Dimitrov topped the Pete Sampras group after an impressive week that included a tight three-set win against Austria's Dominic Thiem, a thumping victory against Goffin, whom he will play for the second time in a week on Sunday - live on Sky Sports Arena from 3.30pm - and an electrifying performance against Pablo Carreno Busta on Friday night. "I'm hoping that it's going to be a tough match, and I'm trying everything to go through to the semis", he added.
In the end, though, Grigor Dimitrov has shown that he might yet make good on that obvious promise, claiming the biggest prize of his career at the age of 26.
The second game of the second set was to prove a turning point as Goffin, beaten 6-2 6-1 by Federer in Basel last month, broke the Swiss's serve with a forehand victor and then consolidated his lead to take the match into a decider.
He ends the year with his first major title and as the world No. 3, but the final favourite will feel comfortable to have scaled the heights of the men's game after finding his feet in tandem with Dani Vallverdu over the last 15 months.
Having become the sixth player to beat Nadal and Federer at the same tournament - the latter from a set down in the semifinals - Goffin had every reason to be confident after drawing level. I'm in the right place, and I deserve to be here in this tournament.
"I felt I had a good mental toughness throughout the whole year", Dimitrov said.
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That wasn't the only record Dimitrov set.
"The important thing is just to stay on the ground and put your head down, work even harder", Dimitrov told reporters. I knew that David is going to try something new.
Highlights of Grigor Dimitrov against David Goffin in the final of the season-ending ATP Finals at The O2. Goffin's aggressive approach appeared to pay off early on, as he broke Dimitrov's serve, but in the long run it also produced a number of unforced errors, including the sliced backhand at the net to hand the title to his opponent. "I proved to myself that I can do it".
But as Dimitrov savoured that one of many firsts by looking forward to a break from the game, Goffin will be in action again next week for Belgium in the Davis Cup final against France.
Goffin has never gone further than the last eight at a grand slam while Dimitrov's best is two semi-final appearances.
That said, Goffin should provide some very watchable tennis, and the sport is - or at least should be - about more than just the "Big Four/Five". I let him back into the game. In the second, I had some opportunities to come back, to break back, but he was really solid. "She's somewhere hiding", said Dimitrov.