BET-AT-HOME CUP KITZBUHEL 2014
Goffin Wins Maiden Title In Kitzbühel
by ATP Staff|
Goffin rallied from an early deficit, battling past fellow young gun Dominic Thiem 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in what was the last clay-court match on the ATP World Tour in 2014. The Belgian wild card extended his win streak to 20 straight, following a dominant July that included three consecutive ATP Challenger Tour titles in Scheveningen (d. Beck), Poznan (d. Rola) and Tampere (d. Nieminen). He won 40 of 42 sets in that span.
"It's a great day for me, to win an ATP [World Tour] 250," said Goffin. "It's just an amazing feeling right now. I don't believe it. Maybe in a few days I'll realise what happened today.
"You work so much in the fitness room and on the court for a moment like today. You play so many practices and so many matches to have this emotion, so when you win the match point you can't control it."
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Goffin became the fifth first-time champion on the ATP World Tour this year and third in the past month, after Pablo Cuevas triumphed in Bastad and Leonardo Mayer prevailed in Hamburg. The 23 year old is also the fifth player born in the 1990s to hoist a tour-level trophy, joining Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov, Bernard Tomic and Federico Delbonis.
The Rocourt native turned in a strong serving performance against Thiem, winning 67 per cent of service points, including 61 per cent on his second serve. He fired just one ace, but saved five of six break opportunities garnered by his Austrian opponent. Goffin would break the fifth seed four times en route to victory in one hour and 59 minutes.
"In the first set, Dominic was playing so heavy, so strong," added Goffin. "Then he didn't break me again. I tried to play well with my serve, be more aggressive and make him run a lot. At the end he spent a lot of energy and maybe made more mistakes."
Goffin, who takes home €77,315 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points, is projected to crack the Top 50 after sitting outside the Top 100 just a month ago. He is the first Belgian winner on the ATP World Tour since Steve Darcis claimed victory in Memphis six years ago.
Thiem, meanwhile, was the season's youngest finalist on the ATP World Tour at 20 years of age. He was looking to become the first homegrown champion in Kitzbühel since Thomas Muster won in 1993. The fifth seed emerges with €40,720 and 150 Emirates ATP Rankings points for his efforts.
"You have to find the right words and I hope that I managed to do that," said Thiem after talking to the home crowd after the match. "It was an amazing week for me and the crowd gave me huge support during every match.
"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."