Goffin Regaining Form In Montpellier This Week

David Goffin (photo: Open Sud de France/Facebook)

WASHINGTON, February 27, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

Second seed David Goffin moved a step closer to reaching his 14th ATP Tour final after winning his quarterfinal match against No. 36 Lorenzo Sonego of Italy, 6-4, 6-4, in 87 minutes at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier on Friday.

Since arriving in France on a three-match losing streak, the World No. 15 Goffin has won two straight matches. After he was stretched to a long three sets before he beat Benjamin Bonzi on Wednesday evening, Goffin said: “This is what I needed, a fight like this to finish with the win no matter what. I was fighting from the start until the end and I’m happy that finally I won a good fight.”


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In Saturday’s semifinal round, the Belgian No. 1 will oppose No. 83 Egor Gerasimov of Belarus, who took out Spain’s 56th-ranked Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, in back of 16 service aces during a spirited two-hour and 28-minute battle at Sud de France Arena.

In their only previous meeting, Gerasimov, who is into his third ATP Tour-level semifinal, beat Goffin, 6-4, 7-6 (5), at last year’s Open 13 Provence.

In the other half of the draw, No. 1 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain beat No. 6 seed Ugo Humbert of France, 6-3, 6-3, in one hour and 15 minutes. Bautista Agut hit an emphatic forehand winner on match point and responded with a clinched right fist while exclaiming “Vamos! Vamos!”

With Humbert gone, it marks the first time since 2004 that there will be no French in the finals.

Next, the World No. 13 Bautista Agut will face No. 144 Peter Gojowczyk of Germany, a qualifier who reached the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-1 besting of No. 102 Dennis Novak of Austria in a battle of unseeded veterans. Gojowczyk won 88 percent of his first-serve points and was not broken during the one hour and 20-minute match.

Paire, Schwartzman go down in Cordoba quarterfinals

As the Cordoba Open quarterfinals began on red clay in Argentina Friday, 95th-ranked Federico Coria pulled off the biggest upset of his career, and with it reached the semifinals of his first ATP Tour-level event. The Argentine Coria triumphed over No. 2 seed Benoit Paire of France, 6-3, 6-2 to move into the last four in Cordoba. He broke the 29th-ranked Paire six times in 13 attempts and outpointed his opponent 69-48.

Also, 335th-ranked qualifier Juan Manuel Cerundulo of Argentina reached his first ATP Tour-level semifinal with his 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory over No. 7 seed Thiago Monteiro of Brazil. At age 19 years and three months, Cerundulo is the youngest Argentine to reach the semifinals of an ATP Tour event since Juan Martín del Potro (18 years and four months) in 2007 at Adelaide.

On Saturday, Cerundulo will try to become the youngest Argentine to reach an ATP Tour final since then-18-year-old Chucho Acasuso at the 2001 Argentina Open when he faces Coria, and to become the youngest Argentine to win a title since Guillermo Coria at age 19 at Vina Del Mar in 2001.

In the other half of the draw, No. 1 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina was upset by No. 5 seed Albert Ramos-Violas of Spain, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, in two hours and 27 minutes. Ramos-Vinolas broke the World No. 9 Schwartzman’s serve five times in 12 tries and outpointed his opponent 96-85. He snapped an 0-5 lifetime record against Schwartzman. Next, Ramos-Violas will face 130th-ranked Argentine qualifier Facundo Bagnis, who beat No. 128 Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia, 6-1, 6-2 in a battle of unseeded players.

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