David Goffin booked his place in the final of the Japan Open with a straight-sets victory over Marin Cilic on Saturday; his third win over the Croatian this year. Goffin was a break down in the first set before winning the final four games to take the opening frame, and then broke again in the second set to claim victory.
His opponent in the final will be the winner of Saturday’s later semifinal between Australia’s Nick Kyrgios and France’s Gael Monfils. 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.
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“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.”