Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov bulldozed past Belgian compatriot David Goffin on Wednesday in the second round robin match of the Nitto ATP Finals in London. Goffin was overwhelmed by Dimitrov’s precision and clean hitting, who donate just two games in a lopsided 6-0, 6-2 drubbing.

Grigor had clocked an impressive win over Thiem on Monday while David famously upset world no.1 Nadal in a thrilling three-setter that unfortunately saw the Spaniard forced to pull out of the event.

With both men having one victory under their belts it promised to be an exciting close shoot-out. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether David felt fatigue from his marathon match against Nadal or Dimitrov simply bamboozled his opponent by coming up with his A-game is hard to say, but a mixture of both could well have been the case.

Grigor held a healthy 6-1 head-to-head record coming into this match versus his 26-year old opponent, but the last match saw David raising his arms in triumph this year in Rotterdam.

Goffin showcasing his impressive footspeed around the court

Grigor jumped out from the starting blocks, putting pressure on the Belgian service game after holding the opening game to 15, which resulted in the world no. 6 breaking his opponent’s with the same score line after playing a deft drop volley at the net that Goffin couldn’t control.

Immediately it became apparent Goffin was not going to hug the baseline and Dimitrov’s intuitive game – endearingly dubbed Baby Fed after the Swiss 19-times Grand Slam champion – was built to exploit David’s ill advised court position.

Dimitrov roars to welcome the early break advantage

Things got from bad to worse in the fourth game for the no. 8 player in the world. Goffin, again faced break points, partly due to his service malfunctioning that gifted Grigor a couple of double faults. A lucky netcord for the Bulgarian drew Goffin in and subsequently his forehand approach shot also clipped the tape, sending it long. Grigor was now comfortably sitting on a double break cushion.

Goffin did not show his emotions but couldn’t have been happy how he was being blasted off the court. A bagel set loss was now well on the cards.

Dimitrov was unthreatened on his own serve. Attacking the net and hitting ground stroke winners seemingly at will. He was hunting for that 6-0 set alright. And so he got it. A splendid up-tempo rally saw Goffin scrambling but he got burned by Dimitrov’s forehand down the line all the same. A Federer-esque finish to a wonderful set for the Bulgarian that just lasted 27 minutes.

In the opening game Grigor kept up his high concentration levels as he held easily. The first point for Goffin on his own service was encouraging, pulling out the good old serve & volley. It would be to no avail. A devastating inside in forehand winner from Dimitrov and a game ending double fault handed Grigor the coveted first break, 2-0.

At this point the British crowd were feeling sorry for Goffin, but even cheering for every rare point the Belgian made didn’t seem to spur him to overdrive. But he didn’t need to. This time it was Grigor who threw in the odd double fault and error from the baseline, presenting his opponent a chance to break at 30-40.

Grigor reasserted his dominance instantly. Positive aggressive play kept flowing from his racquet. Three points later he had held yet again, winning nine games on the trot.

Safe to say Dimitrov’s forehand wing was on sung against Goffin

It was time for Dimitrov to haunt Goffin’s world yet again with the Belgian serving 6-0, 3-0 down. A wonderful forehand got the world no. 6 to 0-30 but Goffin’s response was immaculate, finally winning four points on the bounce to get that nasty zero off the score board.

What followed can be called rather bizarre. Grigor got a coaching violation while trailing 0-30 on his serve. The umpire claimed Grigor’s coach was telling his pupil to use his forehand. Grigor looked bemused by it all but his reaction was a positive one as he reduced the arrears to 15-30 with a wonderful backhand down the line scorching winner. Still Dimitrov had a tough game to win.

Goffin fighting for every point

The match saw the first contentious game that lasted nine minutes and 21 seconds. Goffin, once again, would get the shorter end of the stick. Dimitrov had protected his serve valiantly, extending his lead in the second set to 4-1.

A couple of games later Goffin found himself on the receiving end of Dimitrov’s relentless pressure at 5-2 down. Goffin saved the first match point on his own serve with a superb serve out wide & forehand cross court combo. It was a big question mark however for how long the Belgian could keep Dimitrov at bay.

David showed heart as he also wiped away the second match point but had to capitulate on the third chance for the Bulgarian, who closed it out in style. What was the rally of the match Grigor ended his masterclass performance with his moneymaker shot: a wonderful floating forehand that landed dead on the baseline.

Grigor is now through to the semi-finals while David Goffin has to go back to the drawing board and hope for a performance that matches his one against Nadal when he faces Thiem in two days.

Grigor as one would expect, was ecstatic about his showing.

“I worked very hard for days like this. We played quite a few times against each other so we know our games very well!”

Asked what he was most pleased about, considering his performance, the Bulgarian was clear.

“My movement was great today. Before I knew it, it was over!”

With this performance Dimitrov has catapulted himself as one of the favorites for the title in London.

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