By Chris Oddo/ Sunday, October 20, 2013
Grigor Dimitrov broke through on Sunday in Stockholm, taking out David Ferrer in the final to win his maiden ATP title.
Photo Source: AP
It only took Grigor Dimitrov two career finals to win his first title, but the expectations that have been heaped on the 22-year-old over the last few years have made it seem like a longer wait. The world No. 28 has had an up and down season, but after today’s 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over world No. 3 David Ferrer, the campaign can be considered a great success.
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Dimitrov, who is in the early days of a new coaching agreement with Australian Roger Rasheed, may have put forth one of his most determined efforts of his career against the always indefatigable Ferrer on Sunday. The Bulgarian fought back from a set down, and in the decider he twice fought off Ferrer when he was break point down, displaying a level of fitness and calm that pundits who have long lauded Dimitrov’s talent have been yearning for.
In becoming the ATP’s eighth first-time winner of 2013, the 22-year-old was the complete package. He varied his game nicely, mixing in slice and high topspin to go with his wicked drives, and he seemed to relish rather than shy away from longer rallies with Ferrer.
After falling behind early, Dimitrov rallied to secure a late break in the second set to force a decider, and with the momentum in his favor, Dimitrov stayed the course, saving all three break points he faced in the third set (one in the fourth game and two in the sixth) with poise under pressure and a newfound sense of warrior-ness that many felt he lacked.
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His hard work would pay off when Ferrer cracked, tossing in an ill-timed double-fault, in the seventh game to give Dimitrov the window he needed.
Moments later an overhead smash set up match point, which Dimitrov converted before falling on his back Nadal-style in celebration of the hard-earned title.
Ferrer missed a chance to win his third title of the season, and he was also bidding to become the first Spaniard to win the Stockholm title. Ferrer’s career record in finals drops to 20-20 with the loss.