compatriot Rafael Nadal in the field when the world No. 1 withdrew following his opening loss to Goffin on Monday night.

 

The 10th-ranked Carreno Busta beat Dimitrov in their last two meetings—both on clay—but the O2 Arena’s lower-bouncing hard court plays to the dynamic Dimitrov’s all-court strengths and it showed from the start.

 

Bursting out of the blocks as with the vigor of a man eager to meet a dinner date, Dimitrov buzzed through 11 straight points.

 

Snapping off a smash he broke again for 4-0, then backed up the break at 15 before Carreno Busta finally held to stop the onslaught.

 

The Australian Open semifinalist closed out a blistering opening set in 22 minutes, winning all 12 of his first-serve points and permitting just three points on serve in the set.

 

“Two days ago against Dominic (Thiem) was a really good match,” said Carreno Busta, who pushed Thiem to three sets on Wednesday. “Today, maybe I was a little bit tired and of course Grigor is playing unbelievable.”

 

Scrambling for a lunching volley, Carreno Busta crashed to the court and took a three-minute medical timeout for treatment of an apparent hip issue.

It was a temporary reprieve. Dimitrov rolled to a 4-0 second-set lead closing in 59 minutes as fans waved Bulgarian flags.

The sixth-ranked Dimitrov will face American Jack Sock in tomorrow’s 8 p.m. semifinal with a trip to the title match on the line.

 

Sock has won three of their four meetings, including fending off four match points in a pulsating 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7) victory at Indian Wells en route to his first Masters 1000 semifinal.

“He is not an ordinary player. He really uses his strengths very good,” Dimitrov said of Sock. “I think he obviously has improved a lot on his game, played pretty much throughout the whole year, very strong finish of the year, yeah, won a Masters. Obviously he’s riding on confidence right now. But, yeah, I mean, it’s a game I think obviously a lot of players are pretty dangerous, but again, I think he just uses his strengths better than some other players.”

 

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