David Goffin made a personal breakthrough at the Open Sud de France on Saturday, as he reached his first final at the ATP 250 with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory against Egor Gerasimov.
The Belgian won 86 per cent of first-serve points in the third set (12/14) to advance to his first final since the 2019 Western & Southern Open. Goffin was appearing in his third semi-final in Montpellier, after falling at the final-four stage in 2018 and 2020.
“I started really well with the early break,” said Goffin, in an on-court interview. “I was feeling good during the rallies, I was serving well… In the second set, he just continued [with his game]. I started to lose the timing a little bit [and went] for my shots a little too early.
“I wasn’t patient… In the third, I [said to myself], ‘It is a semi-final. Third set. You just have to fight. Try to use your serve because it [has been] going well from the start. Stay there and you are going to have an opportunity.’ Finally, I had one, a really good one. I broke him at 3-3 and then, at the end, I focused on my serve. I am happy that I am in a final for the first time here.”
The World No. 15 has levelled his ATP Head2Head series against Gerasimov at 1-1. Goffin lost his only previous meeting against the Belarusian at last year’s Open 13 Provence in Marseille.
Gerasimov was attempting to reach his second ATP Tour championship match. Last year’s Pune runner-up defeated former World No. 1 Andy Murray en route to the semi-finals in Montpellier.
Goffin will face Roberto Bautista Agut in Sunday’s final. The top seed produced a run of seven straight games from 4-5 in the first set en route to a 7-5, 6-1 victory against Peter Gojowczyk.
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Bautista Agut entered the tournament with a 1-3 record in 2021, but he has found his form on the southern French coast to reach his 17th ATP Tour final (9-7). The World No. 13 saved all three break points he faced against Gojowczyk to improve his unbeaten ATP Head2Head record against the German to 5-0.
“I am feeling very good,” said Bautista Agut. “I like playing here in Montpellier. I like the conditions… It was a tough beginning [to the year] for me in Australia, but I am very happy that I am in the final and I have a good chance tomorrow.”
Goffin will attempt to earn his fourth straight ATP Head2Head win against Bautista Agut in the championship match (3-2). In hard-court meetings, Bautista Agut holds a 2-1 advantage.
Did You Know?
Goffin or Bautista Agut will join Tomas Berdych (2012) and Alexander Zverev (2017) as just the third non-French singles champion in Montpellier. Eight of the previous 10 editions of the tournament were won by home players.