David Goffin starts the clay court season in good spirits: “It remains the surface that I enjoy the most”

David Goffin begint vol goede moed aan gravelseizoen: “Het blijft de ondergrond waar ik het meeste plezier op heb”

Foto: Getty Images via AFP

“I am always happy to play at this tournament,” David Goffin told Saturday at the press conference for the Masters 1,000 tournament in Monte Carlo (clay / 2,082,960 euros).

“It feels like a home game, as I train here all year round. I feel comfortable here and I have played some good games in Monte-Carlo in the past. I have good memories of the track and I hope to be able to play well this year. It was a short preparation, but I had enough time after Miami to make the transition. I have worked injury prevention and trained on my stamina. Rallies on gravel are usually longer. Together with my team, we did our best to be ready, and I think it worked. The feeling is good. ”

For Goffin it will be his eighth participation. The Belgian number one reached the semifinals in 2017 and the quarter finals in 2018. In Monte-Carlo he beat Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas, among others.

“Gravel has always been special to me. It is the substrate that I grew up with. You can create the most play on it. You can use different tactics, find many more solutions with angles, heights, dropshots and volley. There is a lot you can do and I have always found that I enjoy the most time on gravel. And then there are a lot of mythical tournaments like here, Rome and of course Roland-Garros. It’s something I’m really looking forward to. It will be sad to play without spectators, but I am happy to be here, because last year the tournament was completely canceled. ”

“Cilic is a tough opponent”

Goffin (ATP 14) takes on the Croatian Marin Cilic (ATP 43) in the first round. “Marin Cilic is a tough opponent. He’s not confident at the moment, but he is still an extraordinary player. He serves very well and can play well on clay. He really hit me in Rome (Goffin lost 6-2, 6-2). You never know with him. He can be so aggressive, serving bombs and lashing out with a heavy forehand. But we are a year later. It’s a different tournament and in the Davis Cup I was able to beat Cilic on clay. ”

“Marin has already achieved so much, also at Grand Slams (win US Open 2014, finals Wimbledon 2017 and Australian Open 2018). He has had a difficult year, but is still very dangerous. It is a player who can do everything with a racket. I’ll have to play a good game to beat him, that’s for sure. It is true that I was better in the past, but I have won games (title in Montpellier) and lost games, where I did have a match point (Australian Open and Doha). We will see. As far as I am concerned, I did my best to be ready. I’m feeling good. It will be an interesting competition. ”

“Roland-Garros postponement surprised me”

Goffin also spoke out about the Roland-Garros postponement. As a result of the corona pandemic, the organizers of the French Open have decided to postpone the tournament by one week, from May 30 to June 13. “The Roland-Garros postponement surprised me. Especially since it will only be moved by a week. In itself it does not change much. Maybe the new date will allow them to admit more spectators. Worst of all, this will shorten the grass season. I know that the tournaments of Rosmalen and Stuttgart were on the program. Tournaments that are having a hard time surviving. ”

The resident of Liège, who played the final in ‘Rosmalen in 2015, will therefore have to adjust his program. “”It is a pity. These are tournaments that I have always loved to play. I often went to ‘s Hertogenbosch to prepare for Halle and Wimbledon. Now things will turn out differently. But it doesn’t really change much. ”


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