Goffin takes care of Thiem to earn London semifinal spot against Federer

David Goffin cruised past Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1 in their last round-robin match at the World Tour Finals on Friday afternoon, clinching the second semifinal spot out of Group A. Goffin prevailed in one hour and 11 minutes to set up a meeting with undefeated Group B winner and six-time champion Roger Federer.

In what was virtually a quarterfinal match with both players owning a 1-1 record in London and the winner guaranteed to advance, Thiem raced to a 3-0 advantage in the opening set. Goffin, however, promptly strung together five games in a row–including a stretch of 14 consecutive points. Thiem mercifully got back on the scoreboard with a service hold at 3-5, but Goffin held with little fuss at 5-4 to close out the first set.

It was all but over for the Austrian when he got broken again at 1-1 in the second. In fact, Thiem dropped each of his final three service games, the last of which ended his 2017 campaign. Thiem had previously come close to breaking at 4-1 and regaining some semblance of momentum, but Goffin survived that game following eight deuces and four break points.

“I don’t really like his game style,” Thiem said of the world No. 8, who now leads their head-to-head series 7-3. “But today I was just too bad, and that’s it. He was playing a solid match, but I was doing way too many errors–too many bad things. That’s why I lost.”

“I didn’t panic after the first three games,” Goffin reflected. “I knew in the past I have the return to break him. I knew I will have some opportunity to break him.I did it right after the first three games. After that, I started to feel much better with my return, and I played well [the rest of the] first set.”

His reward is a seventh career contest against Federer, who is a perfect 6-0 and 14-2 in total sets against Goffin.

“I’ve never found a key to beat Roger,” the underdog admitted. “Honestly, I don’t know what to do tomorrow.”


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