Goffin Ousts Zverev In Monte-Carlo
It is proving to be another Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters to remember for David Goffin. The Belgian upset Alexander Zverev 6-4, 7-6(7) on Thursday to advance to his third quarter-final in the Principality.
"Of course it gives me a lot of confidence," Goffin said. "Today was more [about] the way I played. Everything was there. This match, I served well, I was solid. I was very precise with my forehand, aggressive when I had to [be]. [It] was a great match."
Goffin recovered from set point down at 6/7 in the second-set tie-break and saved all six break points he faced to book his place in the last eight after one hour and 51 minutes. The 11th seed had lost his two previous clay-court meetings against Zverev in three sets, but he held his nerve to reach his 12th ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final. Goffin is now tied at 2-2 in his ATP Head2Head series against Zverev.
The 30-year-old neutralised Zverev’s serve and attacked the German’s backhand to clinch the only break of the match at 3-3 in the first set. In a dramatic second-set tie-break, Goffin’s forehand proved to be the difference. The Belgian raced to a 6/2 lead and, despite dropping five straight points, he used his forehand to rush his opponent and clinch victory.
The former Top 10 star will attempt to reach his second Monte-Carlo semi-final (2017) when he faces Daniel Evans in the quarter-finals. The British No. 1 stunned two-time champion and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5 on Court Rainier III to reach his first Masters 1000 quarter-final. Evans entered the week seeking his first tour-level win on clay since the 2017 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
"Of course, you're always surprised when Novak is losing before the final, especially against a guy that on paper is not a clay-court specialist," Goffin said. "But if you see Dan, he's an amazing, talented player. I always thought that he could play on every surface."
Zverev was bidding to reach his third quarter-final of the season. The German owns a 10-6 record this year, highlighted by his run to the Acapulco trophy in March.
Casper Ruud saved two match points to end Pablo Carreno Busta’s unbeaten start to the European clay swing on Court des Princes. The Norwegian trailed the Marbella champion 2-5 in the decider and was a point from defeat on two occasions at 3-5, but he kept his composure to win the final five games of the match for a 7-6(4), 5-7, 7-5 victory.
Ruud will attempt to reach his second Masters 1000 semi-final on clay on Friday. Last year’s Rome semi-finalist will meet defending champion Fabio Fognini for a spot in the final four.
Earlier in the day, Fognini recovered from 2-5 down in the second set to beat Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 7-6(1) on the same court. Ruud owns a 2-0 ATP Head2Head record against the Italian.