David Goffin reached the final of last year’s Western & Southern Open. Although the ATP Masters 1000 is being held at a different location, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the Belgian doesn’t seem to mind.
The seventh seed battled through a back-and-forth opening set Sunday evening before beating Borna Coric 7-6(6), 6-4 to reach the third round.
“It was a big battle until the end of the first set. I think winning the first set was the key because after that, I didn’t lose my serve. I served well until the end,” Goffin said. “The surface is very quick so when you are aggressive and you serve well, it makes a big difference.”
Goffin now leads Coric 5-0 in their ATP Head2Head series, with their most recent meeting coming at 2016 Halle. After clinching his victory, the Belgian waved to the “crowd”, even though the applause just came from his own team, because there are no fans.
“I found it very funny when I saw Andy Murray yesterday. He did the same. It was quite nice to do like normal, like there were a lot of fans,” Goffin said. “I did the same because I know that some people are watching us. It’s quite nice and quite funny, especially when you win.”
The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up had more than just his own team in the stands, though. Former WTA No. 1 Kim Clijsters supported her countryman, who will next play 12th seed Denis Shapovalov or Jan-Lennard Struff.
“It was nice to see that she was there to support. It was her team, one of my best friends… he is coaching as well on the women’s tour. He was next to Thomas Johansson, my coach, so it was nice,” Goffin said. “There were no fans, but I had the most important fans behind me, so it was good to have their support.”