David Goffin made a little bit of history by reaching the last four in the season-ending event in London. But going a step further and reaching the final will be a tall order, as he faces Roger Federer next.
David Goffin became the first Belgian to reach the semifinals of the ATP Finals as he crushed Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1 in his final group match at the season finale on Friday.
Goffin will carry a 0-6 record into a Saturday showdown with Roger Federer, who booked his final four place with days to spare and is bidding for a seventh career trophy at the eight-man tournament.
Goffin, who beat an injured Rafael Nadal in his opening match, was then humiliated as he won just two games against Grigor Dimitrov in his second. But he came good in his third and final round-robin match.
"I did it right after the first three games," Goffin said. "After that, I started to feel much better with my return, and I played well until the end of the first set. I was a little bit surprised how well he started the match. But I knew that, I had found solution in the past. I knew with my return, it was the key to come back."
In a contest played for pride, London semi-finalist Dimitrov crushed Spanish substitute Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-1 in one hour as he won the first 11 points. The win puts him into a semifinal with American Jack Sock, who knocked out Germany's Alexander Zverev.
"Another great match, it's great when you have feelings like this," the Bulgarian said. "I want to keep the momentum going, I'm pleased with my game so far."
The final four line-up marks the first time since 2008 that three year-end first-time players have reached the final four - Goffin, Dimitrov and Sock.
mds/jh (dpa, afp)