Grigor Dimitrov beat David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to win the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals title at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday.
The Bulgarian got off to a slow start and was 4-2 down in the opening set before recovering to take it 7-5.
However, Goffin hit back in the second set to force a decider, but Dimitrov kept his nerve to take it 6-3 and claim the biggest title of his career so far.
Sunday's final was the first between two players who had never reached a Grand Slam final before, as noted by Stuart Fraser at The Times:
Stuart Fraser @stu_fraser
David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov for the 2017 ATP Finals title. The first time in the history of the event that neither finalist has reached a grand slam final before #ATPFinals2017-11-19 18:07:33
The first set was an exciting affair with both players struggling on serve initially but also showing flashes of real quality.
Goffin got off to a great start breaking Dimitrov straight away, but the Bulgarian hit straight back to level it up.
Live Tennis showed how difficult it was for either man to hold serve in the opening stages:
Live Tennis @livetennis
Three games gone, and we still await our first hold of serve! Superb from #Goffin! Inside-out forehand winner gives him a 0-40 lead, and he converts at the third attempt with a glorious backhand pass. 2-1. https://t.co/ickW4aQ8XP2017-11-19 18:32:59
Goffin finally held at 3-1 as both players started to settle down after a nervy start. Tennis commentator David Law neatly showed why the Belgian was ahead early on:
Winners: Goffin - 9 Dimitrov - 2 Goffin 4-3 with a break. @5liveSport commentary - https://t.co/aUwGWXPM7Z https://t.co/GWRUUm4EN82017-11-19 18:50:45
However, the momentum swung back towards Dimitrov towards the end of the set, the Bulgarian getting the break back at 4-4 and then holding to make it 5-4 after raising his level.
Tennis TV showed just how well Dimitrov was starting to play:
Tennis TV @TennisTV
Simply sublime from @GrigorDimitrov and @David__Goffin... #NittoATPFinals https://t.co/ysojsQP0GN2017-11-19 18:57:35
Dimitrov forced Goffin to serve to stay in the set again at 6-5 and had five set points before the pressure finally told, the Belgian netting a forehand as his opponent took the first set 7-5.
The second set was much tighter with Goffin responding, holding both of his opening two service games to love.
Dimitrov finally forced a break point at 3-2, but Goffin saved it with a superb backhand that was originally called out before being overruled. Live Tennis showed it was a great call:
Live Tennis @livetennis
Wow! How big a call will that prove to be? #Goffin's backhand on break point is called long, but the chair umpire overrules immediately. Big call! Great call! #Goffin goes on to hold! 3-3. https://t.co/KPXtlNVGt62017-11-19 19:41:46
It was to prove a turning point, Goffin then breaking for 4-3 and holding serve to take it 6-4 and force a deciding set.
Greg Rusedski had a theory as to why Dimitrov had been pegged back:
Greg Rusedski @GregRusedski1
When Dimitrov had the chance to put this match away at 3/2 bp, he was waiting for the error rather than taking it on. Will it cost him the match? Fortune favours the brave2017-11-19 19:50:52
Both players had break points at the start of the third set but were unable to convert until Dimitrov finally broke to make it 4-2, Goffin drifting a backhand wide.
In a dramatic finish, Goffin then saved three match points to force Dimitrov to serve it out, and despite the Belgian's best efforts, a sliced volley into the net gave the Bulgarian the victory.
Tennis TV captured the moment of victory:
Tennis TV @TennisTV
The moment @GrigorDimitrov became the 2017 #NittoATPFinals champion… https://t.co/cLDw1i2E4o2017-11-19 20:47:57
Tennis writer Jose Morgado also provided the year-end rankings, with Dimitrov now third in the world:
José Morgado @josemorgado
ATP Year End Rankings 1. Nadal 2. Federer 3. Dimitrov 4. A. Zverev 5. Thiem 6. Cilic 7. Goffin 8. Sock 9. Wawrinka 10. Carreño Busta 12. Djokovic 16. Murray 22. Nishikori 24. Raonic2017-11-19 20:50:12
It's a huge win for Dimitrov, who just had the edge when it mattered, in a tightly contested final, and ends the year in style and will hope to build on this victory next season starting at the Australian Open in January.