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David Goffin picks up his first win over Alexander Zverev in Halle.

Goffin Stuns Zverev In Halle

Belgian will next face red-hot Berrettini

David Goffin entered the week with just a 14-14 record on the season. But if his courageous victory on Friday against second seed Alexander Zverev showed anything, it’s that the Belgian is moving closer to the form that saw him reach the championship match of the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.

Goffin, who let slip two match points at 5-4 in the third set, stayed the course to beat Zverev 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(3) and reach the semi-finals of the NOVENTI OPEN. The World No. 33 saved seven of the 10 break points he faced en route to his first Top 10 victory of the year.

It appeared Zverev might use the confidence he gained from triumphing in Geneva, making the Roland Garros quarter-finals and previously advancing to two Halle finals to survive his battle against Goffin. He struck a big serve and a deep forehand approach shot to save the two match points he faced on his serve at 4-5.

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But Goffin was unrelenting, winning all five of his service points in the tie-break to put even more pressure on Zverev. And after two hours and 16 minutes, when Zverev pushed a final backhand slice into the net, the Belgian moved on.

“I started to serve badly [after the first set] and also didn't play good in the rallies. Things can go fast against a player like him if that is the case,” said Zverev. “I can also take the positives. I played three great matches here. Today's match was a high-quality one and so were the first two rounds. Of course, I am not happy that I lost, but I feel good for Wimbledon. Let’s see how things will go there.”

Goffin’s best previous performance in two Halle appearances came in 2016, when he made the quarter-finals. But the four-time ATP Tour champion is now one victory from reaching his second tour-level grass-court championship match (2015 ’s-Hertogenbosch).

It won’t be easy against the in-form Matteo Berrettini, who now holds an eight-match winning streak. The Italian defeated third seed Karen Khachanov 6-2, 7-6(4).

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Berrettini has beaten Khachanov twice during his winning streak, claiming all four sets in those matches. On Friday, the Italian won 85 per cent of his first-serve points and saved all four break points he faced.

Before beginning his run at the MercedesCup last week, Berrettini had won just two tour-level grass-court matches. He is pursuing his third ATP Tour title of the year, and his first at the ATP 500-level. This will be his first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Goffin.

Did You Know?
The Top 4 seeds reached the Halle quarter-finals for the first time since 2015, and for just the second time in tournament history, since 1993.

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