Cincinnati: A rested David Goffin advanced to his first ATP Masters 1000 final with a straight set victory over Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the Cincinnati Masters yesterday.
The 16th seeded Belgian prevailed 6-3 6-4 to make his 13th ATP Tour final.
He will play the winner of yesterday’s later semi-final between top seeded Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev.
“I’m really happy,” said Goffin. “I’ve played the best tennis here in the past few years... It’s a great moment for me.”
A quick break saw Goffin surge to a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line in the first set. Gasquet grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second set before Goffin claimed five of the next six games.
He won the set and the match when a Gasquet backhand was long.
Goffin had received a walkover into the semi-finals after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw due to food poisoning.
“It was almost a day off, so I was fresh and physically 100% today to play against Richard,” the Belgian said.
Goffin added that he was “lost” after the walkover.
“I didn’t know what to do. Do I have another practice session, go to the physio and have some treatment? I didn’t know,” the Belgian said.
“I decided to go on the court for some practice and do what I normally do after.”
Late on Friday, Djokovic wore down Lucas Pouille after an even first set, dispatching the Frenchman 7-6(2) 6-1 in the quarter-final.
The match was much closer than when the pair met in the Australian Open semi-finals in January, when Djokovic conceded only four games before going on to win the title.
It took Djokovic nearly an hour to prevail in the first set but he closed out a one-sided tiebreak with a deft backhand passing shot.
The second was one-way traffic as the world number one played with relentless efficiency against an opponent who ran out of answers.
Perhaps the only concern for Djokovic with the US Open looming in less than two weeks was a sore elbow which required brief treatment by his trainer late in the match.
“I managed to finish the match, had a little bit of tightness in my elbow but hopefully everything will be fine for tomorrow,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview.
Medvedev, who continued his recent hot form, ousted Russian compatriot Andrey Rublev 6-2 6-3 in barely an hour.
Medvedev, a career-high eighth in the rankings, faced only one break point.
He has made two finals in the past two weeks, losing to Nick Kyrgios in Washington and Rafa Nadal in Montreal.
In other quarter-final action, Gasquet continued his comeback from groin surgery by defeating 11th seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(2) 3-6 6-2.
Goffin advanced when his quarter-final opponent, Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, pulled out before their match on Friday due to illness.