Goffin shocks Federer in semifinal match of ATP Finals

ATP FINALS- Goffin to meet Dimitrov for an unprecedented season decider

Win Tim took a late break in the deciding set.

But Sock had won their last two meetings having saved match points, most recently at Indian Wells this year, and those demons were lurking for Dimitrov as victory loomed.

Dimitrov, unbeaten in five matches during the ATP Finals, battled back and took the opener with his fifth set point, but the only break of serve in the second set went in Goffin's favour to see the match levelled up at 1-1.

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A disappointed Federer said Goffin was the better player on this day.

However, the Goffin who sent Roger Federer home earlier Saturday is a far different opponent. Goffin for his part has already beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal this week - the first man to do so at the same tournament, by my calculations, since Novak Djokovic at this event two years ago - and conjures up delicious angles from the baseline, especially on the backhand side.

"I was in my match, so that was the key tonight, was to be in my match from the first to the last point". Goffin - after a solid performance against Dominic Thiem - was attempting to move Federer, 36, around the court, trying to beat his opponent on consistency. Goffin was certainly displaying a more attacking performance than in his previous matches - pelting balls into either corner and mixing the game up with sliced drop shots.

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The break of serves kept coming as both players traded the next two games before the seventh seed restored a semblance of order to proceedings by holding for a 3-1 lead.

He was broken again in the third game of the second set and then twice more as Goffin cruised to victory. What at first appeared to be an exercise in damage limitation grew into an increasingly potent threat as Goffin's serve subdued Federer, who fired a forehand long on his only break point in the set. "I didn't serve as accurate as I should have in the second set. Unbelievable effort. I'm very proud to play against him in the final".

It was too close to call but two Sock double faults helped Dimitrov break for 5-3.

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He'd had to change things up after taking only two games off Dimitrov in their round-robin encounter last Wednesday, but his courageous all-or-nothing approach wasn't enough as a late resurgence on his own serve and his encouragement for the crowd failed to save the match. In the second frame, he raced into the lead and this time held on to push the match into a decisive third set, where Sock saved three match points but could not stave off the inevitable. I'm sure neither one of us is going to think about that.

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