Goffin Cruises Into Final Four In Montpellier
One year ago this week, David Goffin made his first big run of what would turn out to be many in a career campaign when he advanced to the final in Sofia (l. to Dimitrov). This year, the Belgian is in a different location, Montpellier, but the result looks much the same.
Goffin reached the semi-finals at the Open Sud de France with an impressive 6-4, 6-4 victory against 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Karen Khachanov, the World No. 49, on Court Patrice Dominguez on Friday.
It is the first semi-final of the season for the 27-year-old. The right-hander battled to the semi-finals seven times in 2017, winning five of those matches.
Goffin, who entered the match with a 2-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead against Khachanov, did not face a break point, while earning 11 opportunities of his own (2/11).
The first Belgian to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals (2017) will face three-time Montpellier champion Richard Gasquet, who extended his record at the event to 21-2 since 2013 by beating fourth seed Damir Dzumhur 6-4, 6-2.
The home favourite was 1-4 down against the Bosnian in the opening set before storming back to win 11 of the final 13 games in the pair's first FedEx ATP Head2Head matchup. The 31-year-old broke his opponent five times in the match, winning 68 per cent of second-serve return points.
Gasquet will attempt to advance to the Open Sud de France final for the sixth year in a row. He lost his only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Goffin in Tokyo last year. The Frenchman has not won a title since 2016 Antwerp.
Third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will hope that the third time is the charm after he beat #NextGenATP Russian Andrey Rublev 6-4, 7-6(1) to advance to his third semi-final in Montpellier (2010, 2017). He is in pursuit of his fourth ATP World Tour indoor title since the beginning of last season.
Tsonga's quarter-final victory was simpler than his opening-round match against Nicolas Mahut, in which he was pushed to three tie-breaks. The World No. 19 saved four of five break points and won 60 per cent of second-serve return points to triumph against Rublev, the World No. 36.
The dynamic Frenchman, who fell 4-6 in the third set at both previous semi-final opportunities in front of his home crowd, will play second seed Lucas Pouille, who ousted compatriot Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-4 in 54 minutes.
The top-ranked Frenchman (World No. 17) has captured one ATP World Tour title in France (2016 Metz) and reached one final in his home country (2017 Marseille).
Tsonga leads the pair's FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-1, but Pouille won their last meeting in the Vienna final last year.
McLachlan/Nys Advance To Final
Recent Australian Open semi-finalist Ben McLachlan and his partner Hugo Nys outlasted Sander Arends and Antonio Sancic 4-6, 6-2, 10-6 to reach the final in Montpellier. McLachlan has captured one ATP World Tour title while Nys has yet to make a final. They will play Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski or Tristan Lamasine and Lucas Pouille.
DID YOU KNOW?
Goffin did not win a match in Montpellier before this week. The World No. 7 fell in qualifying in both 2010 and 2012.