After three straight title wins on the Challenger circuit, Belgian youngster David Goffin took a step up to the ATP World Tour, where he immediately found himself in the final of the Bet at Home Cup in Kitzbuhel. There, he will meet fellow budding talent Dominic Thiem in what should be a compelling and entertaining clash of prospects. This is the second time they meet on the professional tour, with Goffin leading the series 1-0.
It has been a remarkable month for David Goffin. The Belgian youngster is coming off three consecutive title wins on the ATP Challenger circuit to put himself at 15-0 in the month of July and undefeated in 30 sets. He extended that extraordinary streak when he returned to the ATP World Tour this week in Kitzbuhel, where he defeated the likes of Kenny de Schepper, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Paolo Lorenzi before reaching the semi-final round of the tournament.
During his run in Kitzbuhel, Goffin did not lose a single set until he reached the semi-final stage, where he dropped the opening set against Maximo Gonzalez, who was ranked 26 spots below him in the rankings. He would recover magnificently to snatch the second set before closing the match out in the decider after squandering four match points and a break advantage. The world No. 78 hit 8 aces and converted 6 break points to win the match5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in 2 hours and 22 minutes.
After defeating the defending champion Marcel Granollers 7-5, 6-4 on Friday morning, Dominic Thiem was sent back out on court a few hours later for his second match of the day against Juan Monaco. Both Monaco and Thiem played near identical length matches early in the day and each was equally fatigued as his adversary when they stepped on Centre Court.
Thiem was the more aggressive player at the start of the match, and quickly established his command over the match with a break to love in the Argentine’s opening service game. While the Austrian was serving for the set, Monaco managed to retrieve one of the breaks of serve but could not stop Thiem from winning the set 6-4. The second set was even more one-sided, as Thiem only allowed Monaco to get on the scoreboard once in the entire set and eventually polished off the match in 58 minutes.
Goffin now holds a 19-match winning streak which will undoubtedly help swell his confidence heading into the final of the ATP 250 event – the final on clay this season. He steps across court from an opponent who is more experienced than himself and higher ranked as well. His 20th match this month will likely be his most difficult, as Thiem looked outstanding in his semi-final against Monaco. Goffin leads the series 1-0, and also beat Thiem in a qualifying match in Acapulco this year as well. While he is the lower ranked opponent, Goffin should be the favourite for Satruday’s contest.
Prediction: David Goffin in Three Sets