Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin faced off for the second time in several weeks in the Sofia Open final.
Two tournaments into the 2017 season and Dimitrov was already having one of the best campaigns of his career. The 25-year-old started the year by winning the title in Brisbane, Australia, defeating three members of the top 10 along the way. That momentum carried over to the Australian Open, where he advanced to the semifinals before dropping a five-set battle against Rafael Nadal.
It was a dramatic turnaround from the bulk of the past three seasons as Dimitrov failed to win a title over that time and fell out of the top 30.
Looking to continue his strong start to the year, Dimitrov entered the Sofia Open. Playing in front of his home crowd, Bulgaria’s best-ever player reached the championship round. There, he would face Goffin in a rematch of their Australian Open quarterfinal, won by Dimitrov.
Goffin came into the final battle-tested: Over the course of the week, two of his three matches went the distance, including a third-set tiebreak win against defending champion Roberto Bautista-Agut in the semifinals. Dimitrov, who’d won six straight sets after dropping his first of the tournament, went up an early break in the final to go up 3-0. Goffin dug in and leveled the match, but at five games apiece, Dimitrov separated himself from his Belgian opponent to take the opener 7-5.
His momentum carried over into the second as he went up 3-0 once again. Staring down the barrel at 0-5, Goffin fought off multiple match points and rallied to 4-5. Already echoing the path of the first set, Dimitrov once again put a halt to Goffin’s charge, breaking his serve to claim the title in his first tournament in Bulgaria.
Dimitrov was one of two players to win a title on home soil that weekend as Victor Estrella Burgos defended his crown at the Ecuador Open.
This was Goffin’s fifth straight loss in a final, dating back to 2014.
The final match was Dimitrov’s 14th win of the season. In 2016, he didn’t hit that mark until April.
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