Novak Djokovic vs David Goffin - Japan Open - Semifinals - Preview and Prediction
World number 1, Novak Djokovic takes on World number 15, David Goffin in a mesmerizing match-up in the China Open semifinals today.
Djokovic had retired hurt due to a shoulder injury when he was two sets down against Wawrinka in the fourth round of the US Open. He was also booed by the crowd but responded with a thumbs-up symbol.
The Serbian has made a great comeback after recovering quickly. It was surprising that Djokovic chose to play the Japan Open as this is his first time at the tournament in Tokyo.
Djokovic defeated three players, Alexi Popyrin, Go Soeda, and Lucas Pouille all in straight sets. Nole is back to his best as he has hit 25 aces and a high first serve percentage of 82.33% in the three matches he has played so far.
In the previous round, fifth-seeded Pouille was expected to challenge the top seed. The Frenchman had lost just 10 games in two straight-set routs of Hubert Hurkacz, and the homeboy, Yoshihito Nishioka.
But Djokovic was dominant right from the start as he thrashed the World number 24, Pouille 6-1, 6-2. It was similar to the Australian Open semifinals win where he won 6-0 6-2 6-2.
It was one of the best matches I've played this year," Djokovic said. "Best one of this week and came at the right time, I served well, served many aces, returned a lot of his serves back and just used every opportunity to come in. Just overall, a really flawless performance.", said Novak highlighting his machine-like tennis.
On the other hand, David Goffin made light work of Hyeon Chung winning 6-2 6-2. The South Korean was in splendid touch as he outlasted the World Number 30 Marin Cilic 6-4 3-6 6-1. The Belgian held on to his early leads as he won the battle of rallies.
You want to do your job, it doesn’t matter what’s the score. You want to stay in the match and try to do your job. And then sometimes you have some chances, some opportunities you have to take to maybe do some damage because you don’t have a lot of opportunities when you play those guys,you just have a couple of small ones and you have to take it. Hopefully, that will be the case tomorrow.", said Goffin reflecting his mindset ahead of the match.
“If I have free points sometimes in my service games, it will help. And then I have to pay well on my baseline, try to stay with him, try to stay solid and when I have a small chance during the rally to be aggressive and to take the opportunity in the game, to be aggressive and go forward, I will have to take it.”, said Goffin on his game plan against Novak.
The head to head record between both the players is one-sided as Djokovic leads it with six wins and one loss.
Djokovic will be looking to start off strong and win the match in quick time ahead of the finals on Sunday.
Prediction - Novak Djokovic to win in two sets
Cover Image Credits - Getty Images