Grigor Dimitrov defeated Pablo Carreno Busta to keep a perfect 3-0 record at the Nitto ATP Finals. The Bulgarian played extraordinarily good to defeat his opponent 6-1, 6-1.
Grigor Dimitrov had an outstanding campaign in 2017, clinching three titles, including his maiden Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati. He also reached the Australian Open semifinals where he lost to the year-end no.1 Rafael Nadal in five sets. Prior to this fortnight, he managed to outlast Dominic Thiem in an extremely tight contest, before smashing David Goffin off the court 6-0, 6-2. He already clinched the first place in the group regardless of the result of his match against Carreno Busta.
The Spaniard was the first alternate in London and he got the chance to participate due to
Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal. The world no.1 decided to leave the tournament after his first match, so Carreno Busta only got to play two encounters. Despite being a huge underdog, he was actually able to make it a tough job for Dominic Thiem but still lost in three sets. Carreno Busta’s top 10 ranking is mostly the result of him being very consistent this year, The Spaniard won the trophy in Estoril and also reached the final at the Rio Open. His best result was definitely the US Open semifinals where he lost to Kevin Anderson. However, Carreno Busta cooled off after the last slam of the year and won just one of his last eight matches.
Dimitrov led the head-to-head series 3-2, including one match on the challenger tour. The Bulgarian won their only meeting on indoor hard courts but in 2017 Carreno Busta straight-setted him in the third round of Roland Garros. However, that was on a surface that favored the Spaniard while on indoor hard courts, it was Dimitrov who was a huge favorite coming into this match.
The Bulgarian got off to a superb start, breaking Carreno Busta to love in the second game. Dimitrov’s firepower was just too much for the Spaniard, whose work on the angles was not enough to force errors from his higher ranked opponent. He continued to play fabulously, winning the first eleven points of the contest. Another break then followed as Carreno Busta was just unable to respond to Dimitrov’s blistering start. The Spaniard finally held but it didn’t really matter as the Bulgarian finished the set 6-1 in an outstanding time of 23 minutes.
Carreno Busta raised his level but was basically being toyed with as the Bulgarian played a sensational variety of shots to break his opponent at the very beginning of the second set.
— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) November 17, 2017
The Spaniard had to receive a massage from his physio probably because of a fall that he suffered trying to reach Dimitrov’s backhand passing shot. Carreno Busta wasn’t even playing bad, it was just the Bulgarian that seemed absolutely untouchable. The lead was soon extended to 3-0 and there was little to none hope for the Spaniard to turn this match around.
⚠️ WARNING ⚠️
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 17, 2017
Carreno Busta started making a little more errors, which allowed Dimitrov to dominate even more. The Spaniard held his serve once but then played a terrible game to hand the Bulgarian the last game and lose 1-6, 1-6.
Impossible performance from Grigor Dimitrov, quite possibly the best level he has ever shown at the ATP Tour. The Bulgarian lost just one point on his first serve and converted six out of ten break point opportunities.
After today's victory, Grigor will have 6 Top Ten wins in 2017 so far: 3 in Brisbane (first week of the season), 3 here (last week of the season), none in-between.
— Jason (@Hurleytennis) November 17, 2017
Dimitrov will face Jack Sock in the semifinals. The American dropped his opening rubber to Roger Federer but managed to recover as he overcame Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev. Sock possesses a 3-1 head-to-head advantage over the Bulgarian, which includes a three-set win at this year’s Indian Wells Masters. Both players are in red hot form and this should be an extremely high quality contest.