Goffin completes semi-final line up
Originally published on 17/11/17 00:00
The world No.8, the first ever Belgian to qualify for the season-finale, bounced back from a slow start to overcome his less than fully-fit opponent. The 26-year-old will take on Roger Federer in the last four on Saturday afternoon.
“I started okay,” said Goffin. “I was hitting the ball well, playing some good points. I was serving okay but Dominic didn't miss, didn't miss a lot.
“My service game (where he was broke) was not a bad service game, even if it was a love game, I knew that I was in the match, so I didn't panic after the first three games because he served well.
“I knew from the past that I have the return to break him. I knew I would have some opportunities to break him.
"As soon as I got back at three-all with a good service game, I knew that he was struggling a little bit with his groundstrokes. He was hitting too hard maybe a little bit. He lost his timing in his backhands. He started to think about how to hit the ball.”
Goffin may have won six of the nine previous meetings with his close friend and regular sparring partner, but it was the Austrian who established early control.
It was a lacklustre start from the Belgian, perhaps due to the heavy defeat he suffered against Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday, and his demeanour did not exude confidence.
Thiem quickly established a 3-0 lead, however his level of play soon plummeted. The 24-year-old lost his timing from the baseline and a steady stream of unforced-errors from his racket provided his opponent with welcome belief.
Goffin was back in the mix and his eagerness to strike the ball early troubled the Austrian, who appeared sluggish in defence. The understated Belgian claimed five games in succession to net the all-important opener.
Prior to the start of the second set, Thiem took a medical timeout for a cut to his knee but the delay in proceedings did little to help his cause. Goffin was in the ascendancy and he refused to allow his opponent, who was frequently reckless, an opportunity to muster a response.
The second set was the David Goffin Show, and his Davis Cup final preparations will need to wait for another couple of days.