mubadala world tennis championship david goffin makes dream debut
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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Mubadala World Tennis Championship: David Goffin makes dream debut

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Arab Today, arab today Mubadala World Tennis Championship: David Goffin makes dream debut

D. Goffin is seen in action against J. Tsonga during the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at Zayed Sports city
Abu Dhabi - ArabToday

For many among the Zayed Sports City crowd on Thursday, it was a case of ‘David who?’ as David Goffin took on fan-favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the opening match of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC).

The word ‘unheralded’ would be apt to describe Goffin, although he is well regarded by the tennis cognoscenti and renowned for his speed around the court and shot-making. The Belgian has also climbed to a career high of world number 11 after a fine year, in which he reached the French Open quarter-finals.

And he started the new season in similarly fine form in beating Tsonga 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 at the International Tennis Stadium to book a MWTC semi-final with world number one Andy Murray on Friday.

“It’s always nice to start with a win and I am really happy with how I played,” said Goffin, whose match with Murray will begin at 5pm.

He knows he will have to raise his level to take on the irresistible Scot, though.

“He has everything in his racket and is always tough. It’s tough to find a weakness [in his game], but it will be a nice match with a nice atmosphere on a nice court.”

Goffin added that he would not focus too much on tactics in a bid to achieve his first win in six matches over Murray.

He explained that he is using the annual exhibition event as a platform on which to find his “rhythm” after a six-week pre-season.

And although he is a new face at the tournament, he is well acquainted with the UAE capital as this is the third straight year he has trained here.

Goffin is also very familiar with Tsonga’s game given that the pair are regular practice partners and he used this knowledge to good use on Thursday.

Goffin dominated the early stages of an oscillating first set, serving well and regularly getting the better of Tsonga in their baseline rallies.

He stormed into a 4-1 lead as a strangely enervated Tsonga committed a rash of errors. The French world number 12’s backhand return was a particular area of weakness, and the 31-year-old also appeared to struggle with his footing at times.

This may have had something to do with moisture on the court given the 97 per cent humidity.

But Tsonga began to mix up his game well — employing a variety of slice and blistering forehands — to win four games in a row to lead 5-4.

Goffin recovered to take the match to a tiebreak, though, which he won with ease 7-2 to clinch the first set after 51 minutes.

The second set was a less eventful affair and went with serve until Goffin broke his out-of-sorts opponent in the final game to seal victory in an hour and 37 minutes.

source: GULF NEWS

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