But both players have been absent from the Tour for months and with Nadal also forced to pull out of the ATP Finals after his round-robin opener, the end-of-season finale has had an unusual flavour.
Dimitrov, whose title at The O2 joins previous victories in Cincinnati, Sofia and Brisbane, is still without a Grand Slam title and he acknowledged "there is a lot to be done" as he aims to make further strides in the game.
Dimitrov was ranked No. 40 when the coach joined his team past year and the tearful $2.5 million prize money victor paid tribute to Vallerdu and popstar girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger for helping him turn things around.
"There is - how can I say - not the old generation, but the generation of Federer, he's nearly 10 years older than me", Goffin said. If you play bad against them, you will lose easy.
In the second set, neither player earned a break point until the sixth game, when Goffin saved himself with a dramatic backhand crosscourt shot that caught the sideline.
Both players struggled to hold serve at the start of the contest in front of a feisty packed house and the error count was high from both men.
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. As you saw last week in Milan, there are so many good (young) players coming. "I had to play a few matches obviously back-to-back against solid opponents". I was very composed with myself and not let any negative thoughts come into my head.
"I'm just pretty relaxed right now". I gave everything. I have no regrets. "I think now definitely we going to sit down with the team and reassess the whole year, see what we've done good, what we can improve".
The 26-year-old has maybe got stronger, too. "Next year will be interesting", he said, preparing to reset and target the Grand Slams.
Dimitrov's run to the semi-finals at the All England Club meant he cracked the top 10 for the first time.
The last player to win the trophy in their first year as a qualifier was Alex Corretja in 1998.
Sock switched off in the second set but was back firing in a superb decider, wasting a break point chance in the first game.
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