Many tennis fans around the world will be suffering from Wimbledon withdrawal symptoms as the grandest tournament came to an end a couple of days ago. As a result of this lull, some fans may be forgiven for not avidly checking the scores of this weeks tournaments. Nevertheless, there is a heartwarming story this week: the return of David Goffin.
Career Best Year Put On Hold
During the French Open this year, Goffin was one of the in-form players. In the first set of his third round match against Horacio Zeballos, the Belgian suffered from a freak ankle injury. Goffin was forced to retire from that match and that was the last we have seen of the talented player. An MRI scan showed that no ligaments had torn and no bones had been broken, which came as a surprise to everyone due to the nature of the fall.
The injury came at a very unfortunate time for the Belgian because he was enjoying the best year of his career. He started the year by making the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the first time. His stellar form on the hard courts continued with back-to-back finals in Sofia and Rotterdam. Goffin’s amazing performances at the start of the year saw him debut in the Top 10.
The Belgian was able to translate this hot streak onto the clay where he enjoyed a fantastic week in Monte Carlo making the semifinals – beating both Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic. Goffin had another strong week in Madrid where he made another quarterfinal before he went down valiantly to Rafael Nadal. Half of the Belgian’s Top 10 wins have taken place this year, and this just shows what a high level he has been producing.
Luckily he only missed three tournaments: two minor grass court events and of course the Wimbledon Championships. Obviously nobody wants to be on the sidelines whilst a Grand Slam is going on but at least it was only three tournaments. The 26 year old is also very experienced when it comes to injuries. He suffered a lengthy layout in 2014 and came back in some style – winning two titles shortly after coming back. These still remain his only titles, will a third arrive?
David Goffin’s comeback tournament is the Croatia Open in Umag where he is the top seed. The tournament is held on clay and there is a strong field of clay court players lined up for this years edition of the competition including Gael Monfils, Fabio Fognini, Paolo Lorenzi, and Gilles Simon. The top seed will kick off his campaign against Attila Balazs, who had to come through qualifying, on Wednesday night. The Hungarian player is a great competitor as he recovered from a 2-5 deficit in the third set to defeat Damir Dzumhur in the first qualifying round. Balazs is ranked at #174 in the world, so Goffin should not have too much trouble in progressing to the next round.
As mentioned previously, Goffin has not missed a lot of tennis and he can still enjoy the best year of his career. There is plenty of time to get matches under his belt before the US Open. Currently the Belgian is eleventh in the Race to London. A title in Umag would see Goffin rise to ninth in the Race so London will most definitely be on his sights. He played at the O2 last year but only as an alternate. He would love to qualify for the season ending championships for the first time in his career.
With many of the top players taking a break after a thrilling two weeks of Wimbledon, the story of the week has to be the return of David Goffin.