David's News, Articles and Interviews (UPDATES!!!)
1. THIS IS WHERE WE POST ALL RELEVANT NEWS, ARTICLES, AND INTERVIEWS OF DAVID GOFFIN.
2. His Scheduling updates can be posted on the other thread.
3. This is meant to serve as a resource for old and emerging fans of La Goff, in the light of giving them more information about the player and the man.
4. The David Goffin Sub-forum was opened in AUGUST 2014. So all matter from JANUARY 2011 (Chennai) till Wimbledon 2015 has been archived in posts 1-10 of this thread.
5. All post-Wimbledon 2015 News, Interviews and Trivia on him are put up Post 11 onward.
6. Anyone can post.
Last edited by Roger the Dodger : Yesterday at 12:47 PM.
DAVID'S FIRST TOURNAMENT AT TOUR LEVEL saw him beat Somdev Devvarman in straight sets 6-2 6-4. His whole prowess was at display the whole match, except that it was raw and in need of training as his loss in the second round to Wawrinka would prove. David's ranking was 229 coming into this tournament. This by the way was the first I saw him play, and immediately fell in love with his beautiful and attacking game.
I have had to really search the net to find articles of his first match, the only one I could avail are from this one here.
Yes, below is one of his first photos from the first match he ever played.
The Indian challenge in the singles event at the Aircel Chennai Open ended on Tuesday as country's No. 1 singles player Somdev Devvarman crashed out in the opening round losing to Belgian qualifier David Goffin in straight sets.
Goffin, playing his first ever ATP Tour match thrashed 6-2, 6-4 to win in only 86 minutes to take on last year's runner-up Stanislaus Wawrinka (third seed) in the second round. Wawrinka tamed Somdev's fellow Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna 6-4, 6-4 in another straight-set victory.
The other Indian wild card entrant in singles Yuki Bhambri also crashed out losing his opening round losing 2-6 1-6 to Russia's Alexandre Kudryatsev, making it a disappointing day for the home crowd.
In late night singles matches, eighth seeded Robin Haase of the Netherlands came from behind to get the better of Frank Dancevic 6-7 (6) 6-4 6-4, while Colombia's Alejandro Falla defeated Portugal's Rui Machado 7-5 6-3.
The day's focus was on the centre court where 25-year-old Devvarman, making his third straight tournament appearance, was not given any room by the unknown Belgian in the first set.
Goffin, ranked 228th in the world had a better percentage of service returns as he held the advantage against Devvarman, known for his aggressive tennis.
Devvarman, ranked 106 after having reached a career high of 94 last October, didn't play to his potential and it helped Belgian to gain a better foothold.
The Indian, who reached the final in 2009 started the match badly losing his first and third service games in the first set.
However, he tried to make a comeback in the second set but was forced to surrender the initiative of two break points in the second game during which Goffin made some big forehand return.
Devvarman still had the advantage after the first deuce and Goffin's strategy was to engage in long rallies.
The Indian Davis Cupper was at the receiving end as Goffin broke the Indian's serve to race away to a 4-3 lead and further increased the lead to 5-3.
Although Devvarman won the ninth game managing to hold his serve, but it was too late in the day. It was long forehand return that ensured victory for the Belgian.
^^IIRC, he wore an RF tee-shirt that day (too bad we don't have a shot of it)
FIRST TOUR-LEVEL INTERVIEW:
Inside Wilson’s Next Gen….David Goffin
Twenty-year-old David Goffin qualified and reached the the second round of the Aircel Chennai Open by defeating world #108Devvarman 6-2, 6-4, marking his first ATP Tour win. Goffin, a former top ten junior in the world is a player to watch. We sat down with David to ask him a few questions and get to know this rising star.
Getting to know David Goffin…….
What shot feels most natural to you?
I like hitting my backhand down the line.
Do you have a nickname?
What is your favorite type of chocolate?
I prefer white chocolate.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to be at the top of the sport competing for Grand Slams. I have a lot of work to do but that is where I would like to see myself in five years.
What do you love about your Wilson Blade 98 tennis racket?
I feel like my Blade gives me the perfect balance of power and control. I feel comfortable playing from the anywhere on the court and I think a lot of that has to do with my racquet.
What is the best part of being on the Wilson Team?
Being part of the Wilson team is a great honor because so many good players present and past have used the Red W. I feel like I am and can be a part of that prestigious history. It is pretty cool to think about.
Re: David's News, Articles and Interviews (2011 - present)
French Open 2012: Roger Federer snuffs out David Goffin's exuberance The Guardian
On a day when youth and audacity threatened genius, one moment illuminated Roland Garros above the many others.
It arrived a little after 6pm, with the sun aching to crack the milky cloud cover over Court Suzanne Lenglen. Trailing two sets to one and down 4-3 and 0-30 in the final set, a slim, pale novice from Belgium, only here at all because of someone else's misfortune, feathered a winning backhand volley into the empty spaces, with his opponent stuck in the ochre fully 10 yards from the ball, where he had been manoeuvred against his will. The youth (who looked like he'd popped into the tennis on his way to gigging in a boy band) swivelled in triumph, raised his spindly arm and bowed to the four sides of the court as he drank in a standing ovation from a congregation eager to celebrate his minor but significant triumph.
The splendid stroke at the end of a delightful exchange came from the racket of David Goffin, and the reason for his elation was the man across the net. For all his teenage years, Goffin had looked up at the poster of Roger Federer blu-tacked on his bedroom wall in Liège, and here he was playing the former world No1 in the fourth round of the French Open, his first, but probably not last, grand slam tournament.
The Swiss did not allow himself a smile. As if by divine intervention, the sun cracked the gloom and Federer took the game – on his way to sealing the set and the match in just under three hours – with a backhand so imperiously dismissive it almost blotted out the memory of the shot that had embarrassed him a minute earlier. Almost.
Goffin will treasure his afternoon here in the fourth round for as long as he plays, which ought to be quite a while indeed. Federer beat him 5-7, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 – but how could the kid lose when the kid had nothing to lose in the first place? It was like taking marbles off a 10-year-old, then giving them back with a pat on the head.
As the youngest man, at 21, left in the draw, a grand slam debutant after five attempts, the first lucky loser to get this far since his compatriot Dick Norman at Wimbledon in 1995, and – towering above all else – in his first match against the player he idolised, Goffin played with the freedom of the ingenu.
After the shock of the first set, when gasps greeted his every delicate chip and audacious passing shot, he was mastered by the master. But, for long stretches, he had parity.
He moves with the lightness of a dancer and his superb feel for the volley is innate, almost McEnroe-esque. If the result was inevitable, it was hard won. When Goffin puts on a few slabs of muscle the power will augment the silky touch and the instinct for an opening. Or he might fall by the wayside.
But, when he leaves Paris, he is likely to be rocketed into the top 100 around No68, not enough to get him into a Wimbledon but, should they have any commercial nous (and they do), the good men of the committee will surely give him a wild card rather than demand he go through the grind of the qualifiers.
His record is not spectacular. Indeed, in the qualifiers here, seeded ninth, he lost to the 27th seed Joao Sousa, and then lucked out (or in) when Gaël Monfils withdrew with a knee injury. Previously Goffin, who has been on the Tour only a year, had climbed to the heady heights of a losing quarter-final as a wild card in Chennai.
As he reflects on this day – and that rally – none of it will matter a jot.
In a quiet moment, Federer might remind Goffin of his own debut here, in 1999, when he lost in the first round to Pat Rafter. You've got to start somewhere.
Federer sees off 'lucky loser' Goffin in four sets to reach quarter finals
By Sportsmail Reporter
[Published: 16:20 GMT, 3 June 2012 | Updated: 16:38 GMT, 3 June 2012]
Roger Federer will know David Goffin for more than simply being his idol after the Belgian lucky loser gave him a real battle in the fourth round of the French Open on Sunday.
The 21-year-old, the first lucky loser to reach this stage of a grand slam for 17 years, looked capable of causing a huge upset for nearly two sets before eventually going down 5-7 7-5 6-2 6-4.
Federer has now dropped sets in three successive matches and was again below his best, but he was good enough to extend his record of consecutive slam quarter-finals reached to 32.
When Goffin, who admitted after winning his previous match that he had had pictures of Federer on his bedroom wall as a child, was beating Josh Goodall in Belgium's Davis Cup victory over Great Britain in April, he looked a promising talent for the future.
That future came rather quicker than anyone imagined - including, presumably, Goffin, who lost in the final round of qualifying to Joao Sousa before being given a reprieve when Gael Monfils pulled out injured.
From there he has blossomed, beating Radek Stepanek, Arnaud Clement and Lukas Kubot in his first main draw appearance at a slam, and for a good while here it looked like he could do the unthinkable and defeat Federer.
Goffin showed no nerves on the biggest stage of his career and was clearly the better player in the first set.
It looked like the 21-year-old might have blown his chance when he missed three chances to break in the sixth game, but he took his chance spectacularly with Federer serving to stay in the set.
Twice the 30-year-old held on but a third opportunity came and Goffin nailed a forehand winner down the line.
The baby-faced Belgian continued to play at an extremely high level in the second set, and when Federer slumped to 15-30 at 4-5, Goffin was two points from a two-set lead.
For the first time the occasion seemed to get the better of him as he dumped a mid-court backhand into the net, and Federer made him pay by breaking in the very next game.
The third seed dug himself a hole with three errors to go from set point to break point but a superb serve got him out of trouble and he duly levelled the match.
Federer and his camp could breathe a little easier, and from there the 16-time grand slam champion was never really troubled, although he made heavy weather of the fourth set in particular.
That is to take nothing away from Goffin, who thoroughly entertained the Court Suzanne Lenglen crowd, bowing to all corners after winning one rally late in the final set and then joining Federer for an on-court interview.
Ever find yourself thinking that professional tennis takes itself too seriously? For some clay-court fun and smiles – for the real sense that someone at Roland Garros was being so bold as to actually enjoy themselves on court – you had to watch Goffin going for his colourful, inventive shots against Roger Federer. This was the chaotic day in Paris when the men’s world No 1 found himself two sets down, and the red clay granules were smeared all over the hopes and ambitions of the women’s world No 1. And yet a lucky loser from Belgium – a very youthful 21-year-old who looked as though he had taken a wrong turning on the way to a junior match and somehow ended up on Court Suzanne Lenglen – was holding everyone’s attention.
On the middle Sunday, there was the serious business of Djokovic’s encounter with Italy’s Andreas Seppi, a match which so nearly ended the Serbian’s attempt to become the first man since the 1960s to hold all four slams at the same time. And there was the wretched (for her) affair of Victoria Azarenka’s defeat to Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, with the top seed saying sarcastically afterwards: ‘How am I going to recover from this? I’m going to kill myself.”
For Goffin, the day brought the wonderful career peak of winning the first set from Federer in their fourth-round match, and though he lost in four, he continued to entertain. Azarenka, this year’s Australian Open champion, may well go on to win Wimbledon, the Olympics or the US Open (perhaps all three) and Djokovic could still win this French Open to achieve the non-calendar Nole Slam. Worse things have happened than their defeat and near-defeat. The middle Sunday of the 2012 French Open is likely to be remembered as the day when the wider tennis public were introduced to David Goffin.
The moment that summed up his tournament? How about when, after winning a glorious point, he bowed to all sides of the stadium? It was a little cheeky, funny, and in keeping with the mood of the match. Goffin enjoyed his afternoon almost as much as the crowd did.
Goffin resembled a competition winner determined to make the most of the opportunity to meet an idol. Goffin once had posters of Federer on his walls, but that did not mean that he was going to give his boyhood hero any cheap points. This was not the first time, or the last time, that Federer played someone who used to idolise him. But has one of Federer’s fans ever made such an impact?
Goffin doesn’t look like a tennis player – there are ball kids at Roland Garros with more chance of being served in the bars of the sixteenth arrondissement. He is under six feet tall. And he is about as skinny as a net post. So he doesn’t have the physical presence of most modern tennis players. That made the story of his tournament all the better. Here was a sign that, among all the biffers and bashers, there is still a place for players like Goffin.
Has there ever been a conclusion to a match quite like it? During a joint television interview, it was clear how much each admired the other. After exchanging compliments, they had a hug, which the crowd loved.
Expect to see more of Goffin, who will become a top-100 player the morning after this tournament. Goffin, who had lost in the final round of qualifying, only played in the main draw because Gael Monfils withdrew. So this breakout party almost never happened. “Goffin could become a great champion,” Federer said. “His eyes and angles impressed me.”
Belgian David Goffin broke through with a run to the fourth round at Roland Garros.
What he lacks in size and power, 150-pound Belgian youngster David Goffin makes up for in shotmaking and tennis smarts. His dramatic Roland Garros run is unlikely to prove to be a one-off.
On a blustery Sunday afternoon at Roland Garros, two players at opposite ends of the tennis spectrum take to Court Suzanne Lenglen for a fourth-round match. At one end stands a 109th-ranked lucky loser, playing his first main draw at a Grand Slam event. Across the net is a 16-time major champion, revered by millions across the world and a fan favourite in Paris. It has the ring of a David vs. Goliath matchup. It is David Goffin vs. Roger Federer.
The intricacies of the head-to-head clash went beyond their tennis accomplishments. Federer was Goffin’s childhood idol, a man his entire family respected. They never missed an opportunity to watch the Swiss maestro on television together. And now one of their own was facing this icon, whose posters once decked out Goffin’s bedroom wall.
Reflecting on his mindset going into the match, Goffin tells DEUCE, "He was my idol but I was excited to go on the court and to do my best. I didn’t need to make a winner every point. I just wanted to do my job and not make a lot of mistakes. The match against him was just to see if I was far from him or if my level was close."
The opportunity to play Federer was a long-awaited one for Goffin, who first picked up a racquet at the age of five. As a child, Goffin and his older brother Simon played in their backyard on a tennis court constructed with chalk and a rope net. Simon was Pete Sampras and David was Andre Agassi, so naturally, their matches went down to the wire long after the sun had set.
Their father Michel would repeatedly come outside and say, "Guys it’s dark outside. It’s time to take a shower and go to bed." Pseudo Agassi and Sampras, desperate to determine who would win the battle on their homemade court, would respond, "But Dad its 5-5 in the fourth and we can't stop like that!"
Goffin remembers, "When I was young, I loved playing tennis. After school, I just wanted to be on the court to play, play and play again. My father was a tennis coach, so that’s why I started. My brother was playing well and went to the Belgian Tennis Federation (Association Francophone de Tennis) when he was young. I followed him there when I was eight or nine. I’m still there at the moment."
For three years, Goffin practised three times a week with his father and former WTA player Michele Gurdal, an Australian Open quarter-finalist. At the age of eight, Goffin was recruited by the AFT and Michel felt the organisation would be best suited to cultivate his son’s game.
"I found that the AFT could be the right partner for the development of David in the long-term and so far the AFT is doing a good job," believes Michel. "So from that age until today David is trained by the coaches there. Reginald Willems, his current coach, is doing a tremendous job. We are counting on him to bring David's game to the next level."
Standing at 5’ 11’’ and weighing 150 pounds, the blond-haired, blue-eyed Belgian does not embody the contemporary tennis frame. But what Goffin lacks in natural power and size, he makes up for with his shot making, owning an Agassi-esque ability to take the ball early, moving his larger opponents around the court and coming to net at the right time to close out points.
"We’ve been practising together for a long time. He came to the Federation with me so I’ve known him for more than 10 years," says Steve Darcis. "He was young and already a great player. And now he’s even better.
"He needs to improve the serve. Physically he’s already strong and is very fast. Mentally he is tough, so I think he can be one of the best players in Belgium that we’ve ever had. He just needs a little time."
Goffin agrees with Darcis. "I have a good return and move well. I think those are the best parts of my game. I have to improve my serve, because in modern tennis, it’s a big weapon to have. I have to continue to be aggressive."
The decision by Michel to send Goffin to the AFT has paid off. He peaked at No. 10 in the ITF Junior rankings in July 2008 and has improved his year-end South African Airways ATP Ranking each season the past four years. Thus far in 2012, Goffin has risen to the occasion, reaching his first ATP World Tour quarter-final in Chennai and winning his main draw debut at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Miami.
"This year, I have seen him develop as a tennis player by being able to produce the same game level during practice and during big matches in big tournaments against top players," says Michel. "His better comprehension of the game at this level and his ability to negotiate big points at the right moments has made him more competitive in 2012."
Michel’s assessment became apparent at Roland Garros. Goffin breezed through the first two qualifying rounds before falling to Joao Souza at the final hurdle. But the 21 year old gained entry as a lucky loser and made the most of his second chance. He won back-to-back five setters against experienced veterans Radek Stepanek and Arnaud Clement, farewelling the popular Frenchman in his final Roland Garros appearance. He followed with an all-round performance to beat Lukasz Kubot in straight sets before falling to Federer in the round of 16.
"I played two good matches in qualifying. And then in the third round, I was a little nervous, knowing I could be in my first Grand Slam main draw. I didn’t play a good match," acknowledges Goffin.
"With a little bit of luck, I got in for the first time. I was relieved and played so good. I went into a fifth set for the first time against Stepanek. I continued to play my best tennis until I played Roger. The first two sets against him were an amazing level for me, but he was really focused and calm and he won in four."
Goffin earned the seal of approval from Federer, who said following his 5-7, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 victory, "I thought he played really well. Great impression. He took the ball early every time. [If you] don't hit a very good shot, he can take advantage of that.
"I guess for his size - and he’s not the heaviest guy out there - it's natural he's [going to] be a good mover, and his strengths lie sort of in the baseline game. He's got great potential in terms of his touch and the way he reads the game… He impressed me and I enjoyed the match."
Adds Michel, "I think that David has always admired Roger for his game but also for his personality: nice guy, humble, with self-control, ambition, respect and a nice sense of humour... a role model for David. We received the confirmation of this after his match against David in Paris."
Court Suzanne Lenglen is a far cry from a homemade chalk court in Leige. From looking at Federer on his wall each night to being praised by his idol for his performance, Goffin is proof that dreams can become reality.
David Goffin: Belgium's rising star
By John Delong, special to EmiratesUSOpen.com
At age 21, David Goffin has already proven that he can perform on the ATP World Tour’s grandest stages.
He reached the fourth round at Roland Garros earlier this year and then backed that success up by reaching the third round at Wimbledon.
It all bodes well for the boyish-looking rising star from Belgium as he goes into the Main Draw at next week’s US Open for the first time in his career.
Goffin lost to defending champion and World No. 10 John Isner 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Winston-Salem Open on Thursday night, but with three impressive victories here he takes a world of confidence into the final Grand Slam of the year.
"It’s a good tournament for me here, quarterfinal, four matches," Goffin said. "It’s a good preparation for the US Open. It’s my first time in the Main Draw so I will try to do my best to go as far as possible. Of course I have played well in Grand Slams this year, so I’m going there with a lot of confidence."
Goffin had never reached the quarterfinals of an ATP World Tour event before coming here, so he’s sure to continue to rise from his current career-best No. 58 in next week’s rankings.
He had three very good wins at Winston-Salem, beating Nicolas Mahut in the first round, world No. 32 Viktor Troicki in the second round, and then enduring a nail-biter to beat Lukasz Kubot 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (5) in the third round. Against Kubot, he had to wait through two extended rain delays and then reach deep after initially squandering two mini-breaks in the tiebreaker.
Fellow countryman and friend Steve Darcis, who knocked off Andy Roddick here before losing to second-seeded Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals, said that Goffin has moxie already.
"David, he thinks he can beat everybody, so he’s very confident," Darcis said. "And this is very good, because it’s true. With his game he can beat anybody. He’s very solid from the baseline, he’s not missing much, he’s playing fast, he’s also very fast on the legs, and a very good return. I think it’s his best weapon. He has been playing good."
Goffin’s rise up the rankings has not been unexpected by any means. He’s long been touted as an up-and-comer to keep an eye on, after reaching as high as No. 9 in the ITF rankings in 2008. He turned pro in 2009 and won three Futures events as a 19-year-old, then won two more Futures tournaments last year.
He started the year at No. 174. He won a Challenger event in Guadaloupe in March, and then got his big break at Roland Garros in May. He lost in the third round of qualifying, but was granted a spot in the Main Draw as a Lucky Loser when Gael Monfils withdrew with a knee injury.
Three wins later, he found himself against his idol, Roger Federer. It was a dream-come-true for him to even face Federer, and it got even better when he won the first set 7-5, before eventually falling in four sets.
Federer had high praise for Goffin after the match, saying that the youngster had the potential to become "a great champion."
"Roland Garros was amazing for me," Goffin said. "Of course I was happy after that. I was playing good there, it was a great moment. He said a lot of positive things about me. Of course after Roland Garros I wanted to confirm that it was not the only one, a one shot. So I was happy after Wimbledon because I was able to confirm."
As one would expect, Goffin credits match experience as the main reason for his rise up the rankings.
"Last year I played like I was young," he said. "I was playing good, but not doing it all tournament. Sometimes one match or two, but then one was not so good. So now mentally I’m better. I have more experience in big tournaments and now I’m here with a lot of confidence for the rest of the year."
Ultimately, he has his eyes on the top 10, but for now he is content to continue to make progress.
"It’s difficult to say where I can go, but this week I’m 58 and I have no points to defend at the end of the year, so I will look at them as bonus tournaments the rest of the year, and we’ll see after 2012 what ranking I will be."
Re: David's News, Articles and Interviews (2011 - present)
GOFF IS OUT OF ACTION FROM AUG TO DECEMBER WITH WRIST INJURY. RETURNS TO A TOURNAMENT AT CAEN.
David Goffin Set for Comeback This Month in New Caledonia Karim Zidan
World No. 110 David Goffin is scheduled to make his comeback later this month at a tournament in New Caledonia. The Belgian tennis player missed several months of action on tour this season with a wrist injury that required surgery and rehabilitation.
Goffin has been out of action since his first round loss to Alexandr Dolgopolov at the US Open in August. Considering his long layoff, he is excited to get back on the court and play in Noumea.
“Yes, I accepted an invitation to the tournament Caen where I’ll find some of the best French players.” Goffin said in an interview with DHnet.be. “One begins to play from the knockout and I hope to play a few matches. Subsequently, on December 25 I’ll take the direction of Caledonia to play the tournament in Noumea. It is motivated by the fact that I am seeded and, through this, I should be able to play a lot of singles matches but twice, which may not have been the case in one of $ 250,000 tournaments since my current ranking no longer allows me. ”
The Belgian player, who held a 11-23 record on the ATP World Tour this season, suffered a small hernia in his left wrist, which required surgery to insert a screw to accelerate the healing process. He was expected to make a comeback in time for the Australian Open in mid-January but it appears he will be back slightly sooner.
“The news is reassuring and most important is that I no longer feel any pain.And even though I’m still embarrassed sometimes on some balls, I have not the slightest apprehension. Yes, I will not deny that there is a great desire to play after a period of inactivity like the one I just know. It is for this reason that even exhibition games like Arlon face Christophe (Rochus) are good to take. ”
While Goffin has a positive outlook on his 2014 season, he is not blinded by the possibility of quickly regaining his stride, as that is not likely to be the case so soon after a long layoff and surgery.
“It is far too early for me to give myself targets. I know that this long period of inactivity, it will be difficult to directly well play again. So it will be important to quickly match up in the legs to increase my level of play“
Re: David's News, Articles and Interviews (2011 - present)
KITZBUHEL: GOFFIN WINS FIRST ATP TOUR TITLE
Goffin wins Kitzbuhel Cup for first title
Kitzbuhel, Austria (SportsNetwork.com) - David Goffin of Belgium rallied for a three-set win over Austria's Dominic Thiem on Saturday to capture the Kitzbuhel Cup for his first ATP World Tour title.
Goffin earned a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory in the final, his first on the ATP World Tour. He entered this week's tournament as a wild card after a strong run on the Challenger Tour in July.
The 23-year-old now has a 20-match winning streak, capturing three titles on the Challenger circuit since a first-round loss to Andy Murray at Wimbledon.
"It's a great day for me, to win an ATP (title))," said Goffin. "It's just an amazing feeling right now. I don't believe it. Maybe in a few days I'll realize what happened today."
Goffin has had a difficult season on the ATP World Tour, as he entered this week's event with just one match victory in his last seven events. That win, however, came against Thiem in the first round of the Wimbledon tune-up at the Queen's Club.
Thiem was hoping for a different outcome on Saturday and took the first set. He had a chance to break early in the second, but squandered two break points in the third game and Goffin ran away with the match from there.
Goffin reeled off seven straight games, opening a 2-0 lead in the third set. He broke in the final game to seal the first tournament title for a Belgian since Xavier Malisse won at Delray Beach in 2007. The last Belgian to win at Kitzbuhel was Filip Dewulf in 1997.
Thiem, seeded fifth this week, was trying to become the first Austrian to win his home tournament since Thomas Muster in 1993. At 20 years old, Thiem was the youngest finalist on the ATP World Tour this year.
"It was an amazing week for me and the crowd gave me huge support during every match," said Thiem. "Of course I'm very disappointed. But I lost against an extremely strong opponent, who didn't commit a lot of mistakes and played with a lot power."
(August 2, 2014) For almost the entire Friday evening it was raining but the sun returned for Day 6 at the bet-at-home Cup in Kitzbühel featuring the youngest final on the ATP World Tour of the year when fifth-seed Dominic Thiem took on David Goffin for the third time. The 23-year-old Belgian Wild Card emerged victorious from the two previous meetings at the qualifying in Acapulco and on grass at London’s Queens Club. The only 20-year-old from Wiener Neustadt is the youngest player ranked inside the top-50, which helped to create a new tennis euphoria in Austria.
It would become an even affair with Thiem having the better start into the final. The world No. 50 capitalized on his first break point of the match in the opening game when Goffin missed a forehand crosscourt. As in the last couple of matches, Thiem had good length in his baseline shots and put a lot of pressure on the Belgian. The “Dominator” served the first set out after 46 minutes. Goffin, however, regained his strength, saved five of six break points he had to face in the entire match and did not even seem to be impressed by the Davis Cup atmosphere on centre court. The Belgian won 71 % of his first service points and eventually closed the match out winning 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and 58 minutes to capture his maiden title on the ATP World Tour.
“I lost against a very strong opponent today,” Theim said. “At the beginning of the second set, I lost my rhythm. I do not know why but of course I also felt a bit tired. Nonetheless, David played very well, took the ball early and hit a couple of great returns. It was a bit similar to my loss against him in Acapulco earlier this year.
“Tomorrow in the morning I’ll fly to Toronto playing my first round match against Gilles Simon on Tuesday. I do not expect very much from this tournament but I hope to get the rhythm for Cincinnati and later I would like to achieve my best Grand Slam result at the US-Open in New York,” the Austrian youngster said.
The winner was understandably happy. “It is an amazing feeling sitting here with the trophy next to me. I think in only a few days, I’ll realize what has happened. I played every point as it was my last. Dominic played very solid but I could make him run and in the end I think he was a bit tired,” Goffin said. “Of course, I had to act like an iceman today on court to cope with this great atmosphere. I’ll take some rest now, go on vacation and then I’ll prepare for the hard court season playing in Winston Salem and then the US-Open,” the Belgian added.
He said that he calls his girlfriend Stephanie after every match. “She is very proud today,” Goffin said and seemed to be really satisfied.
As an all – Finnish combination, Jarkko Nieminen and Henri Kontinen took the doubles title winning the final against Daniele Bracciali and Andrej Golubev 6-1, 6-4 in 58 minutes.
Earlier the day, the final news conference of Kitzbühel’s 70th edition took place. “Since the tournament has been back on ATP World Tour level, it has been growing. You can really feel the enthusiasm of the people here, which is great. The crowd was waiting for a new Austrian tennis star and with Dominic in the final here, this is unbelievable,” tournament director Alex Antonitsch was overwhelmed.
“There is no need for us to acquire players like David Ferrer, just to tell that we have a top-10 guy in our draw. Our goal is to have the best players from Austria and Germany participating and that’s what we achieved this year. A long-term contract with Dominic Thiem doesn’t exist but of course he has an emotional association with the tournament and we hope that this will be kept for a long time. He will be pampered by us, the people and the press,” the former world No. 40 said about the tournament’s strategy.
“Although we had a couple of rainy days this week, we will reach our break-even with spectators up to 35.000 attending. The tournament’s development is great and we hope to even get numbers of 50,000 in the future, which also fosters the figure of tourists coming to Kitzbühel. For the players and the ATP the event has already been ranked inside the top-4 worldwide in terms of hotel accommodation and even inside the top-3 concerning the quality of the player parties,” Antonitsch added with a smile.
METZ, France -- Eighth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium rallied to beat top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 1-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 Friday to reach the Moselle Open semifinals.
Goffin next plays Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff for the first time. Struff advanced after third-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber retired when trailing 5-0 after just 20 minutes.
Second-seeded Gael Monfils of France also went through to the last four, hitting 12 aces in a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win against seventh-seeded Jerzy Janowicz of Poland. Monfils did not face a single break point, while breaking the Polish player's serve twice.
He next faces No. 6 Joao Sousa of Portugal, who got the better of Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) in their first meeting.
Looking to win the Moselle title for the third time, Tsonga dominated the first set, hitting five aces and converting both of his break points.
The players traded breaks in the third set before Tsonga saved two break points at 15-40 down in the 11th game. But he missed a chance to win it and Goffin seized his next opportunity before serving out victory on his second match point.
The 45th-ranked Goffin's only career title was on outdoor clay in Kitzbuehel, Austria in August, while the 61st-ranked Struff plays his third semifinal of the season, having lost to Italy's Fabio Fognini on outdoor clay in Munich and to Tsonga on hard courts in Marseille.
Kohlschreiber, meanwhile, was clearly in difficulty and had already dropped serve three times when he stopped.
METZ, France — Eighth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium served 10 aces and saved all four break points he faced to claim his second career title with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Joao Sousa of Portugal in the Moselle Open final on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Goffin is enjoying a strong finish to his season and has now won 34 of his past 36 matches at all levels. After winning his maiden title on clay in Kitzbuehel, Austria, in August, Goffin has showed his versatility on the indoor hard court of Metz, where he upset top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals.
David Goffin's Won More Matches Than Novak Djokovic In 2014. But Can He Win A Slam? Miguel Morales, FORBES STAFF
David Goffin says he got lucky at the French Open. There in 2012 he overcame his first three opponents as a lucky loser (i.e. he lost in the qualifiers but reached the main draw after someone withdrew) to reach the round of 16, where he faced his idol, Roger Federer. Despite the mismatch, the reedy Belgian pressured the 16-time Slam winner, unexpectedly winning a tight first set before caving to the Swiss maestro in four.
“It was my first Grand Slam. [Afterwards] it was tough in Belgium. People were waiting for a lot of records. Next year they thought I was going to win the French Open!” the 23-year-old tells FORBES.
If you’re familiar with mean reversion, you’ll know what happened next. Goffin did not win the French Open the following year. He didn’t even make it out of the first round, thanks to Novak Djokovic’s baseline wizardry. 2013 morphed into a sophomore slump for Goffin, one that doesn’t surprise him in retrospect.
“When I played in the French, I had no experience. In one tournament I almost became top 50. It’s tough; you have to confirm your results. And in Belgium they’re expecting more.”
This year Goffin has been happy to deliver. He’s riding a 14-match win streak and has won 39 of his last 41 scraps–only losing 10 sets in that stretch. Having begun the year ranked a lowly 110, he’s now stands at 28 in the world. A few more strong results and he’ll be the highest-ever ranked man from Belgium.
“David Goffin is by far our best prospect,” former ATP pro and Belgian journalist Filip Dewulf says. That might not sound very impressive to American ears but the small European nation has a remarkable tennis legacy thanks to Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, two all-time greats who amassed 11 Slams between the two of them. It’s unsurprising that Belgian fans have built-in expectations for the young man, particularly with both those stars now retired, but both the men’s and women’s tours are aging. No man 23 or younger has reached a Slam final since Juan Martin del Potro accomplished the feat five years ago. And as impressive as Goffin’s streak has been, many of those wins came at Challenger events, where lesser fare reigns. Moreover, Goffin has only reached the fourth round at a Slam once.
But the Belgian has already beaten long odds by making it this far in his career. He is one of seven players in the top 30 shorter than 6 feet. Three of those seven are nearing retirement and only Kei Nishikori can be considered a world beater. While Goffin’s timing and speed are top-shelf–”his coach told me he thinks Goffin is in the top three best returners in the world,” Dewulf says–he does not possess the big serve or groundies to end points quickly.
Goffin insists his slightness isn’t a setback. “I have different weapons, and that’s good.” He takes heart in Nishikori and Cilic’s fantastic runs at the US Open: “They are young, they made it. Why not me?” His confidence belies the inescapable facts of biology. “You can’t teach height,” as they say.
That said, Goffin has displayed remarkable improvement in his serve of late, though for someone flirting with six feet his first serve percentage is characteristically low. More important is the confidence that comes from knowing you’re not some one tournament wonder. It’s this long-run mentality that Goffin and his team espouse. His father and manager, Michel Goffin, tells me he thinks of himself as a “Da-nager.” Tortured portmanteau aside, the elder Goffin keeps his roles as father and handler strictly apart.
“I let the coach do his job,” Goffin says. “I’ve seen many examples of parents [on tour] doing a good job, and a bad job, with their son as a tennis player.” He was too polite to name names but one doesn’t have to look hard to pluck examples of egregious tennis parenting, from Mary Pierce’s tyrannical father (whose abusive conduct earned him a ban from the tour) to Bernard Tomic’s overbearing dad
Like David, Michel revels in doing things a bit differently from the norm. Earlier in his career David was represented by a large, global agency for three years. “David was one of 20 clients that an agent at one of these big companies has to manage. The agent also changed five times in three years.” Goffin relays this without any bitterness, instead pointing out that David and co. wanted to try something different. So they decided to work with former Octagon agent Karine Molinari, who doesn’t have that 20-client roster, to encourage the close-knit feel they like. Discussing Federer and Nadal’s exits from IMG to set up their own companies, respectively, Michel Goffin says, “For David, we decided to go for a person instead of a company [...] The big agency is not as important as it used to be. Maybe they will adapt in the future.”
For now Goffin has three sponsorships with Lacoste, Wilson and Kidibul (a fruit juice brand). If he can manage to turn around his 0-11 record against the top 10 and begin to win at tennis’ highest levels, that will surely change. While David offers up the vague athletespeak “I only play for the results,” his goal is clear: start making noise at the 500s, Masters events and Slams.
David has a great chance to do that this week at Basel, but even if he loses, he and his father will maintain their long-term positivity. As they should, since barring serious injury he will play about 600 more matches in his career. Says Michel: “In French we have a saying, you never do enough with your strong points. We really want David to capitalize on his strong points.”
ANALYSIS OF GOFF'S STREAK
[CHECK MAIN ARTICLE FOR TABLES AND CHARTS]
Can David Goffin Keep Winning?
By Carl Bialik for fivethirtyeight.com
At a recent practice in Mons, Belgium, the country’s former leading man and its current top tennis player traded missiles from the baseline. Olivier Rochus grunted as he leapt into his classical one-handed backhand, while David Goffin quietly parried with groundstrokes into the corners. Goffin won most of the exchanges, and all 10 of the games.
Rochus showed his frustration after it was done by sending a ball into the stands at the Lotto Mons Expo, where Belgium’s biggest men’s tennis tournament is taking place this week. But in a court-side interview afterwards, Rochus, who is 33 and retiring after this tournament, pointed out that he is in good company. “When my opponent is way better, what can you say? … It’s not only tough for me, it’s tough for everybody. I’m not the only one losing,” he said.
Just about everyone is losing to the 23-year-old Goffin these days. From the start of July to the start of this tournament, Goffin won 34 of 36 matches, including the first 25, improving his ranking from 106th in the world to No. 31. In his 34 wins, he lost just four sets, and has been forced into just five tiebreakers. The rest of the sets he won decisively, seven by 6-0 and 11 by 6-1.
Goffin’s glorious two and a half months had yielded nearly as much success as he had achieved in his prior four years as a pro. He’s won 17 tour-level matches and roughly $340,000 in earnings, increasing his career totals by about a half and a third, respectively.
Goffin’s winning run is only matched in the last decade by the players who have been No. 1 during that time: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. No one else since 2004 has won 25 straight matches at tour, tour qualifying or challenger events, according to ATP World Tour stats guru Greg Sharko.
Evidently, there are two ways to pull off a 25-match winning streak in tennis today: Be one of the best players of all time, or do what Goffin has done — set yourself an easy schedule and combine it with luck and improved play. Tennis players, unlike, say, NFL teams, can decide which events they play. Goffin and his coach chose ones with relatively weak fields — just nine of Goffin’s 34 wins were against players ranked above him — and now the young Belgian is on a winning run usually only experienced by the game’s very best.
Winning brings ranking points, which means easier draws. It also brings money, which can be invested in coaches, physical trainers and more comfortable travel. The downside of winning is that it leaves little time for rest and for major work in practice. And if it comes against easy opponents, it may not provide useful preparation for tougher ones.
But there are psychological advantages to winning. “You don’t doubt, you just attack every ball and then you are sure the ball will be in the court. It’s a great feeling,” Goffin said.
Before his recent run, Goffin had been most famous for his losses. He made his Grand Slam debut as a lucky loser, snagging a spot in the draw despite losing in the last round of qualifying. He parlayed that berth in the 2012 French Open into a fourth-round loss to Federer, his childhood idol, and attained fame for smiling through an on-court interview afterward with the man whose face adorned posters on Goffin’s childhood bedroom walls. Goffin’s later Grand Slam losses also were to top players: Six of nine came to players seeded in the Top 10, four of those in the first round. The lucky loser had become an unlucky loser.
Goffin sensed he was improving before his results did. In March of this year he started working with his current coach, Thierry van Cleemput, and began enjoying tennis again, shedding the defensiveness and doubtfulness that had plagued his game. But he kept running into tough competition, culminating with what van Cleemput called a “nightmare” of a draw in Wimbledon, against defending champion Andy Murray in the first round.
Goffin and his coach decided it was time to step down a level. As most of the tour’s top players either rested after Wimbledon or moved to hard courts to prepare for the U.S. Open, Goffin stayed in Europe, on clay, entering a tournament in each week of July: three challengers — a rung below tour level — and one at the bottom level of the tour. He won all four tournaments. (Up until then, he had never won more than eight straight matches.) Then he came to the U.S. and won seven of nine matches — taking a set 6-0 off No. 8 Grigor Dimitrov. Back in Europe, he won seven straight matches, to send Belgium back to the top level of the Davis Cup and to win his second career title, again at the bottom level of the tour.
“We decided to play some challengers to try to win some matches and to get some confidence,” Goffin said. “The level was there in practice and against Murray, but what I needed was to win some matches and to play a lot of matches.” He added, “I didn’t expect to win so many matches.” After all, he hadn’t made it past the quarterfinals of the four prior challengers he’d played this year.
Van Cleemput said he and his young charge have been “lucky.” The coach is setting expectations low, despite Goffin’s recent run. Van Cleemput said Goffin’s target is for a career like that of No. 23 Alexandr Dolgopolov, a player from Ukraine who has never reached a Grand Slam semifinal or been ranked in the Top 10. Goffin has earned more ranking points since Wimbledon than five members of the Top 10, but van Cleemput isn’t expecting him to join that group any time soon. “The first objective now is to confirm the level of top 40, and to come near the level of the top 30,” he said. “The reality is important, not to dream all the time.”
Recent tennis history supports the coach’s caution. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic didn’t play any challengers during their 25-match winning streaks. Much less familiar names precede Goffin’s on the list of players to win three straight challengers in the past 10 years. None has ever been ranked in the Top 30.
It’s not only luck and easy opposition that has propelled Goffin to new heights. It’s also his serve. He hit aces on more than one in nine service points in eight of his 14 tour-level matches on hard courts this summer. He’d done that in just three of 50 prior hard-court matches at that level. It’s a remarkable feat for a player who is 5’11.” Height translates into the ability to hit at a sharper downward angle without the net getting in the way, which makes it easier to hit serves that are both fast and in the box. No one under 6′ has won a Grand Slam title in the past decade.
Dolgopolov, the tour’s best sub-6-foot server, raises his contact point by leaping into the air. Goffin’s service motion is striking for how little he gets off the ground. Van Cleemput said his main intervention was to change Goffin’s toss and to emphasize the follow-through.
Van Cleemput wants to get Goffin leaping higher on his serve, and to improve his strength and fitness. But when his player keeps playing events late into each week, he doesn’t get much time to work with him. For now, most of Goffin’s practice sessions are live matches.
Goffin is confident he’ll have plenty of chances to work on his game and to keep getting better. “I have a lot of years in the future to do some good things,” he said — though he may never do anything as good as his unbeaten late-summer run.
His loss was his gain! As a lucky loser, David Goffin, just twenty years of age,reached the 4th round in the main draw of Roland Garros where he took a set off Roger Federer, his childhood idol.
In 2011, David Goffin of Belgium earned his first match win on the ATP Tour in Chennai as a qualifier losing in the following round to Stan Wawrinka. In 2012, as Belgium’s top player, David Goffin finished in the top 50 for the first time. He made his Grand Slam debut at the French Open, where he defeated tour veterans Radek Stapanek of the Czech Republic and Arnaud Clement of France—both in five sets—before succumbing in four to the 2011 French Open champion, Roger Federer in the 4th round. Though 0-6 vs top ten opponents, Goffin did defeat then eleventh-ranked John Isner in the 2nd round in Valencia making this his highest-ranked victory.
Despite losing in the first round at all four slams in 2013, Goffin’s opponents were all highly accomplished players: Verdasco, Djokovic, Tsonga and Dogopolov. Following his loss at the US Open, Goffin underwent surgery for a broken left wrist terminating his 2013 season.
In 2014, Goffin won three consecutive titles without dropping a set on the ATP Challenger Tour. This past August, as a wild card entrant, Goffin won his first ATP World Tour Title defeating another breakout star and hometown favorite Dominic Thiem, in Kitzbuhel, Austria.
Later that month at Flushing Meadows, Goffin progressed to the third round for the first time, losing to Grigor Dimitrov, the seventh seed. In September, he posted his second title win on the ATP World Tour defeating Joao Sousa in the final at the Moselle Open in Metz, France, having defeated Tsonga in the quarters. Following this title victory, Goffin broke into the top 40 for the first time.
At the Swiss Indoors in Basel, Switzerland, Goffin competed in his third ATP World Tour final this time against the hometown favourite and his boyhood idol, Roger Federer. In the first round in Basel, Goffin drew the talented young Austrian Dominic Thiem; this would be their fourth meeting in 2014 with Goffin leading their head to head 4-0. Goffin would also secure his first victory over a top ten player, defeating Milos Raonic,currently ranked 9th in the world, in the quarter-finals.
As a result of his strong performance in Basel, Goffin has achieved a career high ranking of 22 in the world.Goffin closed out the 2014 season at the Paris Indoors at Bercy losing to Ferrer in the first round in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. No one can deny that 2014 has been a stellar year for the young, gifted Belgian, but clearly there is significant room for improvement.
The serve, though it appears to be a weapon, at times is a huge liability. While he may out-ace his opponents, Goffin is typically on the losing end and in the process racking up as many, if not more double faults.During his first round loss to David Ferrer earlier this week in Bercy, Goffin posted five aces (Ferrer had none) but also served up five double faults.
He consistently serves below 50% and though one may assert that he is taking risks with the second serve against strong returners, this strategy is at best a compromise. He typically posts good numbers with regards to percentage of first serve points won, but he is far from exemplary on second serve points. The majority of the time, this statistic succinctly elucidates the tale of the tape.
During his defeat at the hands of the Swiss maestro in Basel last weekend, Goffin produced six aces, four double faults and won only 25% of his second serve points. This level of play will never get it done against most top players, let alone the legendary Roger Federer.
I am most impressed with his aggressive baseline play, though at times he hangs too far back, putting himself in a defensive position. This was particularly evident is his match with Roger in the Swiss Indoors final, where he was unable to create any break point opportunities. Roger more often than not was hugging the baseline waiting for the opportunity to step inside and rip a backhand cross court winner short in the box.
Goffin is more than willing to approach the net and while his volleys are more than adequate, his overhead smash is quite powerful. Goffin’s ground strokes off both wings are explosive, particularly his compact and outstanding two-handed backhand. He is extremely quick and his relatively short stature is most definitely proving to be an asset. He never appears rushed no doubt a consequence of his exceptional footwork.
This time next year, Goffin will not be ending his season in the city of lights; he will be booked on a flight to London to compete with the elite in the ATP World Tour Finals. In 2015, David Goffin will be going, going, gone—to the O2 arena as one of eight men to qualify for the season-ending championships.
Belgian David Goffin was honoured as Comeback Player of the Year in the 2014 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon, Saturday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
"It’s an amazing feeling right now," he said upon receiving the trophy, crafted by Lenox, from ATP Executive Chairman & President Chris Kermode during an on-court ceremony. "It’s a beautiful year for me and I think a few players deserve this trophy."
The 23 year old had been voted by his peers as winner of the Comeback award – chosen over fellow nominees Simone Bolelli, Pablo Cuevas and Gilles Muller – after returning from a left wrist injury to finish the season at a career-high No. 22 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
"It’s an honour to win this trophy, but it’s almost impossible without a team and a staff, so I’d like to thank my team for this amazing year," he said. "It was a fantastic year for me. It’s never easy to come back from injuries and I’m really proud of what I did and I’m ready for next season."
Goffin, who began his 2014 campaign in January ranked No. 110, compiled a 44-4 match record from July onwards (inclusive of matches on the ATP World Tour, ATP Challenger Tour and qualifying). His perfect month of July included three straight Challenger titles and his first ATP World Tour title at the Austrian Open (Kitzbühel), all in consecutive weeks. He extended his unbeaten streak to 25 matches by qualifying and reaching the Winston-Salem Open quarter-finals.
After a third-round run at the US Open (l. to Dimitrov), the 23 year old went on another winning streak of 16 matches – with titles at the Moselle Open and Mons Challenger – prior to a runner-up finish at the Swiss Indoors Basel (l. to Federer).
"I didn’t expect to win so many matches, but match after match I enjoyed a lot the way I played on court and at the end it was a fantastic year so I’m really happy right now," he said.
Goffin also spoke about the possibility of returning to London as one of the world's top eight. "Why not? I’m going to give my best and why not to play in this unbelievable stadium?"
Re: David's News, Articles and Interviews (2011 - present)
TENNIS WORLD MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- David Goffin: “I will never want to be a BIG guy” David Goffin arrived at the 2014 US Open as one of the “hottest” players on the ATP World Tour. Putting together a 25-match winning streak, the 23-year-old won his first ATP title in Kitzbuhel and climbed the rankings all the way back into the top 50 at the end of the American Slam, where he reached the third round for the first time. Interviewed exclusively by Tennis World, the skinny blond Belgian talked about his pride in being little, in a tour of “big” guys.
Autore: Ivan Pasquariello
New York – David Goffin doesn’t really look like the modern stereotypical kind of tennis player. He is not tall, muscular. He doesn’t showcase a perfectly tanned body wearing ultimate fashion wardrobe. David could easily be mistaken for a tennis fan that sneaked into the media center to assist to celebrity interviewees. Blond, with blue eyes, many girls would identify his features with a prince of the fairy tales, definitively the good guy. A strong candidate to portrait the little prince in the eventual film adaptation of the classic novel written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
First impressions though, are nothing but the name they bear, impressions. Nothing to do with the reality of things and it would take approximately five minutes watching the Belgian playing, to understand that not only Goffin is indeed a professional tennis player, but a very good one, a talented rising star in the making. The shot making is all about timing, and David barely misses a ball long or wide by too many inches. The control is impressing, the rapidity of the movement, the elegance of the touch.
The 2014 season has been another breakthrough year for David. Since the first round played at the Scheveningen challenger tournament in the Netherlands, David put together an impressive 25-match winning streak which, in a little more than month, brought him back into the top 100 and with his first career ATP title conquered in Kitzbuhel. Approaching the US Open he was suddenly a name to watch for, an unseeded trick many top players would have happily avoided to find on their side of the draw, especially in the early stages of the tournament.
Before reaching the third round and challenging Grigor Dimitrov for four sets, David met Tennis World exclusively in New York City. The Belgian, who speaks English with a funny French accent, talked about the perks of being a middle-ranked player in a world of giants, a challenge he faces with pride, because David will never want to be just another “big” guy.
I.P: David you have won 25 matches in a row this season. You are getting used to victory, but do you still remember the first match you ever won in the ATP?
D.G: “I do, it was in 2011. It was in Chennai. I went through the qualification draw and I beat Devvarman, a local player, so it was extra special facing him in India. It was such a great emotion, I was very nervous coming into the match, but I cherish it as a very good memory. It is good to remember those moments”.
I.P: Did you believe back then that you were going to go all the way up into the top 50 just 12 months after?
D.G.: “I believed in me and my tennis for sure, but back then I was just trying to enjoy the moment. I was very young and I didn’t have high expectations for myself. I always tried to stay feet on the ground, and see what happened next, giving my best”.
I.P: Obviously the breakthrough for you was in 2012, with the fourth round reached at the French Open and the match played on Suzanne Lenglen against your idol Roger Federer. Do you remember that moment?
D.G: “Of course, everybody talks about that moment still. I remember that the interview they did on court was very funny and a little embarrassing for me. I remember I said that Roger was my idol growing up, that I had a big picture of him in my bedroom. I was meeting my idol right there, and I didn’t know what to answer to the questions I was asked. It was a great moment however”.
I.P: Have you ever spoken to Roger since that day?
D.G: “Yes, he has always been very kind to me. We met many times after that in the tournaments, and I asked him to practice together. He always said yes, that he likes to practice with me. He also gave me some advice and suggestions. He has always been very nice to me. It’s good you know, because when you meet your idol things can go wrong, but with Roger it all went well and I am very glad things went that way”.
I.P: Back then before the match you said that you didn’t care about the score, you just wanted to understand what your level was. How do you think your level is now?
D.G: “That match was a great motivation for me, it made me want to go back on court and practice very hard. Compared to 2012 I believe I have improved a lot. I changed my coach, and I started to hit better, be more continuous. I think my game has improved consistently over the years, and is good now to finally see the results of the hard work made in the past”.
I.P: Tennis has become a very physical game. You see the top players, and they are all tall and muscular. Then seeing you, you don’t exactly look like the prototype of the new tennis player…
D.G: “I know, I am very skinny and little compared to the other guys in the tour, clearly I don’t look muscly like Rafael Nadal. I look more like a normal guy. To be honest though, I don’t want to be another “big” guy, I would never want that for myself. I like my being skinnier and lighter. I run fast, have a very good movement on the court, also my arm is very fast hitting the ball. I also read the ball very well, and have a good timing on my shots. You know, there are a lot of goods coming from being little, compared to the others. I will not run to the gym to put more muscles on, I worked mostly on my resistance, and I like it like that”.
I.P: A compatriot of your, Justine Henin, faced the same issues in the women’s tour, being a very little girl in the middle of the Williams physical revolution. Did that ever inspire you, or do you consider yourself sort of the Henin of the men’s tour?
D.G: “Justine was a very great champion. Many people talked a lot about her in Belgium and sure it was an inspiration growing up. Yes, I think you can say I am sort of the Henin of the men’s tour, and I like it like that. I remember seeing Justine beating the Williams sisters, it was very fun to watch and I have great memories about it”.
I.P: Did you ever meet Justine or Kim Clijsters?
D.G: “We come from different generations, so we never had a chance to meet on the tour. When they were winning Grand Slams I was winning my first matches on the tour, so unfortunately I couldn’t talk to them on the tour. Outside however I had the pleasure to meet them, talk a little and it was very nice”.
I.P: They say that tennis becomes a remunerative job only when you break into the top 50, was that the case for you?
D.G: “Yes, obviously the money is more and you can afford to travel without too many worries. But for me the most important thing is that being in the top 50 you can be seen around, and you have a better choice to work with great professionals. For me having more money means being able to have the best team with me. I have the money to pay them and bring them around the world with me, so that’s the biggest chance. You are allowed to work with the best, thus you keep on improving your performance. At the same time, to break into the top 50 also means that you have to stay there and that’s tough. You meet better players, so sometimes you lose early on and you have to wait one more week to play again. It’s hard to keep your confidence up, so it’s hard to stay there. Now I am feeling better compared to 2012. Now I believe more in myself, and now that I break back into the top 50 I am ready to stay there”.
I.P: What’s your goal now for the end of the year?
D.G: “I have no points to defend until the end of the year and I am already back into the top 50. So maybe I can try to go further and break into the top 30. I hope so”.
Re: David's News, Articles and Interviews (2011 - present)
David Goffin: Good thing in a small package in Chennai Open Goffin is not physically intimidating but he is capable as Haider-Maurer found out.
Skinny, blonde, blue eyes and speaks English with a French accent. David Goffin, not massively built for a tennis player, knows that he doesn’t look like modern-day tall gym-pressed type who can intimidate with their physique. That impression gets stronger at the outside courts at Chennai Open where he beat Haider-Maurer 7-5, 6-2 to set up a semi-final clash with Stan Wawrinka.
Those open courts allow you to watch a player from just a few feet away. Almost as if you can lean over and touch them. By the end of his game, the boys and girls leaned over to ask him to give his sweaty towels to them, which he does with a shy smile. For an hour and 11 minutes before that, he showed why he is one of the rapidly rising stars in the tennis circuit. With the feet off the ground and the double-handed backhand slamming the ball pretty flat, he hustled Maurer, especially in the second set.
A great 2014 has seen him break not only into the top 100 but also move at breakneck speed to end it within top-25. The journey had started in 2011, right here in Chennai. He went through the qualifiers and drew Somdev Devvarman in the first round. And a very “nervous” Goffin won his first ATP match of his life. The two journeys have gone in the opposite directions since then.
The lithe body has long been transformed into strength. “I know, I am very skinny and little and look more like a normal guy,” he had once said in an interview. “I like my being skinnier and lighter. I run fast, have a very good movement on the court, also my arm is very fast hitting the ball”. Roger Federer, whose posters adorned Goffin’s bedroom as a kid, saw it a few years back and had nothing but words of praise for his fan boy when he lost a set enroute a win.
The Chennai fans too saw those quick arms last night. He took the ball early almost every time and crunched them flat and fast. By the start of the second set a tired Maurer couldn’t handle the sustained pressure. And even when the balls were hit deep, Goffin took a step back and lifted his feet to infuse more power into his backhand. By the end, Maurer was panting and grunting while Goffin managed to be relatively composed.
UP NEXT, WAWRINKA
Wawrinka, his next opponent, has been keeping a close watch on Goffin. He even dropped in the other day to watch Goffin’s earlier game. “He has a good backhand, a good serve now, and he moves fast around the court. He is a very good player. He has had a great last year, beat top-10 ranked players and the match is going to be really tough. I would have to play really really well to beat him,” Wawrinka said after winning his game in straight sets.
Goffin obviously knows what he is up against on Saturday. He has played Wawrinka in the years gone by and has seen Wawrinka rise up to the top 5 now. “He has a Grand Slam now. He has come a long way but I have good memories of those early match. But I too am now more aggressive. I have improved my serve (a weak point in early years), and my forehand and my overall game. Mentally, I am more aggressive. I hope to do well tomorrow.”
There seems to be a genuine respect between the two and Wawrinka didn’t seem to be modest when he was talking up Goffin. Hopefully, the semifinal will be a tightly-fought game for this Chennai open hasn’t really seen a thrilling nail biter of a singles encounter yet.
Interview with David Goffin: “I am 22 in the world now, so I feel I’m not far from the top guys”
On his Grand Slam debut in 2012 at Roland Garros, Belgium’s David Goffin reached the fourth round as a lucky loser. Since then, he has been touted as a bright prospect for the future and a player who will be in the top-10 for years to come.
However, it all started in Chennai for the Belgian when at the 2011 Aircel Chennai Open he earned his first win on the ATP tour as a qualifier when he beat India’s Somdev Devvarman.
He went on to have a breakthrough season in 2012, finishing in the top-50, but a wrist injury in 2013 derailed his momentum a bit and it saw him drop out of the top-100.
Returning from injury in 2014, Goffin compiled a career-best season winning his first ever ATP World Tour title at Kitzbuhel before also notching up victory in Metz. He also registered his first ever win against a top-10 player when he beat Milos Raonic in the quarter-final of the Swiss Indoor Championships at Basel. He rose to finish a career-high No. 22 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
He is the No. 4 seed at the 2015 Aircel Chennai Open and he opened his campaign with a tough win over Ricardas Berankis 6-0, 4-6, 7-6(1) on Wednesday. Goffin spoke to Sportskeeda in an exclusive interview.
Q. Hi David, tell us a little bit about your work in the off-season and how prepared you feel for the upcoming season?
Physically, I was fit for the new season, have been working on it a lot in the off-season. But it’s never easy to start in the heat and the humidity here. It’s never easy because your hands are sweaty and your shirt is soaked with sweat and makes it stick to your body, makes it heavy.
So, it’s never easy to start the season here in Chennai. But I feel I have prepared well for it.
Q. Congratulations on that win, a hard-fought win. How demanding was this match physically and mentally as a first match of the season?
It was a tough match, but physically I was ready and mentally I did not expect to play at the level at which I played in the first set, so I’m happy.
The second set onwards, it was not so easy, but I’m really happy that I won at the end. That was the most important thing, to get the victory today and I hope to get better.
Q. Last year you really had a really good campaign, and you also won the ATP Comeback of the Year Award for 2014. You were coming back from injury; how’s the wrist now and do you have any set goals for the year?
Now, I have no more injuries. My wrist feels stronger than before and, like I said, I’m feeling fit, no more injuries and I hope it will stay the same for the rest of the year.
And my goals for this year would be to first break into the top-20, and then we’ll see as I’ll have an opportunity to go onto maybe the top-10.
Q. Now two years ago, you were one of the players looked at as the next generation of tennis along with a couple of emerging talents. You are part of the ‘90s generation who were set to take over from the ‘80s generation. How close do you think you are to that leading pack at this point in time?
I am 22nd in the world now, so I feel I’m not far from the top guys. But, I have lot of things to improve to go to the Top 10. Of course, I proved last year that I can win against Top 10 players like Milos Raonic. I beat Tsonga as well once; he was No. 11 at the time, but he was Top 10 before that. And I had good matches against David Ferrer. So, I feel I can have the level to do it, but if I need to do it, I have to be consistent through the year and it begins now.
Q. So, as far as your game is concerned, if there was one thing that you’d like to improve on in your game through the year, anything specific, what would be it?
I think, my volley. If I have to finish the points sooner, I will have to work on my volley to keep the points short. Also, it will make the matches less physically demanding.
(David Goffin was beaten in the semi-finals of the 2015 Aircel Chennai Open last evening against Stan Wawrinka)
Re: David's News, Articles and Interviews (2011 - present)
In the last match on this court David Goffin fought past Simone Bolelli 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-1. All in all this match was a mixture of fantastic rallies paired with unforced errors. Anyway, it was quite spectacular. Neither player was troubled on serve in the first set. Then Bolelli won some of the mentioned great rallies to be 4-1 up on serve in the tie-break. Then the unforced errors by Bolelli appeared in addition to very consistent baseline play by Goffin. The latter won five straight points and eventually the set.
In the second set Bolelli seemed to have a letdown and got broken but immediately broke back. Goffin then had another break point opportunity in the third game but once again, both players won their service games to enforce another tie-break. Just like in the first set Bolelli was redlining his game in the beginning and got a 4-1 lead. This time he only lost the next two points and won the second breaker 7-4. In the last set David Goffin showed why he´s on the verge of breaking into the Top 20 again. His great movement and counter-punching lead to breaking Bolelli´s serve in the fourth game. In the following game the Italian had a break point to even it out but Goffin saved it by a well-timed net attack after a long rally. From then on Goffin was too good for Bolelli who kind of lost confidence. The Belgian broke again and served it out to love.
David Goffin post-match interview
Q: Congratulations. As a spectator it was really great to watch your match, many nice rallies. What do you think about your performance?
DG: It was hard because the conditions are different than two days ago. It´s cooler today. The courts are slow and it was tough to move, so I did the maximum to win and I´m really happy because in January I lost against Simone in Sidney. He´s a great player and I think it´s a great performance to win against him today.
Q: You mentioned the match in Sidney. Today he caused a lot of trouble, too. What makes it so tough to play against him?
DG: Yeah, it´s because he has so much power. When he hits the ball, it´s tough for me to control it. His forehand is really strong. His serve, too. I had to serve really well and I was really solid. I waited for a good moment to break him in the last set. So it was a really solid match mentally.
Q: You had injury problems this year. At the Davis Cup you couldn´t play the first rubber. How do you feel now?
DG: Now I´m feeling better. I had some problems with my rip, just after Marseille. Then it always takes a few weeks to get better, but now I have no more pain.
Q: Good to hear! Last year you had a great run. You won two tournaments and many challenger titles, too. You were full of confidence. Today, you sometimes seemed more passive. Is it because you have less confidence now?
DG: No, I think I´m playing really good in practice but today it was tough conditions, tough to move. Simone is really aggressive so it´s tough to be aggressive for me. So maybe that´s why I was more passive today but I´m gonna try to be more aggressive next round.
Q: It changed a lot for you when you won all the titles in the last 6-8 months. Do you feel more pressure now, being almost a Top 20 player?
DG: Yeah, I´m #21 this week. I´m seeded now in tournaments like ATP 250s. Of course it´s pressure but it´s a good pressure. I have to play my game, even if I´m #21 or #40 or #50 I don´t care. I have to play my best tennis. If I´m playing well I think the result will come. I just have to focus on the way I play.
Q: What are your goals for 2015? Do you have specific goal or are you looking from tournament to tournament?
DG: No, I´m gonna try to win another tournament, maybe …
Q: This week?
DG: Why not? It should be good. Like I said, I´m really happy to be back on clay. I can win points at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, so I´m gonna try to break the Top 20 for the first time. And then at the end of the season, I´ll see if I´m Top 20 or not.
Q: The last question: What do you think about your next opponent, Philipp Kohlschreiber?
DG: I played him twice, I think, and I won twice but it´s a different tournament. He´s playing at home. He´s always has a good level when he´s playing in Germany. I think he won the tournament twice. He loves the tournament, it will be a tough match for me.
As you can see in the quarterfinals David Goffin will face German No.1 Philipp Kohlschreiber. He beat Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-4. In the post-match presser he was talking about the youngster´s game. Kohlschreiber was fully aware of Zverev´s potential. However, he also admitted that it was easy for him to dominate points due to Zverev´s court position far behind the baseline.
I also asked Kohlschreiber about David Goffin (and Simone Bolelli). He mentioned their encounter in Kitzbühl where the Belgian prevailed in straight sets. Goffin´s constant and well-placed shots as well as his great movement and returning ability made Kohlschreiber not really sound like he is keen on having to play against him.
Understated Goffin lets game do the talking Belgium's David Goffin is the first man through to the last 16 with a straight-sets victory over Marcos Baghdatis.
There is a no-fuss, softly spoken politeness about David Goffin that contrasts with some of the brasher egos among the next generation of contenders.
At just 5ft 11in and tipping the scales at a mere 10st 10lb (68kg), the unassuming, sandy blond Belgian could blend into the crowd relatively unnoticed if he had to catch the Tube at Wimbledon.
And, much like his off-court persona, the 24-year-old is happiest letting his game do the talking, comfortably slipping under the radar to reach his maiden Wimbledon fourth round on Friday.
The first player through to the round of 16 this year, Goffin eased past former Wimbledon semi-finalist Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on No.3 Court.
He becomes just the fourth Belgian man in the Open era to progress this far at SW19, after Dick Norman, Xavier Malisse and Olivier Rochus.
It marks the second time he has reached the fourth round at a major, after doing so on his debut as a lucky loser at the 2012 French Open.
“Of course, only the second time I'm in the fourth round so I'm really happy today,” the No.16 seed grinned. “It was a good match against Marcos. I have been really aggressive today. I didn't let him play, and I served really well, also. Not the first game, but after it was better. I make him run a lot. Even if he had problems with his calf (muscle), I think it was OK.”
What he lacks in stature, Goffin is forced to make up for with guile, accuracy and court speed and against Baghdatis – a player who had beaten him twice this year on hard courts – his confidence quietly surged with each wrong-footing winner or fleet-footed dash to smother an attempted drop shot.
In his two previous Grand Slam events as a seeded player this year he had suffered upsets – to Baghdatis in the second round in Melbourne and to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the third round in Paris. But he had grass-court form, having reached the final at ’s-Hertogenbosch, where he fell to Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
“Yeah, I knew I had the game to make some results on grass that I didn't in the past,” he said. “This year I came from the clay, I came with a lot of confidence on grass and I knew I had the legs, I had the strokes to play really high level on grass, and I'm really happy that this year I can make some result.”
The Belgian will meet No.4 seed Stan Wawrinka, who has won both their previous matches.
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David seeded #1 for the first time in his career!
Goffin Embracing New-Found Expectation
David Goffin has made himself a fixture in the Top 20 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. Currently seated at a career-high World No. 14, the Belgian star is looking to capitalise on his position as top seed at a tournament for the first time as he makes his debut in Bastad.
“It’s a small pressure for me, because a lot of people are expecting some results from me,” Goffin told ATPWorldTour.com on Monday. “I’m feeling good and I’m going to use this pressure to play some good results this week, I hope.”
The 24 year old most recently reached the final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (l. to Mahut), had a fourth round showing at Wimbledon (l. to Wawrinka) and, last weekend, helped Belgium reach the Davis Cup semi-finals with a win over Canada.
“I had a good grass-court season… I’m coming here with a lot of confidence,” he said. “That’s what I need to play well this week.”
In his opening match (after a first round Bye), Goffin will face Benoit Paire in the second round of the Skistar Swedish Open as he looks to make a push for the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
“It’s still close and far,” he said. “I’m going to focus on my game and what I have to do and then we will see if I’m close to the Top 10. It would be unbelievable, but I’m going to try and focus on what I have to do and the job I have to do on the court and we will see at the end.”
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Novak Djokovic avoids upset, tops David Goffin at W&S Open
Kevin Goheen, Enquirer contributor
MASON – Novak Djokovic has a gear few tennis players can match. David Goffin found out just how devastating that gear can be Thursday afternoon.
The No. 1 player in the world took Goffin’s best shot for two-plus sets before steamrolling through the final six games of the match and squashing the 24-year-old Belgian’s upset bid at the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
The win advances Djokovic to Friday’s quarterfinals against No. 5 seed Stan Wawrinka.
The last time Djokovic and Wawrinka faced each other was in Paris at the French Open, when Wawrinka won his second Grand Slam title with a four-set victory.
Djokovic looked like anything but a player who has reached the finals of the last nine tournaments he’s entered – and winning six of them – as Goffin, the No. 13 seed, broke Djokovic five times in his first 11 service games. By that time, Goffin had a 3-0 lead in the deciding set and appeared poised to win for just the second time in 21 matches against Top-10 opponents.
“It was a solid first set, but whatever happened in the next 45 minutes, I don't want to remember it,” said Djokovic. “Credit to him for playing some solid, consistent tennis, always making me play an extra shot. Many double faults. I wasn't on the court.You know, I just lost the intensity and concentration.”
Djokovic took out his frustrations on his racket after Goffin broke him in the first game of the second set. Three solid whacks to the court behind the baseline did the racket in and brought out a warning for equipment abuse from chair umpire Damian Steiner. Things didn’t get better for Djokovic, as Goffin consolidated the break to take a 2-0 lead in the set. He again broke Djokovic for a 5-2 lead before closing out the second set.
It was the first of three straight service breaks for Goffin.
“From the beginning I was feeling good,” said Goffin. “He made some mistakes because I was on the baseline, dictating the rallies, and then he was playing a little bit shorter than me.”
Everything changed when Goffin served leading 3-0 in the third set, and there was nothing Goffin could do about it.
“He played his best tennis,” said Goffin. “He played more aggressive, he returned really good. It was the difference between three-love and the rest of the match… That’s why he’s No. 1 in the world.”
Djokovic was so dominant over the final six games that only once did he trail in a game. Goffin had a 40-30 lead on his own serve after Djokovic had taken a 4-3 lead in the set. Djokovic won the last three points of that game and then served out the match at love, closing with back-to-back aces.
“It's obviously easier to lose it than to really find it,” said Djokovic about his play. “You're always playing mind games with yourself. I mean, you are your biggest opponent always and you kind of encounter these particular mental challenges.”
The W&S Open has always been a challenge for Djokovic. He’s won nine Grand Slam championships among the 54 career titles he owns, including this year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon, and has won eight of the nine ATP Masters 1000 events. The French Open and the W&S Open are the only hardware missing from Djokovic’s collection from the top two tiers of tournaments.