David Goffin picked a good time for a career run. The Belgian had just a 2-22 career record v Top 5 players coming into the ATP Finals, but now he’s added three more. Goffin stunned Rafael Nadal on Monday, then Dominic Thiem last night and today denied Roger Federer in three sets 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Goffin had never beaten Nadal and was 0-6 against Federer. Now he’s the sixth player to beat both legends at an event.
“Both are really special. It was the first time against Rafa. Then the semifinal for the first time for me here, and to beat Roger for the first time here in such a big event, big tournament, it was the perfect moment,” Goffin said. “It is the best win of my career, for sure.”
Federer looked well on his way to another final appearance, rolling in the first set. But Goffin start to dial in his groundstrokes in the second and then the errors crept in for Federer. He broke Federer in the second game then hung on.
In the third, Federer opened with a strong service game but then fell apart at 1-all giving Goffin the lead. And the 26-year-old rode his serve to the biggest win of his career.
“I have no words,” Goffin said. “I cannot describe how I am feeling for the moment, But so much joy, so much happiness. I’m so happy to play the match I played in front of you against Roger. It was such a special moment. It’s unbelievable. I cannot describe.”
Federer, who was the only former champion in the field, cited the early second break as the turning point.
“I think it was a tough game to get broken at 1-0 for him in the second [set]. I had I think multiple game chances to get out of the game and go 1-1, keep the pressure up,” said Federer. “I think things really turned around for him at that moment. He started to feel better from the return, from the baseline. He wasn’t missing as much anymore. He was returning also much better off the second serve after that.
“I just think the better returner won over the better server today.”
In the final, Goffin will meet Grigor Dimitrov who outlasted Jack Sock 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.
Dimitrov had lost three straight to the American but started out quick winning the first three games. Sock turned the tables taking six of the next seven to win the set 6-4.
After going down a quick break in the second, Sock all but conceded the set, similar to what he did against Alexander Zverev.
Sock stiffened in the third holding a break chance in the opening game, but the Bulgarian held on. Then finally broke for 5-4 and on his fourth match point closed it out.
“I thought he really stepped up his level in the second and third. Came up with some pretty crazy shots in the third set at some inopportune [times] for myself,” Sock said. “There’s a reason he’s been playing this consistently all year. That’s the reason he’s in the final.”
The win gives Dimitrov the No. 3 ranking.
“The goal was to finish the year Top 10. Now I finished 3,” Dimitrov said. “It’s wonderful, a wonderful reward. This is what I’ve been working for.
“It’s not only good for me, I think for the whole team. I think that gives us a very good platform to start in the off-season, to have a good start of next year.”
Dimitrov leads Goffin 4-1 in their head-to-head series including a 6-0, 6-2 win on Wednesday. But Federer just crushed Goffin a month ago and look what happened the second time around.
“I think his confidence is going to be up there. But I’m not going to focus in on his confidence or his game right now. I’m just focusing on myself, the recovery that I’m going to do today,” Dimitrov said. “Of course, it’s not going to be the same after I played against him… I think also it’s a different stage for both of us.”
You Might Like:
Goffin Advances To London ATP SF To Face Federer; Sock v Dimitrov
David Goffin Becomes 7th Player In London ATP Finals; Del Potro, Isner Chasing PCB For Last Spot
Goffin Finally Prevails Over Nadal; Federer v Zverev Tuesday
Dimitrov Dominates Goffin To Reach ATP SFs; Zverev v Sock Thurs
Nadal Out Of Paris, New Masters Champ Confirmed Sunday; Americans Isner, Sock Bid For Last London Spot