Novak Djokovic survived in Cincinnati holding off a serious charge from David Goffin 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. The Belgian looked as though he was going to win when he was up a double break in the third set, but Djokovic showed us once again why he is the world #1 as he battled back to win the set and the match.
Early on Djokovic looked in control. He won the first set -64 and it looked like he was well on his way to a straight forward win. In the second set however, Goffin’s level of play rose and Djokovic’s dropped giving the 24-year-old Belgian a great opportunity to level the match at a set a piece.
Djokovic survives scare in Cincinnati
Goffin got the early break in the second set byplaying aggressively and painting lines with his winners. He went on to break Djokovic again before serving out the finishing touches on an impressive display of tennis in the set.
In the beginning of the third set it was more of the same from Goffin. The Belgian continued to dictate the points with his aggressive play. He broke Djokovic’s serve for the third straight service game to go up early in the third set. After Goffin held he broke Djokovic yet again to go up a double break in the decider.
It looked like it was just going to be one of those days for the world #1, but out of nowhere Djokovic began to fight back. It appeared as though Goffin’s level dipped after he got the second break, which is something you can’t ever let happen when facing Djokovic.
Djokovic broke Goffin ending a run of six consecutive games won by the Belgian. From there it was all Djokovic as he himself put together a run of six consecutive service games to close out the match.
For Djokovic this win puts himself in a position he has not found himself in for quite awhile. Not since 2012 has Djokovic made it past the quarter-finals in Cincinnati and not since the 2012 Rogers Cup has Djokovic won a US Open Series event. On top of that Djokovic has never won in Cincinnati. A lot of streaks could come to an end for Djokovic if he manages to win in Cincinnati this week.
Up next for Djokovic is Stan Wawrinka. Djokovic has a 19-4 record against Wawrinka, but it is their first meeting since Wawrinka’s upset win in the French Open final back in June.
This will also be their first meeting outside of a grand slam or ATP World Tour finals since the Paris Masters in 2013. Djokovic won on that day 61 64. The last time Wawrinka beat Djokovic outside of a grand slam was in Vienna way back in 2006. Wawrinka’s last two wins against Djokovic have come at grand slams and outside of that Djokovic has completely dominated the matchup.
Djokovic should win against Wawrinka, but if he finds himself down a double break against Wawrinka like he did today against Goffin don’t expect Djokovic to find a way to escape again. Wawrinka won’t allow it.