He’s a week away from an all-important Davis Cup final in France, but David Goffin has work to do this weekend. The Belgian who stunned Rafael Nadal on Monday advanced the semifinals at the ATP Finals by trouncing Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1.
Goffin was down early in the match 3-0 but then seized control over the Austrian who saw treatment for a knee issue.
“I was a little bit surprised how well he started the match. He was moving well. He used his slice a little bit. He changed the pace. He was good. He started to play well,” Goffin said.
“But I knew that I have found solutions in the past. I knew with my return I can be really aggressive… I knew it was the key to come back. As soon as I came back at 3-all with a good service game, I knew that he was struggling a little bit with his groundstrokes. He was hitting too hard maybe a little bit. He lost his timing in his backhands. He started to think about how to hit the ball.”
Up next on Saturday is a date with Roger Federer. The Swiss has owned Goffin winning all six meeting including a beatdown in Basel last month.
“I’ve never found a key to beat Roger,” Goffin said. “Honestly, I don’t know what to do tomorrow. But I’m going to try something, something different, something that I’ve never done in the past. I will try to do my best to play a better match than in Basel.”
Grigor Dimitrov was on later in the day and busted up alternate Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-2. The Bulgarian has lost just 4 games in his last two matches ahead of a showdown with Jack Sock on Saturday.
“I wanted to keep on going with the style that I’ve been doing so far,” said Dimitrov. “I followed my game well and didn’t make mistakes. I think the simplicity helped me to play such a good game, to go through those matches in such a manner.”
Sock, though, leads Dimitrov 3-1 winning their last three.
“He is not an ordinary player. He really uses his strengths very good. I think he obviously has improved a lot in his game, played pretty much throughout the whole year, very strong finish of the year, won the [Rolex Paris Masters]. Obviously he’s riding on confidence right now,” Dimitrov said.
If Dimitrov wins tomorrow, he moves up to No. 3 in the rankings.
This marks the first time since in history with three first-time entrants reaching the semifinals, and the first time this event has had three first-time semifinalists since 2008.
Federer is bidding for a 7th overall ATP Finals title this weekend.
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