Goffin beats Cilic to reach semifinals at Indian Wells

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 18, 2016 09:55 AM
Goffin beats Cilic to reach semifinals at Indian Wells
David Goffin, of Belgium, returns a shot to Marin Cilic, of Croatia, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 17, 2016, in Indian Wells, Calif. Goffin won 7-6 (4), 6-2. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer

  
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — David Goffin defeated Marin Cilic 7-6 (4), 6-4 on Thursday to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open, the best result so far of the Belgian's career.

Cilic was the second higher seeded player to lose to 15th-seeded Goffin, who upset No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round. Cilic lost to Goffin nearly two weeks ago on clay in Belgium during first-round Davis Cup play.

Goffin had an easier time with the 10th-seeded Cilic. He needed a third-set tiebreaker to beat Wawrinka after the 25-year-old Belgian served for the match at 5-3 in the second and third sets. Cilic fell to 0-8 in quarterfinals at Masters 1000 events.

Victoria Azarenka and Milos Raonic were to play later matches.

Goffin, a slender 5-foot-11, withstood the power of Cilic, who is 6-foot-6 and outweighs Goffin by 46 pounds.

"I knew that on my serve I had to battle to win every service game because sometimes he can serve bombs and in ten seconds can win his games," said Goffin, who fell at 5-4 in the first set.

"It was just bad for me, but at the end I stayed focused in the tiebreak. It was the key of the match to win the first set and be more relaxed in the second to play much better."

Another bigger and taller opponent awaits Goffin in the semis, either 6-foot-5 Raonic or Gael Monfils, who is 6-foot-4.

"It's good in tennis that you don't have to be big or a tall guy to be good. Otherwise I had no chance to get in the top 20," said Goffin, who is ranked 18th. "Maybe I'm quicker. I can take the ball earlier than a big guy. Of course I don't have a big serve. I have other weapons. That's why tennis is a nice sport."

Karolina Pliskova defeated 18-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2 in an hour to reach the women's semifinals. Pliskova had 30 winners and just 10 unforced errors. She fired nine aces and won all six of her points at net.

About an hour later, Pliskova teamed with Julia Goerges to reach the doubles final, defeating Sara Errani and Oksana Kalashnikova 6-4, 6-3.

"(I'm) happy also for the doubles (win), because it's one of the biggest tournaments in the world," Pliskova said. "It's my first biggest final in the doubles, and especially happy to be there with my partner Julia."

Pliskova ended last year at a career-high No. 11 in the WTA rankings. Her semifinal singles showing here is her first at a Premier Mandatory event.

"I played some good tennis this week, and especially there is Miami, and so I have chances to go and improve the ranking and get close to top 10 again," she said.

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