After dealing with injuries, David Goffin is trying to work his way back into the top-20. David lost in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters, and will face a tricky opponent in the first round in Belgrade, playing against Filip Krajinovic.
Speaking about his most cherished Masters 1000 memories, Goffin mentioned his 'Sunshine Double' run in 2016, when he reached the semi-final at both events. Milos Raonic ousted him in three sets in the desert, and David faced world no.
1 Novak Djokovic in the last four in Miami. The Belgian gave his best, but it was not enough at least for a set. The Serb advanced to his third straight Miami title match following a 7-6, 6-4 triumph in two hours and five minutes.
It was a clash under a boiling Florida sun and high humidity, not the conditions Novak liked most. Still, he survived all the challenges to advance into the 11th consecutive Masters 1000 final! Djokovic was not at his best, struggling physically after numerous extended exchanges.
The Belgian had the right tactic, staying aggressive and not letting Novak dominate the points with his usual pace. Djokovic had to dig deep right from the start, facing three break points in the opening game. He saved them for an essential early hold, and they settled into a nice rhythm behind the initial shot in the next couple of games.
Goffin faced troubles on serve in game six, the longest of the clash.
In 2016, Novak Djokovic prevailed over David Goffin in Miami semi-final.
He held after six deuces and two break points saved, playing brave and well-balanced tennis to remain on the positive side.
It gave him a significant boost, and he scored a break at 15 in the next one to move 4-3 in front. Goffin's lead was shortly-lived, though, as Djokovic broke back to level the score at 4-4. Novak would usually gather momentum after that, but David was there to fight until the last point.
Each player produced a couple of holds before the set reached a well-deserved tie break, the best way to pick the winner. Novak had an early 4-2 lead when David took the following two points, having a great chance to go 5-4 up.
The Belgian had the most comfortable smash but sent it right to the Novak's racquet, and the Serb prolonged the point and brought it home. It was probably the most critical rally of the entire clash, as it would be hard for Novak to come back in those conditions had he lost the opener.
Djokovic stayed calm and grabbed the tie break 7-5, mighty relieved and with a boost ahead of set number two. It was hard to believe that David could keep the opening set level, especially after a tight tie break. Still, he gave everything and established strong resistance in the second set.
Goffin was the first to earn a break chance in game four when Novak wasted a 40-15 lead. David could not convert it, and it would be his last return opportunity. Novak grabbed a break in the seventh game, and it was enough to carry him over the top.
"It's not easy to choose my dream Masters 1000 match, but it would be Novak Djokovic in the Indian Wells final. It is the best challenge you can have. He won Indian Wells and Miami so many times. I played against him in the Miami 2016 semi-final, and it was great," David Goffin said.