ATP Munich QF Preview: David Goffin vs Alexander Zverev

GOFALEX

Two seeds meet for a spot in the semifinals in Munich as David Goffin and Alexander Zverev do battle in Munich on Friday. Their meeting at the BMW Open by FWU AG will mark their second meeting. Goffin won their first back in 2014 on an indoor hard court in Belgium.

(1) David Goffin vs (8) Alexander Zverev
Goffin rebounded after dropping the opening set on Thursday against Victor Estrella Burgos. The top seed wound up winning fairly convincingly 5-7, 6-3, 6-2. The Belgian was troubled by his serve for large portions of the match as he was forced to fight off 14 break points. He was able to save ten of those. Goffin did a better job converting on Burgos’ sloppy serving display as he took half of the 12 break chances that he saw.

Zverev had a blistering serve working against Lukas Rosol in their 2nd round encounter. That enabled the German to beat Rosol for the first time after losing their three previous encounters. This time, he came out on top 6-3, 6-4. The 8th seed won an astounding 31 of 32 points on his first serve and clubbed nine aces. He did not face a break point, while breaking Rosol once in each set. Overall, it was a rock solid display of tennis from the German teen.

Their first meeting came in the fall of 2014 on the Challenger circuit where Goffin topped Zverev 6-2, 6-2 at the Mons Challenger in Belgium. That won’t have a ton of bearing on this match as the German is much improved from that time and Goffin too is a completely different player.

Goffin’s clay court form has wiggled up and down since he was taken down in the quarterfinals of last year’s event in Munich. He made a Masters quarterfinal in Rome last season and the final in Gstaad. He also suffered a disappointing straight sets loss to Jeremy Chardy in the third round of the French Open and tumbled out of Monte Carlo a few weeks ago at the hands of Marcel Granollers. Both are accomplished players, but not the types the Belgian should lose to based on his skill set.

Zverev has shown some growth on clay as well, after scuffling for main draw results early in 2015. After Munich, he would get to the Bastad semifinals in July and is now 5-2 on clay in 2016 after decent results in Barcelona to boost those stats. He did have one of his better runs come early in his career on clay, when he shocked in Hamburg two years ago. He knocked off s couple of seeds on the way to his first ATP semifinal.

The real test comes now against a player ranked much higher than himself. The German has pulled off three Top 20 wins this season, but two have come against the same player in Gilles Simon. The other was against Marin Cilic and none have come on dirt. There is no doubt that playing on home soil seems to invigorate Zverev, so perhaps that can help him raise his game some against Goffin.

Zverev has some hope here if he can bring a rocket serve to Friday’s match. That could help him earn some cheap points against the top seed and those may be much needed. The majority of the rallies likely will favor Goffin in the end due to his defensive abilities and he’s shown himself to be a clutch shot maker when it’s all working for him. Goffin showed enough of a wobble on-serve to think that Zverev will have his chances in this match. He converts right around the same amount as Goffin at 42 percent, but does slightly better saving break chances at 65 percent to 61 for the Belgian.

The Pig expects a good fight from Zverev in this one. I’m not sure he’s got quite enough on this surface to pull it off in the end, but it would not be that surprising. Gonna say he’s not quite up to snuff.

Prediction
Goffin wins in three sets

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