Goffin faces Kyrgios in Japan Open final
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 08, 2016 07:04 PM
David Goffin of Belgium reacts after winning the first set against Croatia's Marin Cilic during the semifinal match of Japan Open tennis championships in Tokyo, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
DAVID HULMES, Associated Press
TOKYO (AP) — David Goffin booked his place in the final of the Japan Open with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over fourth-seeded Marin Cilic on Saturday.
The fifth-seeded Goffin plays Nick Kyrgios in Sunday's final, after the Australian defeated second-seeded Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4.
Torrential rain forced both matches to be played under the Center Court roof.
Goffin trailed 5-3 in the first set before winning the next four games in the third victory this year against his Croatian opponent.
In March, Goffin beat Cilic in a Davis Cup tie, and then at Indian Wells.
"He won an ATP Masters 1000 event this year, and I've beaten him three times," said Goffin, who has never won an ATP 500 event such as the Japan Open. His two career titles have been at the ATP 250 level.
"This year I have proved I have a high level. Maybe one day, maybe tomorrow, I can win a tournament like this."
Cilic's serve, normally a reliable part of his game, misfired regularly.
"Even with that, I had a lot of good opportunities, especially on short balls," Cilic said.
"He's always trying to push you and you feel you have less time than you do. If you give him short balls, he's quick to get an advantage."
Sixth-seeded Kyrgios made the decisive break in the seventh game of both sets in a crowd-pleasing match against Monfils.
"It was very entertaining. The crowd loved it and I had a lot of fun," said Kyrgios, who grimaced at the fans whenever Monfils found an unlikely winner.
"He's probably the only one who can play those shots. He's an unbelievable entertainer and athlete, and the one guy I look up to on tour. I'd pay to watch him play."