Goffin Snaps Berrettini's Winning Streak, Reaches Halle Final
Matteo Berrettini has been nearly unbreakable over the past two weeks. But that did not stop David Goffin from beating the Italian on Saturday.
The former World No. 7 ousted Berrettini 7-6(4), 6-3 to reach the final of the NOVENTI OPEN, his first championship match since finishing runner-up at the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals. Goffin had lost six consecutive tour-level semi-finals before battling past last week’s Stuttgart champion in one hour and 37 minutes.
"It was a great feeling on this court, an amazing atmosphere and a top-level match from my side. We didn't give anything in our service games," Goffin said. "I had to be really focussed on every shot because you never know, sometimes you can make an easy mistake and then he had chances... so it was tough."
Goffin snapped Berrettini’s eight-match winning streak, withstanding the World No. 22’s 14 aces and saving all three break points he faced. Entering the match, Berrettini had won 83 of his previous 84 service games. But the Belgian was even stronger on serve, carving an ace out wide — his sixth ace of the day — to complete his victory.
This was largely a baseline battle with little difference to separate the two players. But with Berrettini serving with a mini-break in the first-set tie-break, Goffin hit two strong returns in a row to flip the script and help him take the opener. And as the match wore on, he was increasingly the more consistent player.
"Matteo is such a great player, he's serving so well. So I had to be focussed and aggressive, not too passive, otherwise he would have had a couple chances to take opportunities," Goffin said. "I played well from the start. That was the key: to stay focussed from the start."
Goffin arrived at this ATP 500 tournament with just a 14-14 record on the season, and at his lowest ATP Ranking, No. 33, since the week of 15 September 2014. But the 28-year-old has beaten a 2019 ATP Tour titlist in each round in Halle, including a quarter-final triumph against 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev.
"I am feeling great. It was a great feeling on the court today. My serve helped me again. I’m serving well, I’m serving well this week. I’m playing well, more aggressive. I’m hitting the ball really well. So, it’s a great feeling this week to be in the final, first final on grass in an ATP 500," Goffin said. "I’m really happy, especially the way I played, the way I worked the past weeks, so it paid off this week."
In the final, Goffin will meet nine-time champion Roger Federer, who dismissed Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert. The Belgian owns only one win from eight FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings with Federer.
"It’s always special to play Roger, it’s something different," Goffin said. "You just try to play your best tennis and go for it."
Did You Know?
The only seeded player to reach the Halle semi-finals was Federer. It is the fifth time that has happened in tournament history (since 1993).