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Grigor Dimitrov edges Dominic Thiem in opener

Grigor Dimitrov edges Dominic Thiem in opener
By Eurosport

13/11/2017 at 17:38Updated 13/11/2017 at 18:41

Grigor Dimitrov made a winning start to his maiden ATP World Tour Finals with a gripping victory over Dominic Thiem.

The world number six briefly threw away a final set advantage – being broken at 5-4 when serving for the match – but he responded brilliantly to secure a 6-3 5-7 7-5 victory in Group Pete Sampras.

"The first time I got broken (at 5-4) I thought 'okay let's get back up and try again'," Dimitrov, who enjoyed some noisy support from a contingent of Bulgarian fans, said on court.

"I'm living my dream right now and I wanna keep on going."

The opening two sets saw a solitary break of serve apiece, but it was a turbulent affair from 3-3 onwards in the decider.

First, Dimitrov broke with a beautiful deft volley at the net, before fighting back from 0-30 in the next to consolidate his advantage.

But Thiem hit back, halting the Bulgarian as he served for the match – only to then immediately donate his serve with two untimely double faults.

Grigor Dimitrov celebrates

Grigor Dimitrov celebratesGetty Images

And Dimitrov finally triumphed after two hours and 22 minutes, serving out victory via a nervy deuce.

World number one Rafael Nadal opens his quest for a first ATP Finals title later against Belgium's David Goffin.

Nadal's appearance has been in doubt after a knee injury forced him to withdraw midway through the Paris Masters tournament.

With additional reporting from Reuters