Goffin Heroics Not Enough at Davis Cup Finals but Bode Well for 2018 Success

by John on November 27, 2017

David Goffin’s very good year ended yesterday in disappointing fashion. The Belgian’s Davis Cup team lost to France 3-2 in the Cup final, but it certainly was not through any fault of Goffin’s. Despite being bummed by the team’s loss, Goffin said he finished his season with the “sense of having done my duty.” Indeed he did. And then some. Goffin’s straight-set singles wins over Frenchmen Lucas Pouille on Friday and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga yesterday were thorough and convincing. “It’s a disappointment even if I played two good matches,” Goffin said. “When the team loses we’re all disappointed. We gave it our all. It’s tough to finish this way but we did a lot of good things as a team this year.” The two victories over the weekend boosted Goffin’s Davis Cup singles record to 21-3 and were indicative of the kind of play the No. 7-ranked Belgian has been exhibiting all year, and particularly in the last two months. Goffin finished the year with a 59-24 record, won two tournaments, was a finalist in three others and had some huge wins in the last few weeks. The Belgian’s game is not unlike two retired former greats, David Nalbandian and Nikolay Davydenko. Both were great ball strikers who were masters at opening up the court and setting themselves up for the kill with their passing shot wizardry. Goffin is cut from the same mold. Back in February, Goffin reached the finals at Sofia and Rotterdam in back-to-back weeks before losing to Grigor Dimitrov and Tsonga respectively. Goffin had a good spring clay-court season, beating Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals at Monte Carlo before losing to Rafael Nadal in the semis. Two weeks later at Madrid, he made it to the quarterfinals before falling to Nadal once again. Misfortune struck Goffin in early June at the French Open when he slipped on a rain tarp at the back of the court in a third round match against Horacio Zeballos, injuring his ankle. The injury kept the Belgian out of action for six weeks , forcing him to miss Wimbledon and ultimately slowing his progress in the summer hardcourt campaign. Goffin got his mojo back at the end of September and early October when he won back-to-back tournaments at Shenzhen and Tokyo. His victims were Adrian Mannarino in China and Alexandr Dolgopolov in Japan. He made the semifinals at Basel in October and then really amped-up his game two weeks ago at the ATP World Tour Finals in London. There he became only the sixth player to defeat Nadal and Roger Federer in the same tournament, handling Nadal in a third round-robin match and Federer in the semifinals. Dimitrov stopped Goffin’s run in the final with his fourth win in five tries over the Belgian this year. ”The best player this weekend was on the Belgian side,” said former top-ranked Belgian player Justine Henin. And that’s amidst some pretty damn good company. Look out for Goffin next year.

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Peter Love Tennis Blog December 3, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Goffin is a great guy and i am delighted at his progress. It gives hope to all the smaller guys out there that can’t rely on a big serve or massive groundie

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